"Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:39 NIV)
Did you know that your heavenly Father wants you to come home this Christmas? It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done or how long you’ve done it. God says, “I want you to come home to my love and my forgiveness.” That’s what Christmas is all about.
What would keep you from coming home to God’s love and forgiveness? The fear of rejection.
You may think, “God wouldn’t want me now. I’m too far away from God. I’ve been away too long. I’ve done too many things he probably wouldn’t approve of.”
If that’s what you think, you’re dead wrong! Romans 8:39 says, “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV). God doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done or how long you’ve done it. He still loves you and wants to forgive you.
But how do you know God loves you? Christmas proves it. God came to Earth in human form — Jesus Christ — to show that he loves you and wants to forgive you. The Bible says, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we can have eternal life through him. This is real love ... that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:9-10 NLT).
Here’s how you know that Scripture is true: Jesus didn’t stay in a little cradle in the manger. He grew up. He went from the cradle to the cross. On the cross, with his arms outstretched, he said, in essence, “I’d rather die than live without you.” That’s how much God loves you. Christ left his home in Heaven and came to Earth to show his love for you and to pay for your sins so that you could be forgiven and come home to him. That’s real love. That’s the reason for Christmas.
Talk About It
Is Christmas more about the cradle or the cross for you and your family? How do you make Christmas meaningful in light of both the cradle and the cross?
Who in your life needs to hear that Christmas is about how much God loves him or her?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.