Tracy and Marilyn

Devotional 29th November 2018

Advent - The love that plans

‘For He chose us in Him before the creation of this world to be holy and blameless in His sight, for it was always in His perfect plan to adopt us as His delightful children.’ Ephesians 1:4 -5 (NIV & TPT)

Last time we were thinking about how kindness is a wonderful expression of God’s love to us. Today I want us to think about another aspect of His love: that true love thinks about, makes choices and plans on behalf of the one it loves.

It is the start of advent and this whole season is a time of preparation: preparing our hearts to be ready for Christ’s coming at Christmas. This is so important, especially in this hyper busy world we live in. It is vital to make the time to reflect about our lives and our faith, to make room in our hearts for the love of God and the presence of Christ. But in all our outward and inward preparations for Christmas, do we ever stop to think of the fact that God our Father planned from the very beginning for us to belong to Him and be His beloved children?

Love delights in planning lovely things for the loved one. I am not a good planner when it comes to admin and business. I never manage to write engagements in my diary so frequently get into muddles with my time! But nevertheless I do still love to plan special things for my family and friends. One friend will be having her birthday soon and Marilyn and I are enjoying planning a lovely meal and gift for her.

The act of choosing is also a key part of planning. We choose how to use our time or spend our money, who we will be with or what we will do…Planning and choosing in that sense are so fundamental that we may not think of them as being part of the act of loving, but of course they are and it’s important to realise that this has come from God’s character and is the way He loves us.

This amazing passage above from Ephesians 1 sets the scene for this advent season and for this deeper understanding about planning, that God made a choice even before creating the universe, that He would set things in place for us to belong to Him and be adopted as His beloved children. In His love He planned every detail for how that could come to pass. You and I were in His mind when He spoke through the prophets of the coming Messiah, when Gabriel came to Mary to tell her she would conceive God’s son through the Holy Spirit. We were in His mind when the census was called and Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem. The star, the shepherds, the wise men, the Holy One of God coming into our world as a baby were all parts of His plan of love for you and me to become His precious child and joined to Him forever.

God made choices and planned and acted upon them with incredible effect and does so still on a daily basis. He constantly plans to daily bring the blessings of His love into our lives so we can grow and be comforted, strengthened and empowered to give His love away to others.

Love plans.

Love chooses.

And God has planned for and chosen you and me.

Let’s make this season of advent a time when we also choose and plan to live our lives so that we can open our hearts to His love in a deeper way and truly become the fulfilment of His plans, His beloved children and chosen heirs together with Jesus

Tracy Williamson

Heart shaped candle Advent candle