Matters of Faith: THE ADVENT OF LOVE

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

‭‭Titus‬ ‭3:4-7 N‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“4But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

The unconditional kindness and love of God was made manifest in the form of a child, born of a woman, for the sole purpose of delivering mankind from eternal death. Love was not given because of anything we have done or deserved, but by God’s abundant mercy.

Paul writes this epistle to one of his proteges, a young man by the name of Titus, to remind him of the gift the Lord gave. It was not a gift that could be bought or earned, but graciously given by the mercy of God. The merciful gift from God is Jesus Christ, who washes, regenerates, and renews us by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

The Advent season is a reminder of God’s love for humanity. Today, the final of three purple candles is the candle of love, which reminds us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The prophet Isaiah says of this gift of love, “the government shall be upon His shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Paul says that God’s gift of love is available to all who believe and are willing to receive it. Once received, they are justified; treated “just-as-if” they never sinned. This makes them heirs and entitles them to eternal life.

The advent of love is the greatest gift ever given. Because it could not be earned, and because we did not deserve such a gracious gift, when it is received, it must manifest in and through our lives. It challenges us to be champions of grace, purveyors of godly living, models of righteous conduct, and examples of exemplary behavior. How is the advent of love demonstrated in your life?

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, and creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show LIVE” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Matters of Faith and J Loren Russell Facebook groups.

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