Summary: THe first gift worth unwrapping is God’s love. We must understand the nature of God’s love being unconditional, limitless and available.

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“Unwrapping God’s Love”

December 5,2004

Intro: Remember as a kid the excitement of unwrapping Christmas presents. Was there a new GI Joe or the latest Barbie under the tree? Did Grandma get you that really cool remote control car or another supply of Fruit of the Looms?

As you get older, you begin to lose the sense of unwrapping and the wonder it brings. Instead you begin to see the joy in watching others discover a new treasure.

Part of the joy of presents is the insight it gives you into the giver. It reveals the imagination and passion of the person giving the gift towards the one receiving.

Husbands, here are some gift tips for you:

*Never give a gift that has to be plugged in: Even it she asks for it!!

*Never give a gift that has a size involved; but if you do, guess lower rather than higher!

*Never give a gift that can be used to prepare a meal! It can also be a weapon!

Wives, here are some tips for you:

*Give tickets to an event only if there is the possibility of an ambulance being needed at that event.

*Your husband does not think that “matching shirts” are cute.

*Exercise equipment is not seen as a gift but a guilt trip.

Today we are beginning a series on Christmas Gifts Worth Unwrapping. We are going to look at some gifts God has given to us to allow us to see him and know him better.

We have some gifts to help us illustrate this over the next few weeks.

**Open package that has painting of a heart.

The heart is a great representation because today we are Unwrapping God’s Love.

To fully understand this, we must understand what scripture teaches about God’s love.

“God is love.” I John 4:16(NIV)

Scripture does not say that God has love. It doesn’t tell us that he possesses love or practices at love. It says he is love.

God is the definition of love.

Whatever thought you can say about love you can say about God.

Patient, forgiving, kind, long lasting, etc.

The truth about love is the truth about the nature of God.

Today we are going to look at three aspects of God’s love that are definitely worth unwrapping.

I. God’s love is unconditional.

Our society has bought into the lie that love is earned. That we perform in order to gain love.

Humans have reduced love to an if-then relationship.

God’s love is entirely different. It is without condition, exception or price tag.

“But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ….”

Ephesians 2:4-5(Contemporary English Version)

God loved us with us loving him back.

God loves us so much he got rid of the barrier between us so that we could have a relationship with him.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sin.”

I John 4:10(NIV)

“Atoning” means reconciling.

In other words, God made us right with him through the death of Jesus.

We didn’t earn his love or buy his love or be good enough for his love. God chose to love us anyway.

Shawn Rose tells the story of his teary-eyed seven year old daughter who exclaimed, “Teri said she won’t be my friend unless I sit with her on the bus.”

7 year olds have a knack for instantly placing conditions on love and relationships. We do the same with Jesus. He never said he would love us if we read our Bible of if we go to church. He even loves those who choose to reject him.

II. God’s love is limitless.

Love is not a feeling; it’s a choice.

Sometimes we feel like we reach the limits of our love. That is when simply have to choose to love more.

Fortunately for us, God never reaches his “love limit.”

“Your love reaches higher that the heavens; your loyalty extends beyond the clouds.”

Psalm 57:10(Contemporary English Version)

God is limitless in his nature and his love.

God and his love have no beginning and no end.

God loved us before we were even born.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

Everything God ever created was good in his eyes. Do you think God could created you and not love you?

*When Emily was born, she was in NICU for four days. She was jaundiced and they thought she may have a heart condition. It was agonizing. Not just because she was a sick baby, but because she was my sick baby. I would have done anything to rescue her out of that.

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