Advent Series: Love
By Lisa Elliott

I don’t know too many people who don’t appreciate a good love story. I’m a romantic at heart, so in all honesty I don’t mind this time of year when all the Hallmark Christmas movies hit the TV screen. You know the scenes I’m talking about, when love is in the air, two lovers curl up by a roaring fire, sipping hot cocoa, gazing into one another’s eyes as they dream of a beautiful future together.

Regardless of all the love stories out there, I must say that, for me, the greatest love story ever told is my own. I’m not talking about the love my husband and I share. Although I love him dearly, and have for more than four decades, he was not my first love.

I met my First Love at camp when I was fifteen. His name is Jesus. Although I’d gone to church all my life, this was the first time I fully understood that Jesus loved me personally, that He died for me personally, and that He wanted to have a personal relationship with me. It was an unforgettable day! I fell into His wide open arms and experienced His amazing love on a level I’d never experienced before.

From the very first day I met Him, His love has been rock steady: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7, NIV).

As I consider just how great His love is for me, I realize that it’s not only because of all He’s done for me; it’s because “God is love” (1 John 4:8, NIV). He is the lover of my soul, the creator and keeper of my heart.

At times in my relationship with the Lord, I’ve let Him down, disappointed, or disobeyed Him. There have been seasons when I’ve neglected to express my love for Him in the ways He deserves.

But He’s never let me down. His love is the gift that keeps on giving, not merely at Christmas time but throughout the year. His love never fails!

We read in Lamentations 3:21–23, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (NIV).

There’s a Sunday school song I learned as a child, written by C. Austin Miles in 1914. It goes like this: “Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heavens above; deep, deep as the deepest sea is my Saviour’s love. I, though so unworthy, still am a child of his care, for his word teaches me that his love reaches me ev’rywhere.”

Perhaps you’ve misunderstood His love. Or maybe you’ve walked away from His love. I want you to know that regardless of your state of heart or mind, you are loved beyond measure by the “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, NIV).

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14–19, NIV).

About this Contributor:

Lisa Elliott

Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple, Dancing in the Rain, and A Ministry Survival Guide. She’s also a writer for Just Between Us Magazine, theStory, and Good Ground. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (three on earth, one in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Leave a comment