“Good News of Great Joy,” Day 14: Proving God’s Love

December 13, 2015

booklet_coverI recently created a 26-day Advent devotional booklet for my church called “Good News of Great Joy.” I will be posting a devotional from it each day between now and Christmas day. Enjoy!

Scripture: Matthew 2:13-14; Romans 5:8

In his book Not a Silent Night, Adam Hamilton says that when he thinks of God as “Father,” he thinks of his own experience as a father to two daughters. He writes: “I would, without needing to think about it, lay down my life for them.”[1]

Parents, do you know what he’s talking about? Of course you do! That’s what good fathers and mothers are willing to do. And that’s what God did for us: God the Son, Jesus Christ, knew that the only way to save us was by taking upon himself our sin, and suffering the punishment for our sin—which was death and hell—for us.

Here’s one difference, however, between what God did in laying down his life for us and what we human parents would do in laying our lives down: Whereas I would take a bullet to save the lives of my own children, I wouldn’t take a bullet, for example, to save the life of an ISIS terrorist who has just beheaded a Christian child in Iraq. Would you? Quite the opposite: I would rather shoot and kill that person, if I could.

Yet the Bible says that “taking a bullet for an ISIS terrorist” is essentially what God did for us. Paul says that we were God’s enemies—not his friends, much less his flesh-and-blood family—yet God wanted to save us through Christ’s death.

The Bible says that this fact “proves God’s love for us.”[2]

Think about experiences in which your love for others was put to the test. How did you respond? Think about experiences in which others have sacrificed their own needs and interests in order to help you. How do these experiences relate to your relationship with God?

1. Adam Hamilton, Not a Silent Night (Nashville: Abingdon, 2014), 78.

2. Romans 5:8

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