One of the questions I posted on Facebook this week was, “What makes Christianity different from other religions? Bottom line, it is the grace of God. God comes to us we don’t have to make the effort to go to God. We do not have to seek the approval of God. Our acts as noble as they might be are not the formula for a relationship with God. God loves us and that is grace.
The two passages for study today (Revelation 2:1-5, I John 3:1-3) reflect on the love that God has for us and the love we need to show God in return.
In Revelation, the Lord commends the Ephesians for their hard work, endurance, intolerance of evil, discernment, and quiet suffering. These are all great attributes. It is a description of a fine and upstanding church. They were an example for all churches to follow.
However, they are missing an important characteristic. One that is so crucial, that the Lord warns them, that he will remove their lampstand (their church) if they don’t get it right. The missing ingredient is love for God and for each other.
In the second passage (I John 3:1-3), we are reminded of the great love of the Father. He calls us “children” and what good the Father has in store for his children we can’t even imagine.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, may we once again be reminded of God’s great love and grace toward us. And, may we also be reminded not forget our first love for God and for each other.