This 4th Sanctuary Sunday of Advent Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
It is also a place to read, post and discuss news that is worth knowing and sharing. Please post links to any news stories that you use as sources or quote from.
In the QTree, we’re a friendly and civil lot. We encourage free speech and the open exchange and civil discussion of different ideas. Topics aren’t constrained, and sound logic is highly encouraged, all built on a solid foundation of truth and established facts.
We have a policy of mutual respect, shown by civility. Civility encourages discussions, promotes objectivity and rational thought in discourse, and camaraderie in the participants – characteristics we strive toward in our Q Tree community.
Please show respect and consideration for your fellow QTreepers.
Before hitting the “post” button, please proofread your post and make sure you’re addressing the issue only, and not trying to confront the poster.
If you feel the need to bare your fangs, we have a companion site – called The U Tree – where you can run wild and free with the Wolfpack where all legal free speech is allowed.
But NOT HERE in The Q Tree. Personal attacks, name calling, ridicule, insults, baiting and other conduct for which a penalty flag would be thrown are VERBOTEN.
In The Q Tree, we’re compatriots, sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores and discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing about whatever interests us. This board will remain a home for those who seek respectful conversations.
Please also consider the Important Guidelines, outlined here. Let’s not give the Internet Censors a reason to shut down this precious haven that Wolf has created for us.
With the Storm upon us…please remember to Pray for our President.
AND WHAT TIME IS IT? TIME TO….DRAIN THE SWAMP!!!
Our movement is about replacing a failed and CORRUPT political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American People. ~ Candidate Donald J. Trump
Also remember Wheatie’s Rules:
- No food fights.
- No running with scissors.
- If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
On this day and every day –
God is in Control
. . . and His Grace is Sufficient, so . . .
Keep Looking Up
Hopefully, every Sunday, you can find something here that will build you up a little . . . give you a smile . . . and add some joy, very much needed in all our lives.
“This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” . . . “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
4th Sunday of Advent ~ Love
~ Love ~
35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The whole Law and the writings of the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Love – how important? So important that all of the Old Testament Law and all of the writings of the Old Testament prophets depend on it!
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Love – the characteristic that Christians must embody by which the world will recognize us!
1 Corinthians 13:13
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Faith, hope and love . . . all important! But the greatest of the three is love!
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
There is no greater love than Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
The culmination of Advent, after faith & hope, peace and joy is love, agapé love . . . and rightfully so. God’s agapé love for us is the reason for the entire existence of mankind.
Agapé love is a specific kind of love. It is founded in willful actions to put the welfare of others above yourself as in “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And “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.”
An example: Empathy or sympathy may involve understanding of and emotion toward an old, frail bag lady struggling painfully up the stairs, but agapé love walks over to that foul-smelling lady and takes her bag and her arm and helps her up the stairs.
God chose us in Him before He laid the foundation of the earth and has destined us for a wondrous eternal future with Himself and Jesus. God’s plan, all that He has done from the Creation, through the Garden of Eden and all the events of the Old Testament; the birth, ministry, sacrifice, resurrection and 2nd coming of Jesus; through the events of Revelation . . . all of that leads to our eternity with God and Jesus . . . and has been and will be carried out because of God’s agapé love for us.
Why do I think it’s all because of God’s agapé love for us? Because “In love [agapé] He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.” In agapé, God planned each person’s existence, from birth through eternity, all before He laid the foundation of the earth.
“Wondrous eternal future” . . . what do we know about that? Well, certainly not a lot, but since “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has anyone imagined the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”, we can be assured it will be wondrous.
And since “The kingdom of God is . . . righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”, I think we can solidly plan on righteousness, peace and joy in God’s eternity.
We even have a foretaste of what we’ll be doing . . . God granted Jesus “authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”
The word “know” (γινώσκω, ginóskó), used above, means to know, especially through personal experience. It will take an eternity, getting to know God, Who is omniscient, and Whose thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways His ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. And “How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”.
“Take an eternity” . . . we shouldn’t overlook the enormity of this statement. “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years,”. We are only on this earth for an infinitesimally short time, compared to eternity, before we whither, like leaves, and are blown away. Eternity is forever. Never ending. Our true home.
This is the future love that Advent points us to. When this sinks in, it’s very difficult, perhaps impossible, not to experience the hope, peace and joy associated with the first three Sundays of Advent. Give to God the thanks, praise and love He deserves many times over.
May we all experience the hope, peace and joy of this Advent season as a result of God’s agape love, and may we return our praise, thanks and love to God for the unmerited favor we have received and will receive from Him.