1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV) 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
John 13:34 (ESV) 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
This morning in men's group we read Romans Chapter 5. In this text we realized three key themes in this chapter that are really hard to grasp, at least for me: 1) We, who are saved, are called friends of God, 2) Because of what God did for us - his son died for us - we are now at peace with God and 3) We are not ashamed. Jesus paid it all.
This season of Christmas, I find myself awestruck by this chapter and by the realization that Jesus paid it all, that is, my sins of the past, present and future sins to come. He pours his grace over me. The text doesn't say "dabs" or "drips" but pours his love over us. I am not sure about you, but for me, I cannot wrap my head around just how much he loves me.
I am no longer an enemy of God, I am no longer at war with God. I am a piece with him and later (in Galatians and in Romans) we read that he has adopted us as sons. That is just so profound to me. To think, Jesus took on flesh by being born of a virgin and then in his short 33 years of life, fulfilled all the prophecy about him. Jesus healed the sick and lame, walked on water, controlled the wind and raised the dead. Above all, he died for you and me and was raised from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God the Father.
Jesus, in all His glory, is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He reigns and all shall bow and confess to him that he is the Lord. He chooses to be our friend and to testify on our behalf to God the Father. Because of this, we are justified through Faith and we are now sons of God.
This Christmas, given the aftermath of tragedy, has become even more special to me because there is nothing and no one that can separate us from His love.
I hope that all of us take the time to reflect on the reason for the season - Jesus!
May God bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you and give you peace.
Dante, Lance & Gary.