If you want to understand who God is, if you want to learn more about His character, there may be no better place to start than the Christmas story.
The Creator of the entire universe was attentive to His creation. He saw and understood our ultimate consequences of sin. He saw our greatest need. And He did something about it. He humbled Himself to be born as a tiny baby in a remote town in the dwelling place of animals. He lived as one of us so that, eventually, He could die for us and rise again, giving us the chance to live eternally with God in heaven.
The Christmas story shows that one aspect of God’s character is compassion. COMPASSION is caring enough to do something about someone else’s need. God lovingly saw our greatest need and met it in the most remarkable way.
God’s example of compassion is summarized in the monthly Memory Verse: “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIrV) God saw the world’s greatest need and cared enough to do something.
In Week One, our Bible Story is a glimpse into God’s compassionate rescue by sending Gabriel to Appear to Mary (Luke 1:26-33). Gabriel tells Mary that God has seen His people’s need. Immanuel, God with us, is coming to rescue us! Our Bottom Line is God saw our greatest needs. Whose needs do you see? When we slow down and look outside ourselves, we see the needs of those around us.
In Week Two, our Bible Story is THE moment of God’s big gift to us: Jesus is Born (Luke 2:1-7)! God didn’t just see our needs. He did something to meet them. He came to us! Our Bottom Line is: God gave us the greatest gift. What will you give? After we see someone else’s needs, how can we go and help them?
In Week Three, our Bible Story tells of Shepherds Visit Jesus (Luke 2:8-20) after having heard the good news from a host of angels! After the shepherds saw the baby Jesus, they wanted to tell everyone they met about how God was meeting our greatest need. Our Bottom Line is: God gave us great news. Who will you tell? Every person has the same great need to be rescued. We can help meet it by telling them the good news of Jesus.
In Week Four, our Bible Story helps us understand why we can show compassion to others. Since God Showed His Love (1 John 4:9-12), we can also love each other. It’s God’s love in us that gives us the passion, energy, and creativity to do something to help others. Our Bottom Line is: God showed the world His love. How will you show the world? When Jesus was born into the world, God’s love met our greatest need. So, now we serve others because it’s what God modeled for us.
In Week Five, our Bible story follows some wise men who visited Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12). The men left their homes to travel a far distance, navigating the constellations, just to visit Jesus. They must have understood our Bottom Line: God loved you first. How will you love him? We can follow God and show Him our love by spending time with Him, talking to Him, reading His Word, among other things. We can love God by loving others.
People with very real and practical needs surround us. Let’s train our eyes to see their hurts and teach our hearts to step outside our comfort zone. When we can imagine ourselves in someone else’s shoes, take action, and do what is in our ability to do to help them, we reflect God’s COMPASSION into the world.
By Jessica McKee ©2012 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. http://www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.