It’s incredible the things we learn when we’re being still. I’ve been learning so much in the past few weeks in my quiet time with God. On Friday night I was listening to one of the hubby’s old Charles Stanley DVDs, and he read this verse:
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. – 1 John 4:9-10
It ties in so neatly with the overall message that God is sharing with me now in all this stillness. For some reason, He’s led my study time into an exploration of how He loved us before we loved him. Needless to say, there are a lot of passages to read on that topic.
The verse also pretty much sums up the message of Christmas, right? Our Savior has come. And He loves us so much, He gave up His life so that we could start to really live ours. And He did it before we ever loved Him in return.
As soon as I read it, I realized it’s the perfect verse for advent – a season I’m just discovering in a lot of ways. I knew it was something the formal churches I grew up in talked about, and I knew it was a season of counting down the days until Christmas. But what I’m just now beginning to understand is how much it is a season of waiting. Of confident hope and expectation in our Savior’s birth. Of being still and of being intentional.
So this year I’m practicing advent as best I know how: by grabbing a hold of verses like this one and asking myself, “Do I understand how deep God’s love is for us? Do I love others in the same way our Savior loves us, even when they don’t love me in return?” I want to savor this season and the opportunity to remember what it all really means and I want to come out of it a little more full of love than I am today.
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. – 1 John 4:10
Since this is the first official day of advent, I want to wish all of you a beautiful season of hope and expectation!