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The Sacrificial King - First15 - December 10, 2017

The Sacrificial King

Weekly Overview:

What a gift we have in the Christmas season. God himself took on flesh and dwelt among us that we might find eternal relationship in him. His coming serves as a continual reminder of his grace and pursuit of us who are lost without him. As we look to Jesus this week to celebrate who he is and what he’s done, may you find life-giving hope and foundational joy.


“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” >John 1:29


It’s impossible to separate the birth of Christ from the purpose of his coming. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” As we take time today to look at the heart of a God who would sacrifice his own life that we might find life through him, let’s open our hearts to receive a fresh encounter with his real, available love.

Jesus’ coming was entirely a love-motivated decision—“For God so loved the world.” So great is the depth of his love for his wayward crown of creation that he became man himself to live the life none of us ever could. So vast is his affection for us that he took the pain and shame we were due and offered up his life as a ransom for ours. Truly there is no greater love than the sacrifice of our King.

Have you stopped recently to acknowledge how intentionally God pursues you? Have you stopped to marvel at the lengths to which he will go simply to have your heart? In the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season, may we not look past the greatest gift we have. May we not skip over the reality of God’s love for us to get to the next thing on the calendar. Instead, may we take time every day to let sink in the simple truth that God became man entirely for our sakes. God himself, who has no beginning, no limit, no weakness, and deserves no pain, took on flesh in pursuit of a deeper, richer, and entirely restored relationship with you and me.

The love of Jesus we celebrate at Christmastime is a sacrificial love. He didn’t just give himself sacrificially on the cross. Every day of his life was another day given up for our sakes. Every tear, pang of hunger, and wound he suffered throughout his life he experienced not because he had to, but because he chose to out of love for us. Imagine leaving the perfection of heaven to come to earth. Imagine leaving unhindered, face-to-face connection with the heavenly Father and becoming an infant. Imagine allowing a mother and father to take care of you when you are God himself whose very existence has never known a beginning.

In this season of celebration may we take time to remember the loving, life-giving sacrifice of the King we worship. May we center our hearts and lives around him. May we give him the adoration and praise he deserves. And may this Christmas season change our lives forever as we respond to the continual pursuit of our loving God by offering him our hearts in return.

Guided Prayer:

1. Take a moment to reflect on the love of God reflected in the coming of Christ.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

2. Ask God to reveal all the ways in which he has been pursuing you lately. Allow the coming of Jesus to build your faith that God pursues you still.

3. Take time to respond to God’s pursuit by offering him your heart. Crown him King of your life that all you are and have might be his. Commit to living today in response to God’s great love for you.

“Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!” Psalm 132:7

In Philippians 3:12 Paul writes, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” As a believer, Christ has made you his own. You were bought with a price only Jesus could pay. May this season be marked by the love and joy that can only come from true communion with Jesus, our sacrificial King.

Extended Reading: John 3

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