Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The God of Love

By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Fadi Xd

"The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love." ~1 John 4:8

This time last week we began preparing our hearts for Advent by focusing on "hope", the theme for the first week of Advent, and studying the Word to see how our God is a God of hope. As we continue our heart preparation for the Advent season, now we come to studying the theme of "love", the theme celebrated during the second week of Advent. I see Mary's story as a beautiful one for us to study this week.

I don't know about you, but when the Lord asks me to do something that I view as being much too hard or outside my comfort zone, I struggle to surrender. Mary, however, when called to bear God's Son while yet a young virgin, was so different. It’s not that she was sinless or didn’t battle fear. It was that her love for the God of Israel was far greater than her love of comfort or love of her own personal plans. It was that her theology was so deep, rich, and profound that she was able to trust in that God, able to rest in the knowledge she had of His surpassing goodness, compassion, grace, and love.

She knew He would never call her to something for which He would not also equip her. She knew it would be against God’s character to ask her to do something and then leave her alone to fend for herself through it. Though this calling would undoubtedly be hard (for she knew that she would certainly face ridicule and rejection), she was still willing, for she saw herself as a servant of the Most High God. Not in a demeaning or abusive way (for the Lord is not like any earthly master!), but in a way that said because of the great love of God, she would be His, no matter what. It was her desire to show her gratitude for His mercy in her life by giving her all to Him and His plan for rescuing His people. She knew the God she served, so she was able to rest in His ways—even when they were unlike anything she would have chosen! 

What are you facing as we approach the Advent season, friend? What mountain are you trying to climb? Or, from what valley are you trying to emerge? What is causing you to doubt God's love for you? Whatever it is, you can combat the fearful lies of the enemy with the truth of Who you know God to be. Go back to the truth of His character and allow yourself to not only view your current situations through that lens, but to also walk forth in hope, knowing your God has you in the palm of His loving hand.

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