I have loved you with an everlasting love.
What made God’s gift of His Son “indescribable,” as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9:15? It was preceded by elaborate preparation, it was missed by many because of its simple appearance, and finally, it was occasioned by unparalleled love. Luke 2:13-14 says, “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’” More than anything else about God, Christmas tells us that God loves us. It does not matter who you are, it does not matter what you have done, God does not hate you. He loves you. One of the most powerful images of God in the Old Testament is that of the wounded lover. In Jeremiah 31:3 God said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Yet we have wandered away from God, allowing other people and other things to take His rightful place in our lives. But even though we have spurned God’s love and He has every right to write us off, He did not do that. God so wanted a relationship with you that He sent Christ to make you clean again so that you could have eternal fellowship with Him. God’s gift was based on unparalleled love.
I do not think I have ever read a better description of God’s incomprehensible gift than a piece by J. B. Phillips. In his story, a senior angel took a new angel on a tour of God’s universe. They flew from galaxy to galaxy, past blazing stars and vast, empty space, until they came upon the Milky Way. As they moved close to one of the stars, the senior angel pointed to a planet. Phillips wrote, “It looked as dull as a dirty tennis ball to the little angel whose mind was filled with the size and glory of what he had seen. ‘I want you to watch that one particularly,’ said the senior angel, pointing with his finger. ‘Well, it looks very small and rather dirty to me,’ said the little angel. ‘What’s special about that one?’”
The little angel listened in stunned disbelief as the senior angel told him that this planet, small and insignificant and not overly clean, had been visited by the Prince of Glory. And not only had He visited the planet; He had become one of its inhabitants. Phillips continued, “The little angel’s face wrinkled in disgust. ‘Do you mean to tell me,’ he said, ‘that He stooped so low as to become one of those creeping, crawling creatures of that floating ball?’ ‘I do, and I don’t think He would like you to call them “creeping, crawling creatures” in that tone of voice. For, strange as it may seem to us, He loves them. He went down to visit them to lift them up to become like Him.’ The little angel looked blank. Such a thought was almost beyond his comprehension.”
Such a thought was beyond Paul’s comprehension as well. That is why he said, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “A Gift Beyond Description” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
J. B. Phillips, “New Testament Christianity” (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012), 15-16.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org