★ Day 20 – Reason for the Season – The Father’s Love ★

#Daily Dependence - Reason for the Season - 25 Days of Thankfulness 1

Growing up I remember a plaque hanging on the wall called “Footprints in the Sand,” by Mary Stevenson.  It is a beautiful poem that starts off talking about two sets of footprints in the sand, 20 - Daily Dependence - God Never Left Youbut then at the lowest points in life, there is only one set because God is carrying us.  I saw this comic and thought if this is how God feels sometimes.

The Bible says in both the Old and New Testaments that God is always with us regardless of the fear and anxiety we may feel in the face of circumstances.

20 - Daily Dependence - God is Always With Us

What comforting words to know that God is always watching over us!  Life may sometimes feel like just the opposite but feelings are liars.  C.S. Lewis once said this that gives the antidote to our feelings,

“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”

We live in a fallen, broken world but God will carry us through any difficulty we will face.  Today’s “Reason for the Season” will center on our Father in 20 - Daily Dependence - Advent Wreath 4Heaven and His love for us!  The fourth candle that is lit on the Advent Wreath represents Love.  If you were to sum up the Bible in one word I think it would be LOVE.  From Genesis to Revelation, the pages of this Holy Book speak to the Love of God and the great lengths that He will go through to have a relationship with us.  In the ★ Day 02 – Reason for the Season – Why I Say Merry Christmas ★ post, we discussed the one Bible verse that sums up the Bible in a nut shell…John 3:16  (NLT),

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

God gave His son to save you and me!  He loves you more than you can ever imagine and sent Jesus to establish a “relationship” with us… You can read more on this in the ★ Thought for the Day – What Does The Love of God Mean? ★, all this was done so that we could have eternal life with God and Jesus in heaven.  As a father of two lovely daughters, the idea of giving them up to a horrible death is inconceivable to me!  Next to getting married, being a “Daddy” has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.  My wife and I were married in June of 1999 and by November of 2000 we had our first bundle of joy.  I remember holding her for the first time, marveling at what a miracle she was and thinking how I would NEVER, EVER let anything happen to this precious gift!  The same was true when our second daughter was born in July of 2003. 20 - Daily Dependence - Rick Warren - God's Love It amazes me how much my heart opened up to love these little angels and it makes me think, if I, a broken, sinful man could love my children this much…How much more does my perfect Father in Heaven love me?  And as the stream of consciousness flows, my next thought is…If I would do anything to protect my child from harm, how much more would God have wanted to protect His Son Jesus from the brutality of the cross?  But yet He sent Him to earth on that first Christmas night over 2,000 years ago to do just that!  I love Rick Warren’s comparison…

“God’s love is like an ocean; you can see its beginning but cannot see its end.”

What imaginary and if we could truly fathom that, our lives would be forever changed!  Another symbol that has not beginning and no end is a circle.  My pastor shared this “Circle of Love” diagram two weeks ago to explain how God’s love was designed to operate.  His explained the process as laid out in 1 John 4:7-11 (NLT) 

7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9 God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.  10 This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other…”

God is the source of love (v.8), and His love flows to us, who are the focus of that love (v.9a).  It then moves through Jesus (vs.9b-10) and then from us (v.11) through compassion (v.11), which is Love in Action.  And then back to God…He said that,

“Love starts and ends with God.  He is the source of Love and when we love we reflect Him.”  Marty Collier

20 - Daily Dependence - 1 John 4-18 - God First Loved UsWhat a beautiful truth!  Just a few verses later in 1 John 4:19 it says,  

“We love because He first loved us.”

For the past 20 days we have been reflecting on the Christmas narrative, but more than that, we have seen The Father’s Love in Action as He has moved Heaven and Earth to fulfill the prophecies of long ago, and to give us a path to eternal life with Him while simultaneously modeling how we ought to love others through His Son.  The Apostle Paul gives us clear instructions in Colossians 3:14-15, 17 (NLT),

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which20 - Daily Dependence - Hello I Am A Representative of Jesus binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.  For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.  And always be thankful.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

Maybe you are struggling this Christmas season and have been asking God for a sign of His love and commitment.  Well I have good news for you, Genesis 9:12-13, 17 (NLT) has just that,

“Then God said, ‘I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth.’  Then God said to Noah, ‘Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.’”

20 - Daily Dependence - God's PromiseThe rainbow is the physical manifestation of God’s love to remind us of the covenant or commitment between Him and us!  Storms will come but there is Hope when you place your life in God’s capable hands.  I will close with this final encouragement from Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) 

20 - Daily Dependence - Romans 8 - 38-39 - God Love“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Christmas embodiment of love…God the Father, who willingly sent His Son to be born in the humblest way imaginable and grow up in similar manner being from Nazareth.  Jesus was wrongly imprisoned, beaten and crucified on a Roman cross so that God could restore the relationship with His creation.  Accept the Father’s love that was given to you and I in the form of the baby in that Palestinian Stable over 2,000 years ago!  God’s Love will never leave us and will always be there to help us through whatever season we find ourselves in, just like any good Daddy would do!

If you would like to see the next installment of our “25 Days of Thankfulness” series go here…★ Day 21 – Reason for the Season – Neighborly Competition ★

Or you can start from the beginning by ★ Clicking Here ★

#Daily Dependence - Reason for the Season - 25 Days of Thankfulness

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