Tuesday, December 31, 2019

“Romans: Longing and Light"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Romans: Longing and Light"

      Many years ago, I taught Romans 9-16 at a local fellowship of believers after a teacher who had begun the epistle left the church.  Having taught Romans many times, it was interesting to begin in the middle of Paul's vital teaching in the letter.  We addressed the Apostle's writing that concerns God's historical working in His earthly nation Israel (chapters 9-11), and the practical admonitions in chapters 12-16, based on Paul's doctrinal dissertation in chapters 1-8.  I recall the time being a wonderful, but different opportunity to consider the latter portion of the document declared by the poet Coleridge to be "the most profound writing in existence."

    In the same church mentioned, we will begin this week a study of the first 8 chapters of Romans.  We just completed 1 Corinthians in this same church, which serves as a wonderful prelude to Romans.  I decided that since I omitted the first portion of the epistle in our Romans study years ago, we would return to its bright and shining light to ponder together the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ as declared in perhaps the most pointed, personal, and principled way offered by the Bible.  I would argue that Romans serves as the summit of all Scriptural revelation, without meaning to minimize the vital necessity of every portion of God's Biblical revelation.  "Every word of God is pure… All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (Proverbs 30:5; II Timothy 3:16).

    I share this with you to address a particular point about Paul's letter to the Romans, namely, this gift of light would perhaps never had been written if our brother could have had his way.

    "Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let - prevented - hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles" (Romans 1:13)
    "Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: but as it is written, To whom He was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you" (Romans 15:20-22).

    Because Rome was the power of the world in those days, one would have thought the Holy Spirit would have expeditiously led Paul to this venue of which it was said, "All roads lead to Rome."  God delayed the Apostle for many years, however, and when Paul did reach Rome (on at least two occasions), he came and stayed as a prisoner.  He "longed" to see his Roman brothers and sisters, but never did in the way he hoped.  Paul ultimately died in Rome at the bloody hands of Nero.  Thus, an unfulfilled longing characterized our brother so precious and vital to our walk with God, especially in light of the epistle to the Romans.  Again, would Romans have been written had Paul been able to visit his brothers and sisters in Rome according to his desires?

    We do not know.  However, of this we can be sure: Romans, as it exists, blesses us with its uniquely glorious fullness of light because Paul could not be with the church at Rome personally.  Unfulfilled desire resulted in the glory of Christ proceeding from the Apostle as "the most profound writing."  This speaks personally to each of us.  What epistle to the Romans, as it were, is being written in our lives because longings that seem proper and beneficial have never been satisfied?  Certainly it would have seemed to Paul that visiting Rome would have led to glorious outcomes of God's grace and truth in Christ.  Instead, our brother wrote a letter.  And oh what a letter he wrote, as inspired by the Spirit of God!  And what a letter we may be writing as we join the Apostle regarding longings unfulfilled, choosing to trust our Lord rather than giving into paralyzing bitterness and sorrow.

   I look forward to once again teaching Romans over the next few years.  Doubtless its truths will yet again fill and thrill my heart as I read, ponder, and study.  Hopefully others will also be encouraged as we journey to the Biblical summit whereupon God's brightest display of glory awaits.  However, I hope to remember Romans exists because a most blessed brother experienced disappointment that led to glory rather than despair.  And I hope such truth will be of help to our hearts as we realize our Lord's working in each of our lives involves blocked pathways that lead to vistas of the most glorious illumination shining in the Person and work of Christ.

"The Light shineth in darkness."
(John 1:5)

Weekly Memory Verse

      I will remember the works of the Lord.  Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.
(Psalm 77:11)



Monday, December 30, 2019

"The Necessity of Repetition"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"The Necessity of Repetition"

      "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth" (II Peter 1:12).

     Every preacher loves the Apostle Peter's affirmation of repetition.  We all necessarily repeat ourselves, or offer thoughts people have heard other communicators of God's Word declare.  At the very least, 99.99% of our messages include some form of repetition, and even seemingly original insights are actually as ancient as eternity if faithful to God and His Word.  "Hey, the Apostle Peter repeated himself and said it was a good thing to do!"  This is the preacher's fallback position when accused of redundancy, and certainly a favorite response of mine!

   Seriously, in a fallen world, God's truth must be received and confirmed on a regular basis in all our hearts and minds.  Scripture does not refer to us as "the sheep  of His pasture" for no reason at all (Psalm 100:3).  We easily forget.  Or we may remember, but without the impact that leads to faith and faithfulness.  The Lord's Supper offers a wonderful confirmation of the necessity of repetition.  No born again believer ever forgets the Lord Jesus Christ died for us.  Such wonder supplies the very basis of our relationship with God.  However, our Heavenly Father instituted a primary ordinance of remembering our Savior's sacrifice (I Corinthians 11:25-26).  The observance offers opportunity for a pointed remembrance that confirms an already established conviction in our hearts.  Again, we seek to remember with impact.  "I remember the days of old.  I meditate on all Thy works.  I muse on the work of Thy hands" (Psalm 143:5).

