God Wants Us to Love God and Neighbor -Advent 13 (2019)

Atop God’s Christmas List would be the First Commandment and the one like it.  Indeed, when Jesus was asked “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” this was His reply:

“The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark12:28-31)

Picturing God’s Christmas List written down as an actual list, this would have highlighting and stars next to it.  Not like what Sally (Charlie Brown’s sister) says in making her list,” Please note the size and color of each item, and send as many as possible. If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself: just send money. How about tens and twenties?”

No, these are “must haves” and there are no substitutes. Money can’t buy it.

Think about it:

  • Why is there no substitute for these two commandments? 
  • Why would Jesus say that there are two when the person only asked which one is the most important? 
  • How does God encapsulate everything He desires in these two commandments?

What God wants for Christmas is…for us to Love God and Love our Neighbor.

Dear Lord, loving others like You require ought to be so easy, yet it often seems so hard.  It’s difficult to put aside our hurts and rejections.  Reconciling ourselves to forgiving others in order to love them with the kind of grace You’ve shown us requires more capacity than we have as humans.  Holy Spirit, lead me into the kind of love You desire, the love of God and others that brings glory to You.  Thank You for the greatest Gift of love the world has ever known:  Jesus.  May we by Your grace grow in His likeness.  Amen.


Join me beginning December 1, 2019 by signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page to receive these daily devotionals. Let’s enjoy exploring what might be on God’s Christmas list.

Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows:  

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series (2018) Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 13, 2019

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