Do you remember the story we started with? In the beginning, God spoke into
an empty blank space and created shining, silvery stars and a scorching sun. He built bulky-brown buffalo, lounging-lime lizards, and fast-flying falcons. He crafted a land covered with tall, trembling trees and fields of lilacs, daisies, and bluebonnets. Water ran cool and crisp to drink. This whole perfect world God made to give as a gift to His favorite creation, people. Adam and Eve walked through the garden of Eden with eyes full of wonder at the world their Father had made for them to share with Him. In every petal, every blade of grass, every squawk, every drip-drop, God was saying to His children, “I love you! This world tells you about Me. I will meet with you here. It is My gift to you.” But there was one tree that God said not to eat from, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And in telling them not to eat that tree’s fruit, God was still saying, “I love you,” but with this rule, God was also asking Adam and Eve a question: “Do you trust me? Do you trust that I love you and haven’t kept one good thing from you?”
Adam and Eve looked around at the beautiful world their Father had given them. They thought about how He walked with them there during the cool weather. They listened to His whisper through the leaves of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “I love you. You can trust Me.” But then Satan slithered up to this tree and whispered his questioning lies to Eve. “Does God really love you? Wouldn’t He have given you everything if He really loved you? Can you trust Him?” The questions that Satan asked sank deep in their hearts. Adam and Eve answered those questions by biting into the fruit that God had told them not to eat. From that moment on, sin sliced down deep into their hearts, and ours as well, where it whispers those same old questions once again: “Does God really love you? Can you trust Him?”
There was yet one more gift that God had always planned to give. God waited until that very first Christmas to give His greatest gift. This gift would be the final answer to that lying question our hearts have been asking since we were born. Does God love me? Can I really trust Him? Jesus, God’s only Son, is His answer. He came to cry out on the cross with painful shrieks, “I do love you!” And with His Son—His biggest show of His love for us —God is shouting, “Yes! Trust Me!” If He didn’t hold back His own Son from us, then surely He will not hold back anything that would be good for us. Yes, He loves us! Yes, we can trust Him!
John 3:16 tells us God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son. He says if we believe in Him, if we trust in Him, that we have everlasting life. What does it mean to “believe” in His only Son?
Is there anyone who comes to your mind that needs to hear the great message of Christmas, that God has given us the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive?
This Advent devotional resource was produced by The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. The original resource can be found here.