Dave spoke tonight on the third Advent theme of love, speaking from 1 John 4:7-16. We are called to love one another as Christ has loved us, but we must not simply love other Christians. God wants us to reach out to others in love, just as Peter did when moved to speak the gospel to Cornelius and other Gentiles. Love ultimately originates with God and His love is what must be seen in our lives, not simply our love. This goes far beyond a feeling; it requires the sort of commitment shown by God at Christmas, for He so loved the world that He gave His only Son. (John 3:16)
Despite the evil in the world and the sin in us all, God still chose to give His Son. He did this so we can feel the warmth of His love and can come to have eternal life. His love is shown not only in the fact that the Son came to earth, but also in the fact that the Son died for us. Justice was tempered by mercy.
Others can only see God’s love through God’s people. We are called to love even the difficult and the unlovable. It’s the challenge God sets before us all: to love as He does.