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<< Our Journey Online with Dr. James MacDonald

Our Journey Online - December 24, 2012

  • 2012 Dec 24
  • COMMENTS

 

God’s Love Personified

6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:6-8

Did you know depression is the number one disability worldwide? The greatest number of people who report suffering list despair, sadness, and hopelessness as the root of their troubles. And the numbers always spike around the Christmas holidays. More than 50 billion dollars were spent last year in the United States on just treating the effects of people who are depressed. Reports say 31,000 people commit suicide in our country every year. I believe these sobering statistics are matched by several that are often overlooked: fifty-seven percent of people never go to church; less than ten percent of the population go to a Bible-believing, Gospel-preaching church.
           
All that to say this: Without a doubt, many people do not know God’s love. And even of the people who do know God’s love, many of them only have the knowledge in their head. Oh yeah, they understand God’s love in theory—if God exists. Yes, God ought to be a God of love. Yes, I understand; I can spell it; I can explain it to some degree. But listen; have you experienced it? Have you personalized it? The hunger and sadness that lies just behind a lot of the Christmas chaos should tell us that we’re missing a central ingredient—God’s love.
           
Let me say clearly the goal of these thoughts: to invite you to personalize not only this Christmas season, but every day as an opportunity to experience more and more of God’s amazing love. Take a step toward not just understanding but personalizing the truth of Christmas. Embrace and breathe the atmosphere of God’s astounding love for you.
           
 Recognizing Jesus as the reason for the season isn’t just a nice Christmas card slogan—it’s the whole message. Today’s passage reminds us that when God wanted to demonstrate for us the ultimate example of the reality and depth of His love, He did it through a person—giving Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s love, then and now isn’t waiting out there until we are good enough to deserve it—it’s fully operational in this moment. In fact, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Personalizing God’s love at Christmas means realizing that Christ came for me, lived for me, and died for me.—James MacDonald


Journal:

  • How am I personalizing Christmas this year?
  • In what ways am I letting others know that I am overwhelmed by God’s love during this season?

Prayer - Heavenly Father, John 3:16 reminds me that You not only stated Your love for the world, You also showed it by sending Your Son. Help me recognize in a new way that in the extravagant love You expressed through Jesus I was specifically targeted. Let me be overwhelmed and changed further as I sense just how personal, intimate, and aware Your love is of me and for me. In Jesus’ name, Your love personified, I pray, Amen.

Always True&#58; 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.
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