‘But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…’ (Galatians 4:4 NIV)
Waiting for things is never an easy process.
Have you ever waited a long-time to receive something you’ve been promised?
How did you deal with the length of time you had to wait? Were you patient or impatient? Did you wait expectantly or did you grow apathetic? How did you feel when you finally got what you were waiting for?
Waiting can be difficult and frustrating, but that doesn’t mean it’s meaningless.
Mary and Joseph waited nine months for their promised child to be born. The people of Israel had been waiting centuries for the promised Messiah. God had been waiting too, for just the right time, to display His great love to the world with the birth of Jesus.
God did more than shout down from heaven, “I love you” to the people on earth. He demonstrated His love by sending His only Son to be born of a woman, take on human flesh, and then to be sacrificed by sinful humanity in order to forgive our sin and offer us grace and mercy.
As John wrote,
‘This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world…This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.’ (1 John 4:9-10)
This is the nature of true love: It’s not just words, not just emotion or sentiment; it’s intentional, active and sacrificial.
When we begin to grasp the depth of God’s love for us in Jesus, we will find ourselves freed to love each other in that same sacrificial and intentional kind of way.
In fact the love of Christ for us and in us must then flow on out towards other people.
Again John hits the nail on the head,
‘Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’ (v.11)
This is the life we are called to. If the One who loves us so much came to this earth as a tiny baby, lived our life and died our death; if this personification of love now lives in us, how could our life be anything other than love towards our fellow human beings?
Maybe someone somewhere is waiting for you to show the love of Jesus to them?
Are there tangible expressions of this kind of love you might practice during this Christmas season?
They don’t have to big things, sending a card, giving a small gift, visiting someone who is lonely, can be such an encouragement.
The time has come for us to love one another; what are you waiting for?
Father, thank you that love came down to this earth in the presence of Jesus. May we be his hands and his feet, as we share his love with others.
Have a good week loving one another.