Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 23: The Love of Christmas
November 30 2001 by David Edgell , John 3:16; 1 John 3:11-24

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 23: The Love of Christmas | Friday, Nov 30, 2001

Friday, Nov 30, 2001

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 23: The Love of Christmas

By David Edgell John 3:16; 1 John 3:11-24 Christmas should be the most selfless holiday we celebrate next to Easter. Both are examples of humility and love. One holiday expresses the work of Christ on the cross and the other the person of Christ as God incarnate. God showed us the expression of love that we should show others: "Jesus laid down his life for us. We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers" (1 John 3:16). How are we currently expressing love in practical ways? How are we currently expressing "this kind" of love?

The events of Sept. 11 are fresh in our minds and our country is at war against terrorism. We are being called upon by our nation to show selflessness and compassion to the victims and their families. We are being asked to pray as a nation for our president and for our troops as they combat this evil of terrorism that plagues our world. As Christians we must rise to this call to show love and extend prayer. Scripture admonishes us to show God's love. First John chapter three states that we should show this love because we have experienced this love and we understand what true love is.

Our country is in need of people who will show God's love to others with sacrificial acts. It will be our opportunity to be an example to our world as they watch for our response.

As we show this love, we must understand what love is and what love is not. The Apostle John explains God's understanding of love. As the apostle writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he clarifies the biblical understanding of love.

First, several things can be said about what love is. It is the message God has commanded from the beginning. It is to be expressed to one another. It is the expression of new life shown by how we love our brothers and sisters. It was ultimately displayed by the example of Christ. It shows validity in deed and truth. Love is a matter of the heart and this heart condition gives us confidence in prayer. And finally, we are abiding in Christ and His love when we keep His commandments.

Second, several things can be said about what love is not. It is not shown in jealous acts. It is not displayed when someone hates his brother or sister. When it is not demonstrated, it shows our spiritual condition. It is not exhibited when one closes his heart against someone in need. It is not shown when it is solely displayed in word and in tongue.

Expressions of sacrificial, selfless love are needed in practical ways. Consider those who are showing love by "laying down their lives" for others. Our military personnel are showing the ultimate act of love. How are we showing love to them? I encourage you to find a way to show God's love to them and their families.

Another practical way of showing sacrificial love is to display it in the things we reject. As Christians, self-denial is an act of love. When we deny ourselves of material goods to meet a need, the love of God can shine through us. A concrete expression of this is when we do more that give lip service to missions. We can act in deed by praying for missions, giving to missions and going to perform missions. We can act in truth by denying ourselves of something we desire and using that money for missions. When we do this we tangibly express the truth that we believe missions is a priority for the church and for ourselves.

Let us look for ways that we can reject false concepts of love and affirm God's example of sacrificial love.

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11/30/2001 12:00:00 AM by David Edgell , John 3:16; 1 John 3:11-24 | with 0 comments
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