Luke 2:13-14... "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."**
A few years back I learned a definition of grace that opened my eyes to God's love for me and the world. Its very simple, unmerited favor*; but for me not being raised in the church some of the language of the church left me confused. Perhaps the real problem was that the idea of grace was foreign to me. I didn't understand loving someone for the sake of loving them; well outside of my own family. I didnt understand loving someone truly without getting something in return. I doubt, if we were honest, that many of us could claim to have known that well.
However here was this idea of grace that all of us seem to need, but not many of us truly understood. God loves us like his own children. Let that sink in for awhile!! For some unfathomable reason, despite all we've done to mess up the world, God loves us and holds us in high regard. He would give anything to bring us back to him. He did give everything.
When I think of it that way Luke 2:13-14 takes on a whole new meaning and the words come alive. Maybe as if a great company of heavenly angels were declaring to me....
"Hey you down there, he loves you guys! The God of the universe, the one we praise day and night, wants nothing but good things for you! He wants peace on earth like you've never experienced. He loves you above all things and he's about to show you how much!"
Something about that kinda love makes me want to be better. It makes me want to offer grace to someone else. It has the real power to change. The fact is he simply cant bring peace to earth when were bound and determined to do as we please. Honestly he loves us way too much to just give us what we want. God's wants to give us what we need because that's good news for everyone, not just me. That's God's grace in action.
Look at this way.... Luke 2:13-14 was the original greeting card**. It was bringing good news, it was celebrating something about to come and it was meant for you.
"When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."Acts3:26*Take it deeper....
- Have you realized God's love for you? I mean really realized it. Do you realize that there is nothing you could do to make him love you more than he already does?
- Are there any things in your life that may be hindering God from blessing you? Give them to God in prayer and recieve all he has for you.
- Jesus was the good news that was to come. Make a point of sharing that good news with someone today.
- Make a card for a neighbor and commit to praying for that person throughout the year.
- If God is able to love us when we were undeserving how much more so should we love others. Take that step to love someone who is unlovable right now. Offer grace to an enemy.... even if all you can do today is fall to your knees and pray for a heart of forgiveness.
- Go to "Our Advent" page to find out what were doing as a family today.
*Beth Moore Fruit of the Spirit bible study