For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)

Love is the driving force of the Christmas story: God loved us so much that He sent His Son to this world to save us from our sins. How incredible! And so this week, as we focus on God’s love for us, let’s make room in our hearts for Him as Christmas draws near.

During this last week of Advent, our focus is on love—the love that came with the birth of Christ. God came down to earth, became human, lived among us and modeled love each day. He showed us that our daily life is not separate from our faith. The way we live—every thought and action—should be to love those around us.

Knowing we're loved is what every person desires. We all want to feel valuable and know we matter.

Though we may not always feel loved by those around us, the truth is, God loves us unconditionally. He doesn't love us because of anything we do or don't do; He loves us as we are. We can't buy His love or get rid of it. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (see Romans 8:38-39).

Once that truth is rooted deep inside us, we can begin to see ourselves the way God does and love ourselves in a healthy way. And then out of that, His love can flow through us to others. God’s love changes us. It softens our heart and allows us to see other people the way God sees them. When we understand God’s love, we really do begin to live differently.

Christmastime is a perfect time to live out the love God sent us through Jesus. But the real challenge is to continue feeling and showing that love when Christmas is over so that it fills the entire year.

This final week of Advent, celebrate with an expectant heart, savoring the season and looking forward with excitement to receiving the greatest gift God has ever given to us—Jesus!

Emmanuel, God with Us

God loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son.

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Key Scripture

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.”Matthew 1:23 (AMP)

From Joyce

The fact that God loves you is one of the most important truths you need to know. — Joyce

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We are created to receive and give love—God’s love is a gift to us, and we need to release it to others through our words and actions. Spend some time this week thinking about God’s love for you. Write down your favorite scriptures that remind you of His love. Then, be intentional about loving others with God’s love this week. Think about the people you will be with and then think about what their needs may be. Ask God how you can demonstrate His love to others.