|JESUS WAS BORN IN A LIVESTOCK MANGER by Bill Hunt (c) 2010.|
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Christmas Love is Christian Love
Christmas love: an innkeeper in Bethlehem, some wealthy wise men, a poor widow, a sinful woman, a stranger, and how about you?
Christmas love gives someone a reason to believe. Spending wads of money in material giving on commercial gifts to meet a felt cultural obligation falls way short. That's just a scratch on the surface of the glass. The real meaning is found in the heart.
Take a look at that unspoken citizen in Bethlehem who loaned his humble animal manger to a traveling stranger who brought a young wife in imminent labor eighty miles on a donkey.
“Sorry, friend, I don't have a private room in my house; but I own a manger in the side of the hill there. You can use the fresh straw I placed today. My livestock are very tame. It looks like you better hurry.”
Those Magi were likely very wealthy wise men. Even so, they traveled far by faith through sandy dune deserts and wastelands following their star to find the Messiah.
“Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11 NIV).
What is Christmas love?
Astounding generosity, noted Jesus, was displayed by the poor widow who gave two small coins to the temple offering.
“I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all these others. All the people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on” (Luke 21:3-4 NIV).
There was a sinful woman who anointed, washed, and kissed the feet of Jesus with an expensive alabaster jar of perfume. She dried his feet lovingly with her hair. Jesus spoke to his host, the objecting Pharisee, Simon.
“You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much” (Luke 7:44-47 NIV).
This Christmas find someone
who needs Christmas love!
Jesus told the story of the Samaritan who came across a man beaten and robbed left by the roadside (after a priest and a Levite sauntered by.) The stranger poured oil and wine on the victim's bloody wounds and bandaged them. He took the man to an inn and paid for all the expenses of his care with his own money.
“Which of these three, the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan, do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Luke 10:30-37).
Christmas love is not found in placing barriers, limitations, or restraints on giving.
Christmas love is self-sacrificing, unlimited love.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death--
even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:5-8 NIV).
Christmas love is self-sacrificing love. Christianity is not a religion; it's a person who showed us how. Christmas love gives someone a reason to believe. Christmas love is the love of Jesus.
Be free to say it.
This Christmas, find someone you can help who needs love. You won't have far to look. Leave us a comment about it!