Summary: What is love? How does it act? How can we recognize it?
Love Does That
Introduction: Christmas is a magical time. And Christmas is a busy time. I know that and I promise that the length of my sermonette will reflect that knowledge.
In thinking about this sermonette I wondered what I should emphasize. Should I concentrate on the shepherds the angels, the wise men, the manger, the star, the mother, the father, or the baby. It goes without saying that we will concentrate on the Baby, but I know you are here because this is a very special time for you. There is something very holy about a Christmas eve service. I did not want it to be long or heavy, but I wanted it to be worth the trip. I think God gave me just the right thought… Love Does That!
What is love? How can we recognize it. How do we spot the imitations?
I’m going to teach a very simple truth and then illustrate it.
The point is this. LOVE GIVES!!!!
What is love? Love is giving of your self.
Jesus put it this way, “Greater love has no man that he lay down his life for a friend.”
Love sees a need and meets it… a crack and fixes it… a problem and is moved to care for it.
Our text says, For God so loved the world, He gave His Only Begotten Son…
I want us to focus on just the first eight words… “For God so loved the world, He gave...”
How did He show His love? HE GAVE
How did we recognize his love? BY THE GIFT
A woman was washing dishes one night and as she looked at the plate she asked herself, “How many times have I washed this plate?” And she put the plate down, went to her room, packed a small bag, and left the house. That night she called home to check on the kids and said she loved them all but she just could not come home, she could never go back to that life. It was too constraining and she felt she would just die if she came back. She would call once or twice a week. Her family would tell her how much they loved her and ask her to return. She just said, “I can’t.” After a month, the husband hired a P.I. to find his wife. In a few weeks he located her in a town not too far away. She was living in a run down apartment in a bad part of town. One evening the husband left the kids with a sitter and went to the town, to the bad part of town, and to the run down apartment. As he knocked on the door his hands shook with fear. He was not sure he wanted to see her this way. He was not sure how she would react to him. As she opened the door, the husband could see the squalid condition of the apartment. His eyes filled with tears. His wife was shocked… and embarrassed. Haltingly he said, “Honey, I love you and I want you to come home to me and the kids.” She burst into tears and fell in his arms. On their ride home he asked her why she would come home with him now but not all the times he and the kids had asked her to. Her answer was, “Before I left, the love had gone out of our marriage. “I love you” was just words. But it became real today, when you came to me.”
That is what love is and that is what love does… LOVE GIVES.
Love does that.
So when God looked down from heaven and saw the squalid conditions in which we were living…the spiritual darkness, moral filth and sinful disobedience of society… what did He do?
His heart was broken…. Like the husbands.
And he wanted more than anything to deliver his loved one from that horrid place.
SO HE GAVE… OF HIMSELF… God came to earth, in the form of a baby, and climbed out of that stinking manger, up on that painful, despised cross… AND DIED!
Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for a friend.
HE GAVE THE ULTIMATE GIFT… HIMSELF!!!
Now listen, tonight or tomorrow morning you are going to stand by a pile of gifts that belongs to a person you love. And you are going to look at that stack and then think how much you love them. And the stack will probably seem far too small… INSUFFICIENT… and you will be overcome with the guilt pains that you should have done more.
Have you ever been there?
Sure you have… because we know there is a correlation between loving and giving.
((For too many though… it is guilt… for a whole year of not giving… and they want to make it up at Christmas… with a stack of stuff.))