The Christmas holidays are upon us once again. ¬†This time of year is a special reminder to our hearts of how much God loves us, and how blessed we are with the gifts that really matter.
A scripture that is especially precious to me during the Christmas season is John 3:16:¬† ¬†
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only-begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish ¬Ė come to destruction, be lost ¬Ė but have eternal (everlasting) life (Amplified Bible).
Oh, the depth of these amazing words!¬† With our finite minds, it is impossible to fully comprehend the love of God - a love that would actually take our place and bear the penalty for our sin, in order that we could be delivered from the clutches of the evil one and become God¬ís very Own.¬† Oh, what infinite, overwhelming, unfathomable love Our God has for us.¬†¬†
Another amazing scripture concerning the love of God:¬† This is how God showed his love among us:¬† He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.¬† 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 John4:9, 10 NIV)¬† ¬†God¬ís love was manifested (shown to us) through the giving of the greatest Gift that mankind could ever receive ¬Ė the Lord Jesus Christ.
¬ďUnto us a Son is given¬Ē (Isaiah 9:6).¬† These words penned by the prophet Isaiah speak of the most magnificent and glorious Gift of all - a Gift that can¬ít be bought with the rarest jewels or the finest gold. ¬†Throughout my life-time, I have received many wonderful and costly gifts, but none compare to God¬ís unspeakable Gift ¬Ė my Beloved Jesus!¬† ¬ď ¬Ö He is altogether lovely - the whole of him delights and is precious.¬† This is my beloved, and this is my friend¬Ö¬Ē (Song of Solomon 5:16). ¬†¬†He is, and forever will be, my desire and delight all the day long for He is the essence of all that is valuable and precious to me.
The Altogether Lovely One
Altogether lovely He is, simply because of Who He is.¬† He is Emmanuel ¬Ė God incarnate; the Word made flesh dwelling among men. ¬†He is the Ancient of Days, the Eternal One, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. ¬†He is the express image of God¬ís person ¬Ė the effulgence of God¬ís glory. ¬†He is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.¬† He is the Messiah, Redeemer, the Faithful Servant, the Son of Righteousness, and the Champion of Love.¬† He is the Conqueror of death; the Firstborn from the dead.¬† He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.¬† He is the Good Shepherd, the Great Physician, the Mediator between God and man; He is the Light of the world and the Bright and Morning Star.¬† He is the Sure Foundation, the Precious Corner Stone, the Rock of Ages, and the Anchor of our soul.¬† He is the One Who was, the One Who is, and the One Who is coming again. ¬†
He is the One I am in love with ¬Ė my Beloved and my Friend. ¬†There is nothing, and there is no one who can compare to Him.¬† His beauty is beyond description.¬† He is my life, my peace, my joy, and my hope of glory.¬† He is to me, even as the prophet foretold:¬† Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).¬†
For me, Christmas is Jesus!¬† The world may celebrate everything but Jesus; however, I¬íll take Him.¬† Jesus is the reason for the season, and He is my reason for rejoicing. ¬†Because I have Jesus, I have the greatest Gift I could ever receive.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I exhort you, Bride of Christ:¬† Don¬ít neglect the greatest Gift you have been given. ¬†Celebrate the Lover of your soul; the One Who came and gave His life that you might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10)). ¬†Reflect on His amazing love and glorious beauty. Worship Him; honor Him.¬† Lavish your affections upon Him; tell Him repeatedly, He is the love of your life. ¬†Crave His presence.¬† Take time to be with Him.¬†¬† Savor the preciousness of the moments you spend with your Beloved as you celebrate the reason for the season ¬ĖJesus.