Tuesday, December 2, 2003

To Live Through Love

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence
Ephesians 1:3-4

Christmas is a time we remember the generosity of God. This passage tells us that God the Father has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven.
Note that Paul did not say some blessings. But he said ALL blessings. What does this mean? God has given us everything we need. His purpose is so that we can be holy and spotless and live through love in his presence.
The proof of this generosity is Jesus. God himself became human and literally gave everything he had, even his life, for us. His giving of his life allows us to be reconciled with him. It opened our heavenly home to us so that now, it is possible to be holy and spotless.
We strive to live in holiness in this life and reach perfection ONLY in the next life, when we come face to face with Jesus. And the only way to holiness is NOT through discipline. It is not through our good works. But as Paul said, to live through love in his presence.
We need to be in love with Jesus so that we can be able to live in holiness. Our love for him propels us to discipline ourselves. Our love for Jesus moves us to do good. Often, people have it the other way around. By doing good, they can be holy.
This Christmas, the staff in our office pooled our money together to adopt a family. I believed that this was a good idea and still is a good idea. But I thought, what makes a Christian different if non-believers can be generous in this season?
Surprisingly, the answer is that as Christians, our intentions are different. For a non-believer, they give because they know that it is the right thing to do. For us Christians, we give because we are doing this out of love for Jesus.
Sometimes, I am convicted by their generosity. I see them giving generously and cheerfully out of the goodness of their heart. Yet, I give not because I love the Lord, but because I am expected to be generous because my Master gave his all for me. I do it out of obligation rather than out of love.
This Christmas, may we remember the generosity of the Lord who gave his life for us so that we in turn can give ourselves to others as we live through love in his presence.
Merry Christmas and a Year of Peace and Joy in the Lord.

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