Christmas: The License To Express God’s Love

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” I John 4:8 ESV.

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It is easy to criticize the dark-side of Christmas. Who among us doesn’t get upset over the commercialization of the season. The busyness of this time of year that keeps people apart before bringing them together again. The multitude of people on the road and in stores driven to acquire their next toy or gift without mercy toward others. The battle to keep within a budget that always seems to become extended no matter how hard we try. The list can keep on going. Instead though, let’s focus on the good side of Christmas.
Isn’t it a joy to watch the Spirit of God work this time of year?

In our Saturday morning prayer group, one man shared his story while shopping at Wal-Mart. He went into the store to purchase blankets that he planned to pass-out to the homeless this year. Based on the advertisement he saw and the limited monetary resources at his disposal, he figured he could purchase at least ten blankets. However upon visiting the department where the blankets where kept, he quickly realized he may have to purchase less than he planned for. The items that he wanted were already sold out.

Explaining his dilemma to a nearby attendant, she told him to wait as she would check the backroom for more of the blankets that were on sale. After several minutes she returned and explain that there were a few more blankets available and also mentioned to him that if he would stop by the manager’s office he could receive a $10 gift card to help with his purchase. So off he went to the manager’s office. Upon entering and repeating his story, the manager reached down and did not give him a $10 gift card but a $25 card. So taking the additional money back to the blanket department, he grabbed a few more blankets. Upon the checkout he found out that several the blankets were selling for less than the advertised price. Therefore, he went back and grabbed a few more.

Long story short, he went in to purchase 10 blankets. He left acquiring 35 better quality blankets. All he could do throughout the entire process is laugh as he witnessed how the Spirit worked to change people’s hearts and events. He called it his early Christmas present to witness the hand of God at work in his life.

This is the season to witness how people express God’s love through their sharing and giving. It’s as though Christmas gives people the license to express God’s love. If that be the case, then let’s join them to always celebrate and express God’s love today, tomorrow, and yes even Christmas day.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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God Loves YOU

“…for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me (Jesus) and have believed that I came from God.” John 16:27 ESV

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How do you know that God loves you? Is it, like the children’s Sunday school song, only because the Bible tells you so?

We have a man in our small group who enjoys sharing his walk with the Lord. He reminds us continually that he had no problem believing that God loves everyone at our table except him. That it took a crisis in his life where he came to realize that he only survived because of the grace of God. That God poured out his love to him through the people in his world. He came to realize how much God loves him by the fruit produced through the unconditional love of others.

How about you? Do you know God really, really loves YOU?

The above scripture is one of my favorites in regards to God’s love. It reminds me that God loves us not because of our talents, treasurers, or good works. He loves us because of Jesus Christ.

When we acknowledge, believe, and know that Jesus is the Messiah of the Bible, that he came from God on a mission of redemption, and our heartfelt, emotional focus is to immerse ourselves in him, he assures us that His Father loves us. These are Jesus’ words to us.

God loves YOU! He views us through the heart of Jesus. This is why Jesus is so important to us. Without him, we try to win God’s approval through our personal efforts. We are like the confused teenager trying to impress the girl he fantasizes over. The outcome though is childish and usually ends in embarrassment. Instead we need to realize the love that God has for Jesus is the same love he bestows on you and me.

So the next time you question God’s love for you, remember this scripture. And instead rejoice in our King and Savior.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Love Has No Agenda

“It(love) does not insist on its own way” I Corinthians 13:5 ESV

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Love is one of those words that has become cheaper through cultural opinion. Ask for a definition, and you will probably receive a multitude of answers. In today’s culture, it means different things for different folks.

For teenagers, it is the emotional tie that binds two people together until the feeling goes away. For newlyweds, it is the blindness that denies the imperfections of the other. For highly testosterone husbands, it is the words for a sexual encounter. For manipulative wives, it is the means to get what they may want.

Yet Paul writes that love is not something we get, but give.

Jesus gives us the perfect example of what love means in a very practical everyday way. To sacrifice the self for the sake of the other is love demonstrated. It is giving the self for the sake of others. It is not giving so others may agree with you. It is not giving so others do something for you. It is not giving so you may benefit from it at all. In fact, it may hurt to give. It may cost you your job. It may cost you a relationship. It may cost you your life.

Your response simply measures the love you have to give. It is what Jesus did for us. He set the example. He chose to empty his eternal habitat so he could walk among us. He gave himself as a sacrifice, so we can enter his eternal home.

We can either love accordingly or deny what it truly means from his context. So the next time you let someone know you love them, are you truly willing to sacrifice your time, money, and life for them without any expectations in return? Whatever your response, you now know what God knows about us. And even knowing this, He still unconditionally loves you and me.

He loves us whether or not we choose to follow him. Yes he wants us to respond to him in a favorable way. Yet if we do not, he still loves us. We may suffer the consequences of our rebellious attitude. Yet our response doesn’t stop Him from loving us. We may suffer from our stupidity. But He remains steadfast in His love for us. Isn’t that the Christ-like love we need to display?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!