I’ve been reading several different Advent devotionals this Christmas season, but one in particular from Pastor Rick Warren (of Saddleback Church & Purpose Driven Life fame) really stuck with me. It’s just a powerful, simple & beautiful message of love that i pray is a blessing to all who read it.
Come Home to God’s Love and Forgiveness
by Rick Warren
Nothing in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.Romans 8:39 (NIV)
“Christmas proves that God loves you!”
Did you know that your heavenly Father wants you to come home this Christmas? It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done or how long you’ve done it. God says, “I want you to come home to My love and My forgiveness.” That’s what Christmas is all about.
What would keep you from doing that? What would keep you from coming home to God’s love and forgiveness? The fear of rejection.
You may think, “God wouldn’t want me now. I’m too far away from God. I’ve been away too long. I’ve done too many things He probably wouldn’t approve of.”
If that’s what you think, you’re dead wrong! Romans 8:39 (NIV) says, ”Nothing in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” God doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done or how long you’ve done it. He still loves you and wants to forgive you.
But how do you know God loves you? Christmas proves it. God came to earth in a human form - Jesus Christ - to show that he loves you and wants to forgive you. The Bible says, ”God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we can have eternal life through Him. This is real love. He sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:9-10 NLT).
Here’s how you know that Scripture is true: Jesus didn’t stay in a little cradle in the manger. He grew up. He went from the cradle to the cross.
On the cross with His arms outstretched He said, in essence,“I’d rather die than live without you.” That’s how much God loves you. Christ left His home in heaven and came to earth to show His love for you and to pay for your sins so that you could be forgiven and come home to Him.
That’s real love. That’s the reason for Christmas.
Wishing everyone the joy & love that only comes from Christ and may you all have a very Merry Christmas, from my family to yours!