Advent Devotional Day 11: Love

Silence: Take a moment to get still and ask God to center your heart on him.

Scripture: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 1:3).

Devotional: My daughter Davy spent roughly the first 5 months of her life in a hospital. She spent the first four weeks of her life fighting to live from a condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. You can watch a short film on her life entitled “Davy Strong” here.

As her father, this was excruciating to watch. Here was my little girl who I was supposed to be taking home from the hospital, but instead we were staying in the hospital. This was my little girl that was supposed to be wrapped up in my arms, but instead was wrapped up in IVs, tubes and medical tape.

In those moments at the hospital I felt two overwhelming emotions.

Love and helplessness.

This was my little girl who I absolutely loved with an indescribable amount of love, yet incredibly helpless because I couldn’t do anything to save her. I had to trust the doctors, nurses and medical team.

There were nights where I would sit by her bedside and beg God to let me take her place. In an instant, in a moment, without question I would have traded places with her if I could, but I knew I couldn’t.

It was in those moments of prayer that God reminded me of a few truths. He loved me, Davy and his children even more than I loved Davy. Not only did he love his children more than I loved Davy, but he wasn’t a helpless God. He did take our place. He traded places with us on the cross. He took our sin and gave us his righteousness. He took our punishment and gave us his reward.

He did this because he’s a God of love. Not only is he a God of love, he’s the very embodiment of love itself (1 John 4:8). The apostle John reminded us this, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). God showed us the greatest form of love, sacrifice, through sending his only son to rescue us. 

We worship an all-consuming God who is not helpless, but is able and lavished love upon us by sending his only son to lay his life down for his friends.

Question: Can you see the depth of love God has for you by reflecting on Jesus dying on the cross for your sins?

Action: Listen to the song “How Deep the Father’s Love” here.

Prayer: God, you our good heavenly father whose love for us is vast beyond all measure, yet we are prone to forget this beautiful truth. Give me the insight “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” for me. Amen.

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