Advent devotion: God’s gifts

News | November 29, 2016

By Dave DeWit

I encountered a certain amount of rejection in my earlier years, and I still have difficulty imagining why God, or anyone else, would love me. And I still have to admit that if I were God, I certainly wouldn’t love me. I wouldn’t even like me very much!

So I find it mind-blowing that now in my old age, I am able to look back at my life and see countless evidences of God’s love and grace over the years. For example, I managed to find a talented wife who loves me, two daughters who love me (most of the time), and two loving grandchildren. Also, I made it to retirement with a measure of financial security after a long satisfying career. I feel truly blessed – miraculously, it seems to me.

Of course the Bible is filled with promises of God’s love for us and the world. Ephesians 3 tells us how “wide and long and high and deep” the love of Christ is. Romans 8 assures us that nothing in all creation “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is Christ Jesus (v 38-39).”

In this Advent season we celebrate God’s greatest expression of love: the gift of Christ’s coming into our world. The Apostle John directly links Jesus’ arrival on earth with God’s great love for us: “This is how God showed God’s love among us: God sent God’s one and only Son into the world that we might live through him (1 John 4:9).” That life brings earthly “joy” in its truest sense: the power to be happy no matter what – in good times and bad.

In this season and always, may we joyfully and gratefully experience the love “that God has poured out … into our hearts” (Romans 5:5), and may that love and its joy flow out to those around us – like the “streams of living water” that flow from within us that Jesus speaks of in John 7:38.

Dave DeWit is a retired chemistry professor from Augustana College. He and Dortha live in Bettendorf.

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