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There is hope and healing in the love of Christ

An Advent devotion on love

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!" – Ephesians 2:4-5 (CSB)

Every Christmas, we're reminded of the birth of Jesus Christ. Each year I'm reminded of the incredibly precious experience of love that erupts in a parent's heart at the birth of a child. I remember well the moment our oldest daughter Grace was born. At that moment, no words were flowing from my mouth but a geyser of joy burst within my soul.

Oh, how this father loved his newborn baby girl!

How does one express this experience other than to call it love? Love is a simple word that can feel surface level but also plunge to the depths. We might use love to describe our affection for pizza, a song, a home, a friend or our family. Love is a simple word with deep meaning.

The Bible tells us God is love and he loved the world so much he was willing to send his one and only Son to express the depths of his love. This type of love plunges beneath our superficial use of love and challenges us to consider God's sacrificial love for us. God's love is the purest, richest and deepest expression of love that humanity could ever experience. 

"But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." – Romans 5:8 (CSB)

God's love was fully displayed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the birth of Christ, God's love was laid in a manger. Then God's love was laid on the cross. Sadly, God's love was laid in a tomb. Miraculously God's love was raised again! God's love on display is the hope the broken world desperately needs to experience.

Thankfully God was, and is, willing to lavish his love on us. This costly and deep love is where we find hope and healing in this broken world. This Christmas season I hope you have a lot of moments that you love. From food to gifts, to friends and family gatherings. Ultimately, I pray you and your family will experience the depths of God's love and share it with those around you. Remember God deeply loves you!

Written by Steven Gaither, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in McAllen, Texas.

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