What do Thanksgiving and Christmas have in common?

December 1, 2010

For the one who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, the answer is essentially- the love of God.

On Thanksgiving Day, Christians thank God for His providential care for the United States of

America. While thanking God for His care, they are reminded of the goodness of His love as Psalm 136:1 says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

Throughout the Christmas season and on Christmas day, Christians celebrate the God who “sent His only-begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (I John 4:9-10).

God’s love is the essential reality that Thanksgiving and Christmas have in common.

How do the Scriptures describe God’s love?

His love takes the initiative as the apostle John says in I John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” Everyone who is a child of God through faith in the crucified, resurrected Son of God knows this wonderful truth- God first loved me!

His love is everlasting as the prophet declares in Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” The Christian rejoices in the certainty of God’s love in the midst of the many uncertainties of this sojourn.

His love is more valuable than all riches for it brings reassuring rest to our soul.  So David testifies, “How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of thy wings” (Psalm 36:7).  

One can never exhaust the bountiful resource of His love.  Of this the Psalmist sings, “For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Thee”  

(Psalm 86:5).

His love is demonstrated by Jesus Christ dying the death that we justly deserve as Paul says in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Throughout the ages, when tempted to question God’s love, Christians have always returned to that ‘old, rugged cross’ where their dear Savior died for them.

His love is both purposeful and powerful.  In its design it has the dynamic energy to give life to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. The apostle John testifies of this by heralding, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  

Have you personally believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? There is no better time to do so than the season in which the love of God is so clearly celebrated.