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December 16, 2022



This has been an incredible year for God’s people at White Oak and for those impacted by what God has been doing in and through us!


I pray that you have been reminded of his peace and hope during this holiday season. There are so many reasons for us to be reminded of our pain, our insecurities, or our worries, but I pray that God has surprised you this season with his great love for you. You are, after all, his dearly loved son or daughter.


As we end the third week of Advent, tradition has us focus on the word, Love.


7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. -1 John 4:7-9


Love is a loaded word. There are a variety of Greek words used to describe love in Scripture. One which means familial love. One that describes the love of a deep friendship. There’s another word that denotes physical or romantic love. And, yet another that means selfless unconditional love.


Our Heavenly Father embodies each of these. He loves us using a sense of them all. We have a tendency to only want to receive from God what we think we need in any particular season. We want the physical love of a partner, but God wants to draw us to him in deep friendship. We want the familial love which others appear to have but God wants us to know the warming peace of his Spirit’s presence inside us. We want the friendship love that will serve us but God’s selfless love for us encourages us to be selfless with our love to others.


We must re-train ourselves to receive love from God in the ways that he says we need. He is sovereign. His vantage point of our lives his higher, longer, and wider than our own. What he says is best, true, and loving is what is best, true, and loving. That’s an odd thing to think about. We have to re-train our hearts to receive. Most of us wouldn’t consider ourselves to be poor receivers. However, we have work to do to accept the unconditional, perfectly timed, and wholly satisfying love of our Heavenly Father.


This week, surrender your situation, your condition, your pain, and your lack of contentment to God. He will not disappoint. Imagine this Christmas week entering into a posture of receiving from God the love that he’s desperate to show you. What humble act would that require? What would you need to release your rights to? What would you have to prioritize? How does his love move you to worship and obey this week?


Jesus came to prove to you that you are worth God’s love. No exceptions. No question about it. Rest in his love.


Be sure you are registered and that you’re inviting your friends and family to worship with us for Christmas Eve at White Oak!


Receiving with you,

Nathan





Nathan Hinkle

Lead Pastor

White Oak Christian Church



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