916-726-2100 info@baysidech.com

Cheryl Bangs
Lead Associate Pastor & Life Groups

Christmas is a time for LOVE.

There is a warmth about the Christmas season that I LOVE. Yes, it’s busy, but the celebrations are so much fun, and the food so, so good (forget counting the calories).  Finding a gift that expresses LOVE to those dear to us, and the kindness expressed both to those we LOVE as well as strangers, makes my heart happy.  I LOVE it all!

Well, the original Christmas was a huge expression of LOVE.  It was at that time that God sent His love in the form of a Savior, “Jesus.” God so desired to be in relationship with you and with me that He came down as a baby.  LOVE came down.  And showed us how to live a life filled with LOVE.

John 3:16-17 (NLT) tells us: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his son not to judge the world but to save the world through Him.”  This gift is the greatest act of love!

To believe is to put our trust and confidence in Jesus.  It is in that position of relationship that we commit our lives to Him, trusting His words to be reliable and believing He has the power to help us change.  We are all in the process of “becoming” who God created us to be.  Sometimes we see progress and then sometimes we seem to fall back.

“Simply enter into the presence of Jesus as you are and ask Him to give you a fearless heart where He can be with you.”

Henri Nouwen writes in his book The Inner Voice of Love: “Do not despair, thinking that you cannot change yourself after so many years. Simply enter into the presence of Jesus as you are and ask Him to give you a fearless heart where He can be with you.  You cannot make yourself different.  Jesus came to give you a new heart, a new mind, and a new body.  Let Him transform you by His love and so enable you to receive His affection in your whole being.”

Jesus is the gift—He is actually our ticket to freedom and transformation.

Jesus is the gift of LOVE—it’s a beautiful four-letter word!  I pray that His LOVE is the greatest gift you experience this Christmas.