22nd day of Advent
December 24th, 2017
"He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty."
The Greatest Gift
by Adda Edwards
God loves us. “Us” as in He loves me and you and everyone. God loves us. “Us” as in those who don’t love Him. “Us” as in those who we don’t see as worthy of love. “Us” as in those with incredible riches and those in incredible poverty. “Us” as in those who submit themselves to God and those who worship false Gods. “Us” as in all of us; all people, all sinners alike.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:38)
We can ponder the love of God, but we will never fully understand it. God, who created the northern lights, four-leaf clovers, sound frequencies, and all of Australia's wonderfully odd creatures loves us so deeply that He would rather die than be without us. And how do we respond to the Love of our awesome God? It seems we take more time to study the love that’s shown in Disney Pixar movies than the love that’s unceasingly poured out all over the pages of God’s Word.
Do we dare open the Bible and read about the kind of Love talked about in Luke 1:51-53? A Love that would strip us of every idol and every distraction from God. Do we dare read about a God that convicts us in what we regard as our highest worldly success? Do we dare seek a God who will empty me of "me" after I have worked so hard at becoming "me"?
God, I pray we will open the Bible, because in there we will see the One who emptied Himself of everything for our sake. The One who left heaven and was born in a stable. The One who Loved and was murdered because of it. The One who by emptying us of mortal idols fills us with eternal life.
God’s love isn’t the same kind of love we see in movies. It forces us to get our hands dirty and dig deeper into what it means to be His disciple. It creates discipline, strength, and perseverance within us while teaching us how to truly love others in the same way. His Way challenges us, but it is the Way of perfect Love.
“... My son, do not make light of the Lords discipline,
and do not lose heart when He rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those He loves,
and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)
From God's throne in Heaven to a manger in Bethlehem to the Cross at Golgotha, we witness the emptying of the self because of Love. This is how Jesus, the living Son of God, showed us Love and taught us, Love. Jesus turned the way we think upside down. Wisdom became foolishness; suffering, joy; wealth, poverty and death, life. Everything Jesus said and did challenges us to see, hear and love as He does.
Tomorrow is Christmas. The best gift ever given or received is Love - Love God and Love each other as He Loves us.
Μαραναθα, be blessed
Krismasi Njema! Mungu awabariki sana (Merry Christmas! God bless you)
Guest Blogger: Adda Edwards
Adda is a missionary and worship leader, a singer-songwriter and a dearly loved member of the ACrossMission family. Adda has traveled to East Africa with ACrossMission where she has taught and lead worship. Adda is also a founding member of Compass North. Follow them on FaceBook and YouTube.
Adda - thank you for this wonderful reminder of God's unfailing love.