By Dn Tan Sze Wee
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7
We can love because God first loved us.
As we enter the fourth week of Advent, and approach the end of 2023, let us take a moment to reflect on this theme of love- remembering our first love for Christ and contemplating the depth of God's love for us and our loved ones.
Amidst the busyness of life, distractions often hinder our awareness of the depth of God's love and its transformative power. John 3:16 serves as a powerful reminder of the profound love God has for each and every one of us. God willingly offered His Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice to save us from our sins. This act of love reveals the immeasurable value God places on our lives. In a world often consumed by self-interest, God's love stands as a beacon of hope, reminding us that we are cherished beyond measure.
Rediscovering Our First Love for Christ
I was twelve and at the back of a public bus traveling along Old Lim Chu Kang Road when I prayed to receive Christ. I remember feeling great wonder and joy at the newfound relationship in the days, weeks and months that followed. Reflecting on my love for God since then, I’ve come to learn that the depth of my love for God is not determined by the passage of time but by the intimacy of my relationship with Him.
As we reconnect with our first love, may we rediscover the joy, peace, and fulfillment found in a relationship with Christ. Before the year ends, let us make space for quiet times amidst the festivities to experience a renewed sense of purpose and a profound appreciation for God's unwavering love for us.
Extending God’s Love to Others
God's love is not exclusive to us alone; it extends to our loved ones and all of humanity. As we reflect on the passing year, let us also consider whether we have shared this love with those around us. Have we nurtured relationships, offered forgiveness, and extended a helping hand where we felt the Spirit prompting? God's love is meant to flow through us, touching the lives of others. By extending God's love to those we encounter, we participate in His plan to bring hope, healing, and reconciliation to a broken world.
Love is not merely an emotion or a fleeting feeling. It is a way of life rooted in our relationship with God. Living out this love is not always easy as the world may present challenges and obstacles that test our capacity to love unconditionally. However, by relying on God's grace, we can overcome these challenges and demonstrate His love to others even in the face of adversity. Let us continuously seek God's guidance and strength as we allow His love to flow through us and embody this love in our relationships with others, extending kindness, forgiveness, compassion, and empathy.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the precious gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth because of Your boundless love for us. Help us grasp the depth of Your love and trust in Jesus as our Savior.
Strengthen us in our walk with You and enable us to demonstrate Your love to one another and to those we encounter in our lives. May our actions testify to the love that flows from You.
In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.