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Growing In God with Gary Hargrave


Dec 20, 2023

Web Description: There is a great deal of debate concerning Christmas. Why is it celebrated? When should it be celebrated? Should it be celebrated at all? In this podcast, rather than attempt to unravel all the doctrinal and scheduling dilemmas surrounding Christmas, I want to talk about its real purpose. Christmas is all about the love of God manifesting to humanity. The coming of Christ into the world is God manifesting His love in us. There is no more perfect gift that can be given for Christmas.

 

Show Notes: What is Christmas all about? First and foremost, the birth of Yeshua (Jesus) is about God sending His Son into the earth. But we get so caught up in what the celebration of Christmas is supposed to be, what church is supposed to be, and what religion is supposed to be, that we lose sight of exactly why we are celebrating Yeshua’s being born. Very simply, God was manifesting His love within a human so that we as humans could find a way to open up and receive God’s love in us.

 

God wants us to know the love He has for each one of us as individuals. It is easy to get lost in the big picture of God doing something for the whole world. But by the gift of His Son, the Father manifested His love in you personally. In Christ, God is driven to get every human to know and feel and recognize and celebrate His love. When we know God, we will love. And that is a big part of what God was doing in the birth of Yeshua. If He can get us to see His love for us, then He can make us become love just as He is love. That means love for ourselves and love for one another.

 

If you celebrate Christmas as the time when Yeshua was born, then remember the purpose of that event. As you exchange gifts, remember that the greatest gift was God manifesting His love in a human being. That is what the world needs right now. We are losing the love for one another. We are seeing the opposite of love in the destructive actions toward ourselves and toward one another. There is only one way to stop that trend, and that is by opening our hearts to receive how much God loves us. Loving yourself and loving others will not be a challenge when you really receive the love that God has for you.

 

Key Verses:

 

       1 John 4:9. “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son.”

       1 John 4:7–11. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

       1 John 4:12–21. “We love, because He first loved us.”

       Leviticus 19:18. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

       Ephesians 3:16–19. “Know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

       John 3:16. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”

 

Quotes:

 

       “If you're celebrating the birth of Christ, then you're celebrating the manifestation of God's love in us.”

       “What is sin? It's separation from God. But it's deeper than that. It's separation from His love for us.”

       “What is eternal life? The love of God is eternal life. Because God is love and that is eternal.”

 

Takeaways:

 

1.    As we give ourselves to this season, let us remember that it was because of God's great love that Yeshua was sent to this earth. He came to be the expression of God's love to each of us individually. God is driven for us to know and experience His love for us. And the greatest celebration of Christmas would be us opening our hearts to know and receive and experience the love of God.

2.    Since no man has seen God, and we cannot relate to Him easily, God sent His love packaged in Christ. If we receive Him, we are receiving the love of God so that we may be filled up to the fullness of God, just as Christ was the fullness of God in man.

3.    Read John 17. What made Yeshua and the Father one? The love that the Father had for Him and the love He had for the Father is what welded them into oneness. And because of that love we have the ability to be one. The one who abides in love abides in God. And Christ and the Father will come and take their abode in us because we finally come into the revelation of His love for us.