The Greatest Christmas Verse Of All

There are so many wonderful Christmas passages in the Bible… but I think among them all (at least this year), for me, it is John 3:16… “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Why do I say that? Well maybe the following story will answer that. Jessica Shirey in an article for Gant News tells the story of a young Romanian orphan girl named Livia. She writes,

“Livia Satterfield Young was a 12-year-old girl in a Romanian orphanage when her life was changed--forever--by an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. (Operation Christmas Child, uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love to children in need around the world.)

Livia was an orphan for 10 years. She described a lack of food, hygiene supplies, and no feeling of love and happiness. She said, ‘Some days our food supply was so low that all we had was a piece of bread that was hard as a rock and moldy. We also wore the same clothes for a week. We had only one toothbrush which we shared with hundreds of other children.’

Livia longed to feel someone’s love and warm embrace. She said, ‘I wanted to feel like I existed in this world.’ That all changed when the ministry delivered shoeboxes full of personal hygiene items, school supplies and toys to her orphanage. The same day, an American missionary group also came and Livia met a woman named Connie. Livia said:

‘Before we opened our boxes, they shared with us about people who packed them because you loved us. I was so mesmerized by the word “love.” And then, they shared “the greatest news of all.” That there’s a God, and He gave His one and only son who died on the cross for me because He loves me. God made this possible through a simple gift. It sparked so much love, joy and hope in my life.’

The same year Connie arranged for Livia to stay with a Christian family, and she accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. She said, ‘I wish I [would’ve] had a mega-sized microphone to tell the whole world I had Jesus in my heart. Two years later when I was 14, Connie came back to Romania, adopted me, and took me home to my brand-new family.’”

Just like Livia, you are loved! And Christmas is like a megaphone to shout to the world that God loves you and Jesus is in your heart! So as we celebrate the birth of our Savior let us elevate the fact that Jesus came into the world because God so loved us. Before Jesus, we were orphans, estranged from our creator. But then Jesus! He came and paid the “adoption” price for us, and we were placed in the family of God. God’s love for us stretched from the cradle to the empty tomb. And 2000 years later His love continues to call out come to me all you who are weary and burdened down and I will give rest to your soul.

If you have never personally trusted in Christ for your eternity… there is no better day than this one to recognize God’s love in Christ and give your heart and soul to Him and join the ranks of those who celebrate as the family of God.

As you give your gifts to one another this year remember the great gift of God given for you and remember that God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!

Merry CHRISTmas,

Pastor Ray

Photo by Hert Niks on Unsplash

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