God’s Greatest Gift is Love Let’s Unwrap Some Love

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We will not get to all of God’s gifts but we are hitting the biggies. One of God’s greatest gifts is the gift we all want most. Can you feel it? Do you know what it is? Well here we go let’s open one of the last gifts for this season.
The gift God has given us is the gift of His love. He loves us and offers this gift to all. It’s His unconditional love. He loves us no matter what we may do. He may get mad at us, but that doesn’t stop Him from loving us. God is Love, and His love is very different from human love. God’s love is unconditional, and it’s not based on feelings or emotions. He doesn’t love us because we’re lovable or because we make Him feel good; He loves us because He is love. He created us to have a loving relationship with Him, and He sacrificed His own Son (who also willingly died for us) to restore that relationship.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.” John 3:16 God loves us so much He sent His only Son to come and take away our sin. He loves us so much He has given us eternal life with Him if we only confess our sins, turn our lives around and follow Him. 
You may think you are unlovable, but that’s not true. God loves you and He doesn’t care who you are, what color skin you have, or what you have done in the past. I can’t say it enough: God loves you! You are loved!
I can remember the saying we all used to say as kids,
Nobody loves me, everybody hates me
Think I’ll go and eat worms
Long ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones
See how they wriggle and squirm
I used to sing this and have a pity party, but this is not something we have to sing about anymore because God loves you!
I can remember when I fell in love with my husband. I thought that was the greatest love of all and it’s great, but God loves me more. When I had given birth to my children I thought there was no greater love, but that’s not true either. Someone once told me when I was expecting my first grandchild there was no love like that of a grandmother to her grandchild. That love is extraordinary, but God’s love is greater than that also.
In the New American Standard Version, love is mentioned 348 times — 133 times in the Old Testament and 215 times in the New Testament. In the New International Version, it is mentioned 551 times — 319 times in the Old Testament and 232 times in the New Testament. There are 538 instances of the word “love” in the New Revised Standard Version, 317 in the Old Testament and 221 in the New Testament. (Sources: christianbiblereference.org) I’d say love is pretty important to God. 
Just as important as God’s love is for us He commands us to love one another. In John 13:34 you’ll find these words, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” We are to love one another unconditionally with the same love He has for us. There is a song we often sing and it goes like this:
I love you 
With the love of the Lord 
Yes I love you 
With the love of the Lord 
I can see in you 
The glory of my King 
And I love you 
With the love of the Lord
We are humans we can’t love everybody, but what we can do is ask God to put His love in our hearts and to see others as He sees them. When we see them as God sees them we can reach out in love to them. I often think if God has so freely given me His love how can I deny loving others?
What would this world be like if God were like us and loved with emotions and feelings? There are a lot of disappointed and hurt people running around. But God is not like that and we shouldn’t be either. Let’s learn not to love with emotions and feelings, but love as though God lives in us (and if we have confessed God as our Father than He does live in us).  
This Christmas take the love God has to offer you and open it knowing He loves you and cares about you. Let’s offer that same gift to those who we come in contact with….even those whom we don’t get along with or like. 
Dear God: Thank you for loving me even when I don’t feel it or deserve it. There are times I don’t even love myself, but during those times you still love me. Help me to know I am loved and then to pass that love on to others. Remind me your love for me is unconditional and I should follow your commands and love others unconditionally. Love is the greatest gift given to us by you; may I never abuse your love for me by not sharing that same love with others. Amen.  
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