“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trust in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, Amplified Reading Bible). This 3rd century hymn joins the angel chorus in praising the birth of God-become-man. John begins his epistle, though with these words, “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God.” (John 1:1&2).
What love! What absolutely, unbelievable depths and heights of agape, unconditional love! In his first letter John says, “We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him.” (1 John 1:16 emphasis added). Abiding in love; there is a challenge that will take a lifetime to fill!
Is someone coming to mind that you need to love? Maybe you need to ask Him who He wants to love through you. And, just maybe, it’ll be someone totally unlovable! If you’re like me, you sure can’t do it on your own strength, but God can and does. He gave us Jesus just so we could know just how much! Will your Gift to God this year be asking and them permitting Him to love that one person through you? I know that He is waiting patiently for us to give Him just that permission.
Of the Father’s Love Begotten
Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, he the source the ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been, and the future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore!
O that birth forever blessed, when the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race,
And the babe, the world’s Redeemer, first revealed his sacred face,
Evermore and evermore!
O ye heights of heav’n adore him; angel hosts, his praises sing;
Pow’rs, dominions, bow before him, and extoll our God and King:
Aleluia, alleluia, evermore and evermore!
This is he who seers and sages sang of old with one accord;
Whom the writings of the prophets promised in their faithful word;
Now he shines the long expected: let creation praise its Lord,
Praise the Lord, evermore and evermore,
Evermore and evermore, evermore and evermore!