By Collin Ross
Scripture Reading: John 20:30-31, Hebrews 1:1-3, John 14:18, John 16:7-11, Acts 2:1-4, Acts 2:14-21, Ephesians 1:11-14
One of my favorite things to do is to simply sit on the couch with my wife and watch our son and daughter play together. In those moments, I love to bask in the joy of our familial bond. If I were to try to describe that feeling I’d say this: “It is good to be here with you.”
My dad used to say, “God doesn’t just love you, son. He likes you too.” It took me a while to understand the difference, but gradually it became clear. When you love someone, you’re willing to do just about anything for their good. God demonstrated His love to us most vividly upon the cross when He gave His life to save us from our sins. But when you also like someone, you truly enjoy their company. You want to be with them. And the outlandish message of the gospel is that God gave His life for us because He wants to be with us. The cross was a means to an end, and the ultimate desire of God is to live with us forever.
To that end, Christ promised His disciples that even after He left them, they would never be alone. “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you” (John 14:18). Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit, sent to His followers after He ascended to the right hand of the Father, to be a foretaste of our eternal life with God. This is why Paul calls the Holy Spirit the “down payment of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14). The Spirit’s presence in our lives today guarantees that for all eternity we’ll never know a day outside of God’s presence.
To think that God looks at us and says, “It’s good to be here with you,” is almost too wonderful a thing to believe; and yet, it is altogether true. While on Christmas Day we celebrate that our God sent His Son, Jesus, to stay with us during His life on earth, we must also remember that through the Holy Spirit He intends to stay forever. This is the promise of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of the Spirit in our lives is a testament to God’s enduring desire to be with us.
And so as we enjoy the company of friends and family this holiday season, let’s press into our bond with God—a bond that is sealed by the Holy Spirit. The wonderful news of the gospel is this: God loves us. God likes us. And thanks to Jesus, we’ll be with Him forever.
Written by Collin Ross