This is the season that consumes our hearts and minds. Thoughts of friends and family, big dinners and gifts, Christmas trees and stockings. And among some people we remember the real reason for the season. This the time we remember that Jesus came to earth and was born in a manger. Born to demonstrate who God truly was. Jesus stated in scripture “If you have seen Me, You have seen The Father.” For to long people had seen God as distant, uninterested, uninvolved, and a strict judge and totalitarian. The saw Him as do it My way, or fire and brimestone will rain down apon you. And yet this is not at all who God is.
So Jesus came to dispel the rumors and to reveal the true nature of God. And He demonstrated what I like to call the L.A.F. Principle, which is the heart of God towards us simply stated in three points.
First is L. L stands for love. John 3:16, perhaps the most famous verse in scripture states “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” And verse 17 follows “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” God deeply loves us. And does so unconditionally, and without reservation. Our problem is we have been separated from His love by the things we have done wrong in our lives. And only when we repent of our wrong doing and accept His forgiveness can we receive that love.
Growing up I spent my whole life in church and never once experienced God’s love personally. You see going to church will never make us acceptable to God, nor will any of the good deeds we do. When I came to God on His terms, and surrendered my life to His control however, the experience of God’s love flooded my whole being and changed me forever. The feeling is indescribable. There are not words enough in any language to describe the immensity of God’s love, and there is no way to properly convey how awesome His love for me is. And scripture states that “God is no respecter of persons” which means that with God there are no favorites. God loves you in the exact way and with the exact intensity as He loves me. All you have to do is come to Him on His terms and you can experience it for yourself. After all, He is God.
Second is A. A stands for Acceptance. God accepts us without condition. He never asks us to measure up to any standard before He brings us into His family. In fact scripture states that God opened the door for us to enter into His family before we were interested or willing for that matter. “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” The only thing God requires is that we believe in Him. God has rolled out the welcome carpet for us and called us each personally by name, and all we have to do is accept His invitation.
Third is F. F stands for Forgiveness. God’s heart is for all of us to be included in His family. Scripture states “God wills that all men be saved”. Jesus came to earth to live among us and reveal God’s true heart towards us, and more importantly to pay our penalty for our sin, and provide the way for us to be included into His family. Jesus then rose again from the dead to go and prepare a place for us and to show us that with Him we no longer have to fear death, as He will take us home with Him if we accept His invitation.
The big thing that all this reveals is that there is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor, and nothing we can do to pay our own way into His family. We get there simply because God loves us that much and chose to invite each of us in. The only thing we can say we did was to say yes to His invite.