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Advent Week Four: LOVE

Pure amazing love…Song lyrics flood my mind when I think of God’s Love.

You Loved me FirstWhen I was wandering, when I was hiding, Jesus, You found me and You loved me first. God of full mercy, take all the glory. Jesus, you found me and You loved me first. You loved me first!
Love came down at ChristmasLove will be our token, Love be yours, and love be mine. Love from God to all of us, Love for plea and gift a sign.
Give Love on Christmas DayWhy don’t you give love on Christmas Day, even the man who has everything would be so happy if you would bring him love on Christmas day. No greater gift is there than love.
How Deep the Father’s Love for UsHow deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.
O Holy NightTruly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Your Love never failsThe wind is strong and the water’s deep, but I’m not alone here in these open seas. Cause Your love never fails. The chasm is far too wide. I never thought I’d reach the other side but Your love never fails.
Some Kind of LoveWhat kind of love goes into the darkness and pulls you back when you’re on the edge. What kind of love finds you when you’re hopeless, and gives you another second chance.
The Proof of Your LoveIf I sing but don’t have love, I waste my breath with every song
I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise. If I speak with a silver tongue, convince a crowd but don’t have love, I leave a bitter taste with every word I say.
Love Came Down and Rescued MeLove came down and rescued me. Love came down and set me free. I am yours Lord I’m forever yours. Mountains high or valley low, I sing out and remind my soul. I am yours, I am forever yours

And the list continues in my head…

Where would we be without the love of God? Christ gave the gift of His own life because of His unmeasurable love. I cannot seem to wrap my head around a life sacrifice of someone completely free of sin in order to pay the price for a guilty sinner like me. He gave us the flawless depiction of a modest servant yielding it all.

What defines love? Love is a gift given away. To me, there seems to be a sacrifice when it comes to selfless love. Relinquishing talents, gifts, time, selfish needs, etc. The love of Christ in us and through us brings change to circumstances, gives hope to the despair, and heals hearts. I believe genuine love is evident when a total submission to God’s will is present. When we yield to His calling and share His love, we acquire a marvelous love and discover a satisfaction like nothing else in the world.

Have you ever volunteered to feed the homeless, worked several hours for a women’s shelter, delivered food to the poor, visited a nursing home, offered your time to help others? Did you walk away with an unexplainable love in your heart from the Lord? This has been true for me personally. Even when I felt I had nothing to offer and was at an all-time low, a simple act of showing God’s love saturated my soul with goodness words cannot explain. The more of God’s love I give away, the more He seems to bestow.

When I ponder God’s love Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms, comes to mind. She says, “Love is the most powerful force for healing and change in the world.”  She began an amazing global program for hurting woman due to various matters such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, addiction, and human trafficking. Thistle Farms gives women a chance to heal and become economically independent. Stevens has surrendered to God’s will and extended the gift of His love to a hurting world. There are countless women around the globe testifying to the transformation God’s love has made. Stevens’ dedication is contagious and inspiring on so many levels. I encourage you to read more about the program.

Locally, I can think of several individuals illustrating the love of God. Milton Jones, president of Christian Relief Fund (CRF), who oversees a mission to provide food, clean water, education, healthcare, spiritual training, and disaster relief internationally. Jena Taylor, executive director of Faith City Missions, an organization reaching out to locals who are homeless, addicted to alcohol/drugs, or just in need of shelter, food, clothing, and God’s love. Eveline Rivers, founder of a thirty-year project dedicated to providing coats, the joy of Christmas and literacy promotion. Elia Moreno, founder of Living Intentionally Ministries and co-executive director of Texas Christian Community Development Network. Their mission statement is based on God’s incarnational love through Jesus Christ in order to extend hope and healing. The list continues of a mass of local individuals empowered by God’s amazing love.

The greatest gift I have ever received is the Love of God. He rescued me and opened doors to extend healing, protection, and a true Father’s love. I am astonished by His love shown and I cherish a growing relationship with Him. I am forever grateful for His sacrifice. When He directs me to carry out His will and calling, I pray my answer will always be YES LORD! I find myself fighting against my human, selfish desires and continually disciplining myself to stay under His authority. It is far from easy and I fail often. Yet, our Heavenly Father accepts me and loves me despite my shortfalls.

As Advent begins to come to an end, how will you continue to fill your mind and heart with God’s love? What will keep you modest and under His authority? How will you remind yourself of the significance of God’s gift of love? Where will you serve in 2020 to spread God’s mercy and grace to others?

May we never forget the best four-letter word…LOVE, a gift from above

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