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Advent Week 4: Fully Alive Through Love

December 18, 2017

Week 4 Devotional
December 24, 2017

Read verses: Colossians 3:12-17
Key verse: 14

As one whose “love language” is giving gifts, I am continually confounded by the length of the customer service lines the day after Christmas.  I believe that any gift one gives should absolutely fit the recipient.  Those long lines are made up of individuals whose gifts did not “fit.”  “Fitting” can refer to personality, size, wants, or needs.  In order for that gift to “fit,” the giver must truly know the person receiving the gift.  You see, if I know the individual well, if I know his or her interests, likes and dislikes, and if I have paid attention to their desires, I then know exactly what it is that I want to give this person. What a joy it is to see the look on someone’s face when she tears it open and exclaims, “you know me so well!”  The gift fits.

In Colossians 3:12, the Apostle Paul reminds believers of who they are.  “Chosen by God, holy and beloved.”  It is who we are as well as why God did what He did.  John tells us that because God loved the world so much, he gave his only son. God the Father knew exactly what we needed; he gave us the perfect gift.  We needed God with us, in the flesh.  God became the baby in a manger.  The baby in the manger grew to be the man on the cross that would take the punishment for our sins.  Because we are so loved.  Because we needed him.

Our response to this love should be one of acceptance and gratitude.  If we believe that we are the beloved, Paul says in verse 14 that we need to “put on love.”  It should be the defining factor of our lives.  We were dead in our sins but are now made fully alive through the love of Christ!  If we are so loved, then we should sow love.  The love of God given to us through Jesus Christ is the gift that continues to give.  As we put on love, we begin to grow in peace, a deeper understanding of the word, healthier relationships, a lifestyle of worship, and a heart overflowing with gratitude.  Our Creator knows us well.  He knows what we need.  Not only that, but he knows the needs of those around us.  Their need is our need: love.  It is the perfect gift.  It fits us all.

Prayer:
Father God, thank you for knowing me so well.  Thank you for loving me so well and for sending your son to this earth.  May I receive the love that has been given to me through your son, Jesus Christ, and may I live life well by sharing that love with the world.  Amen.

Paul Nather currently serves as the Lead Pastor at Century Baptist Church in Bismarck, ND.  He graduated in 1998 with a Master of Divinity degree.

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