Advent 2016: Love Revealed-12/25/16

Series Title: ‘Advent Revelations’

Message: ‘Love Revealed’                                          Text: Various

Intro: Play/Sing  ‘Jesus Loves Me’.

  • What a beautifully, simplistic declaration of God’s love for us demonstrated in Jesus Christ.
  • But, it’s also an extremely deep theological statement concerning the very heart of Almighty God, Himself.

Theologian Karl Barth was a guest lecturer at the U. of Chicago Divinity School. At the end of his lecture, there was a question and answer time. Because he wasn’t feeling well, he was given just one question.

  • Of all the theological insights you’ve ever had, which do you consider to be the greatest of them all?

Barth closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them. This is what he said to the young men in that seminary.

  • The greatest theological insight that I have ever had is this:
  • Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.
  • I wish that everyone would know and experience the unending love, of our Lord and Savior.

Did you know that there are over 800,000 books on Amazon.com on love? Did you know that if you Googled the word love, you would get over 6.9 billion hits?

With all the information available to us, you’d think we’d know what love is.

  • We love our families.
  • We love our freedom as Americans.
  • We love the Philadelphia Eagles, especially when they beat the NY Giants. OK maybe you don’t but Kathy and I certainly do. And this past Thursday night, so did all the Dallas Cowboys fans.

If you took note of all the times in a week you said you loved something, you’d be surprised at just how frequently you used the word love.

But, if you looked deeply at love, you’d end up asking the very same question the band Foreigner asked in one of their hit songs:

  • I Want to Know What Love Is

We won’t be looking deeply at love this morning, because it’s Christmas and I want to keep your attention. So, I’ll be brief, as we examine the Advent gift of love.

  1. God communicates/reveals His love to us.

Read: John 1:1-18

Almost every other religion has one thing in common: their god, hides himself from his people. So, in order to know their god,

  • They must seek him out.
  • They must act/live in such a way that’s pleasing to him.
  • They must make sacrifices in their lives so that their god would consider them worthy for Him to reveal himself to them.

But…the God of the Bible, wants, us to know Him. So much so, that He has actively worked throughout history,

  • to reveal Himself to us, to make Himself known.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews put it this way

  • Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:1–3a)

In John 1, the Apostle tells us how God did that.

  • He revealed Himself, He made Himself known in the most clear and direct way that He had ever done.
  • Through His Son, Jesus, Who is Himself, God.

Understand this. God initiated His relationship with us. He sent Jesus that first Christmas… to you.

And when you ponder that for a while, you’ll discover that God’s self-revelation is a wonderful picture of His love for you. You’ll find that

  • He loves you.
  • So He wants you, to know Him, intimately.
  1. God’s love is sacrificial

Read: Romans 5:8; 1 John 3:16, 4:10

This is love. We don’t need to search Google or read any of the books on love at Amazon.com to find the meaning of love. God is love and He loves you!

  • It wasn’t that you began your life loving God, then lost your love for Him, then finally start loving Him again.
  • You weren’t born perfect/sinless.
  • You certainly didn’t stay perfect/sinless.
  • God knows the rebellion and disobedience that you had, still have, and will have, in your heart towards Him.

And God, from before the world was created, before you were  born, while you were an enemy of God, He still sent His Son, Jesus, to sacrifice His life; to die, for you…

  • All because of His great love, for you!

III. God makes us His children

Read: John 1:12; Galatians 4:4-7

Through faith in Jesus, you’ve been adopted into God’s family, you’ve been made sons and daughters, chosen to be children of God.

You were once separated from God, enemies of God, by your birth and by your choice. BUT GOD, because of His great love for you, didn’t keep you His enemy.

  • He extended His grace to you.
  • He called you to Himself.
  • He placed faith in your heart to trust Jesus as your Savior.
  • Then He made you part of His family, forever!

Read: Ephesians 2:4-9

Christian, this Christmas, and every Christmas you are blessed to celebrate; remember, You are God forever child, solely because of His immeasurable love for you.

Conclusion

Christmas is a very hectic, stressful and often materialistic/commercial time of the year.

BUT,

  • When you cut through the hype, the build- up, you come to the very heart of Christmas.
  • When you cut through the commercials, the ads, the expense of Christmas, you come to the very heart of Christmas.
  • When you cut through the way too many made for TV Christmas movies, you get the very heart of Christmas.
  • When you cut through the Football games on TV, the abundance of food and the opening of the Christmas gifts under the tree, you get to the very heart of Christmas.
  • When you even cut through the Church Christmas programs, you get to the very heart of Christmas.

And what is at the very heart of Christmas?

  • God’s heart, His love… for you.

And when you discover that, it will truly be, a Merry Christmas!