But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

The context of Romans 5:8 speaks not only of our sin but also of our helplessness. There was nothing good or capable about us when at the exact predetermined time in history Christ entered humanity as a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths … God’s pure and perfect love swaddled in a dirty, nasty, smelly feed trough. We glamorize this manger but it was nothing more than a place where animals chew and drool. What a picture of how the pure and perfect Lamb of God entered humanity’s filthiness and His love stopped at nothing until our sin debt was paid so we could be redeemed out of this sin-sick world.

It is often difficult for us to demonstrate unconditional love to those we are the craziest about, much less love those who are different or even annoying. (I know you have at least one annoying person in your life!) But God’s love extends to even the worse of us!

Christmas isn’t about trees or reindeer or hot cocoa, chestnuts roasting on an open fire or even giving to the poor; it’s about the unimaginable love of God poured out on us in the indescribable gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Have you received that love?

Romans 10:9-10 assures us, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”

Living It Out – Reach out in love today to the one who causes the hair on the back of your neck to stand up. Do something tangible that will demonstrate their value and worth. You know exactly who that is because a name popped into your mind as soon as your read the assignment!

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