If there was only one verb that I could use to describe Advent, I would say that word is LOVE. Advent is love. Verse 9 below tells us how God showed his love for us, “He sent his one and only Son into the world,” and why did God do so, “that we might live through him.” God’s love is so selfless that He doesn’t even require us to do anything to receive it.
Verse 11 tells us that, “since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” I know that God loves me, and he loves you as well, but I have to admit, I don’t always love others. I can’t even make an excuse for not loving others, for 1 John tells us clearly, that if we love God, we will love others. Thankfully God’s spirit is within us and we can daily ask Him to give us the strength, grace, and mercy to love others.
After reading the verses below, prayerfully ask God to reveal to you where you are at in your spiritual walk when it comes to loving others. He might not reveal it to you immediately, but continue to pray daily throughout Advent for revelation. In addition to this, here’s a little challenge for you: In keeping with the spirit of Advent; every morning before you leave the house ask God to reveal who you need to show “extra love” towards. It may be a co-worker, the extremely slow cashier, a bad driver, your friend who has been getting on your nerves lately, whomever God reveals to you.
1 John 4:7-21(NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
(Credit: jpg picture from shelley pulliam site)