Good morning! Today we continue the season of Advent under our theme “Faith Like a Child.” This Christmas as we celebrate the kingdom of Christ, Jesus himself said in Mark 10:15, Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. This morning we focus on the last purple candle, the Candle of Love.
And to help us with our reading this morning is… a child. Selah, would you read Romans 5:6-8 for us?
Selah: At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person. But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Scripture makes it clear here that we all by nature are ungodly people who have sinned against God. We are worthy of death, and to make matters worse, we are powerless to change that, powerless to save ourselves from what our sin deserves.
But that didn’t stop God from loving us. In fact, His love was so strong for us that He was moved to come rescue us by giving us His only-begotten son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place and then to rise again from the dead.
If you want to fully understand the love of God, look through the manger of Christ to the cross of Christ. Through Jesus, God did for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Just like parents must do for a little child. Think about a newborn baby. What can it do for itself? It can’t feed or clothe or change itself. It can’t move or protect itself. No, somebody must do for it what it cannot do for itself.
And what is that baby’s only right response? To receive the love of its caregiver, its mother and father, and to enjoy all the good things they provide.
We are spiritually like that newborn child. We are unable to do for ourselves, unable to save ourselves, but as Selah read a moment ago, at the right time, God the Father through Jesus Christ did for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He earned Heaven for us, paid Hell for us, and won victory over the grave for us.
And what is the only right response from us? To receive the love of our heavenly Father and all the good things He provides through Jesus Christ by turning from sin and trusting in Jesus Christ, making Him your Savior and Lord.
This Christmas may you fully experience the amazing love of God through Jesus Christ. May this be a faith-filled Christmas!
(Light the third purple candle)