24th December 2021

Compelled by love

…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
Luke 2:7 NIV

The Christmas season reminds us of the amazing reality, that God became human and lived among us (John 1:14). The creator and sustainer of the universe, the greatest being there ever was or ever will be, chose to be born as a baby and live a human life, to die a horrible death and then return to heaven, and he did all of this for us.

Christmas can be a wonderful time of seeing family, of eating nice food, of giving gifts to others, and of spending time relaxing. However, let’s also make this a time to meditate on what Jesus has done, to spend time with him, and then let this encounter with Jesus change our lives.

The Bible gives us many examples, where those who encountered Jesus could not help but express their worship to God and talk about this experience with others:

• At Jesus’ birth ‘The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen…’ (Luke 2:20).
• At the time of his consecration, the prophetess Anna ‘…gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.’ (Luke 2:38).
• During Jesus’ ministry, the ‘woman at the well’ was so moved by her meeting with Jesus that ‘Many…from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony…’ (John 4:39).
• At his death, the Roman officials guarding Jesus’ crucifixion area exclaimed “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54).
• After Jesus’ resurrection, the women he appeared before ‘…clasped his feet and worshiped him.’ (Matthew 28:9). And Mary ‘…went to the disciples with the news…’ (John 20:18).
• At his ascension, Jesus’ disciples ‘…worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.’ (Luke 24:52-53).

So this Christmas, let’s put aside time from the busyness and have our own encounter with Jesus: God who came to earth as a baby for us. Let’s contemplate how ‘…God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…’ (John 3:16). The result will be that we can think of nothing more than exclaiming “Glory to God in the highest…” (Luke 2:14), with this life-changing encounter naturally overflowing out of us into our interactions with others.

‘Christ’s love compels us’ to share this good news with others (2 Corinthians 5:14), although the truth is that ‘We love because he first loved us.’ (1 John 4:19). He loves us so much that he became Immanuel which means ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1: 23). This truly is something to celebrate!

Prayer
Dear God, please help us to grasp the width, length, height, and depth of your love for us, that you would send your Son to save us. Let this truth have a life-changing effect on us, as we worship you and share this wonderful news with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Study by Anthony Dady

 

About the writer:
Anthony Dady is a Minister in Grace Communion International
and is the Regional Pastor for Wales, the Midlands, and
Northern England.

Local congregation:
GCI Northampton
Ecton Village Hall
78A High Street
Ecton
Northampton
NN6 0QB

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local congregational contact:
Gavin Henderson
Email: gavin.henderson@gracecom.church

Word of Life contact:
wordoflife@gracecom.church