It has been said that “you can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” At Christmas time we may buy a present for a cousin, bring it home and wrap it up with a nice bow. We hand over the present with a lovely smile and say, “Happy Christmas!”. However, we could be filled with feelings of resentment as we recall what that cousin said or did to us in the past. On the outside we seem to be giving freely, even lovingly but inside we may be seething with bitterness, resentment and even hatred. It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving. If we love someone we want to give to that person of our time, of our money, of our life. Love is about concern for someone else and reveals itself in selfless giving. Love must always find some practical form to express itself.
This is also true of God whose love was expressed to humankind by His most wonderful and priceless gift. “He GAVE his only begotten Son” John chapter 3 verse 16. The word “begotten” does not mean the same as ‘birth’ but means to be of ‘the same essence as’. So, Jesus was of the same essence as God and so was very special. He was not simply and only a man, but he was God the Son in a human body. We needed someone greater than ourselves to save us from our sin and the Lord Jesus was that greater person. He was God and at the same time He became man to be our Redeemer and Saviour. That’s why the hymn writer penned the following words:
“There was no other good enough to pay the price for sin, He only could unlock the gate of Heaven and let us in.”
Today we thank God that His great love was seen in His matchless gift, the gift of His only Son, Jesus Christ. That gift was destined to die for our sins on the cross in unimaginable shame and pain that we might live eternally as we trust Him and serve Him as our Lord and Saviour. It broke God’s heart to allow His Son to die and be punished for our sins, but that was, as someone once wrote, “the greatest moment in the history of love”. May we receive God’s gift and experience His love through Jesus His Son.
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