“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.,” [1 John 4:1-15]
God showed His love to us by sending His One and Only Son. He sent Him so that we might live. Because Jesus came once 2011 years ago (the Roman calendar starts with “1,” not “0”) light has entered darkness. Darkness can no longer keep its hold on the world because the Light has come and He has walked among us. The greatest message of Christmas is that Light has dispersed darkness. And while the Christmas season has grown extremely commercialized, and it may seem that Christmas looks more like darkness than Light, the truth is that the Kingdom has been promised to the Son –all is good. Because Jesus came the first time, humbly as a baby, humbly as a servant of God and humbly as the Lamb of God, our sins are taken away by the grace of God. We are reminded by John that because God loved us in this way, we would do well to love one another. This is also the Message of Christmas. The original intent of Christmas gift giving was an expression of gratitude to God and love for one another. Gifts do not need to be ostentatious; they should be expressions of gratitude and love. And every house that you pass this year, all covered in lights, remember, the Light of the world has come and has penetrated the darkness. And Christians have God, the Spirit of the King of kings, the Risen One living in them, which means that we also have the love of God in us.
For Christmas, embrace the Coming of Christ and rejoice –because His First Coming is a sure indication of His Second Coming. Be encouraged, beloved of God, because the Love of God lives in you and is the greatest Gift ever given. Make sure that this gift is the primary gift that you give away this Christmas season. Let us love one another deeply and from the heart, because love comes from God.
Celebrating the Prince of Peace together!