   The blessed wonder of God's truth surely warrants repeated appreciation and growing assimilation.  Paul taught that we know nothing yet as we ought to know (I Corinthians 8:2).  The infinite measure of our Lord's light means that every jot and tittle shines with eternal realities that can never be completely seen and understood.  Regardless of how well we know even the seemingly simplest of God's truths, they beckon us to come further, climb higher, dive deeper.  This requires repetition as well as discovery.  Peter well knew the necessity, providing preachers justification for repeating ourselves, but far more importantly, calling all of us to greater consideration and appreciation of Truth for which even eternity will not allow complete understanding.

"His understanding is infinite."
(Psalm 147:5)
"I will remember the works of the Lord.  Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old."
(Psalm 77:11)

Weekly Memory Verse

      I will remember the works of the Lord.  Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.
(Psalm 77:11)



Saturday, December 28, 2019

“Worse and Worse, Better and Brighter"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Worse and Worse, Better and Brighter"

      "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (II Timothy 3:13).

      We are in such days, aren't we?  Which means that godly people and beacons of the truth must grow better and brighter, shining as lights and growing in the illumination of the Lord Jesus Christ.

      "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… As ye have received us of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more" (II Peter 3:18, I Thessalonians 4:1).

     Ever growing darkness should trouble, grieve, and alert us.  Sin is sin, people are hurt by it, and God's grace in Christ is ignored or rejected as the evil "wax worse and worse."  However, an opportunity awaits us in the darkness.  Just as the moon shines most brightly against the backdrop of the blackest night, so do believers most vividly glimmer in the midst of gloom.  The privileged responsibility first lies in our countenance, demeanor, attitude, and ways of relating to people as people.  "How can the unselfish love of Christ be known through me in this day as I relate to family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and those I encounter along the pathways upon which I will journey?"  This question must be paramount in our hearts and minds as we devote ourselves to God for the benefit of those He loves, namely, the people in our lives.  "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (Ephesians 5:2).  

   The Apostle Paul closes his epistle to the Philippians with the cryptic benediction: "all the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household" (Philippians 4:22).  Paul references his imprisonment under Caesar, and also his influence for the Gospel in the midst of a dark place.  Clearly, the Apostle led people to the Lord Jesus in his venue of confinement.  How did he do so?  By preaching and teaching Christ, of course.  However, it was also required of Paul to live Christ, as it were.  Had our brother failed to shine in attitude, word, and deed because of the difficulty of prison, no one of Caesar's household would have listened to his message.  I often think of Paul in this context.  I love his history and teaching, as presented in the book of Acts and the epistles.  However, I love even more the Christlikeness that most surely characterized his character, demeanor, attitude, and life of self sacrifice.  Paul's Gospel was the heart of the matter, and "the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16).  His life, however, served as the Light of Christ shining in the darkness that enabled sinners and saints to see the truth he proclaimed.  The same is true in our lives, especially in these days wherein the evil "wax worse and worse."  What an opportunity for God's trusting sons and daughters in Christ to shine better and brighter.

"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men."
(I Thessalonians 3:12)

Weekly Memory Verse

      But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 (Romans 5:8)



Friday, December 27, 2019

"The MIracle of Mercy"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"The Miracle of Mercy"

      No opportunity more offers us experience of God's love than bestowing upon others the forgiveness we have received from God.

     "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 5:2).

    The love that flowed unto us, and now flows within us, is best known not in our reception, but in our serving as the conduit of distribution to others.  This is not to minimize the wonder of being pardoned through the redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We must never allow ourselves to become less than amazed by the grace whereby our Heavenly Father absolves our sins through the merits and work of our Savior -"for Christ's sake."  Eternity will not suffice in a full experience and knowledge in each of our hearts that somehow the mercy of God found, as the greatest of all hymns intones, "a wretch like me."  Still, our best assimilation of Divine love occurs when we give rather than receive as the indwelling Holy Spirit miraculously enables our capacity to forgive as we have been forgiven.  "Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).

    No honest human being will claim that forgiving offenders comes naturally.  It rather comes supernaturally through the love of God "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  The Forgiver lives in the forgiven, having first provided pardon, and then providing the means whereby the river of God's mercy constitutes our hearts as tributaries of bestowal to others as well as reception by ourselves.  We play a role in the holy process, trusting and submitting ourselves to our Lord in the confidence He will empower our capacity to "bless them that curse you, do good to them that despitefully use you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).  Grace thereby amazes us leading us to serve as its tributary no less - and even more - than as its beneficiary.  The miracle of mercy that found us now indwells and empowers us to "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).  

   The first step of forgiveness is hard as we overcome through Christ the temptations of devils, the world, and the flesh to embrace bitterness.  However, the path thereafter offers to us discoveries of God's gracious character that thrills and fills the heart of all who will serve as "vessels of mercy" (Romans 9:23).  "How can God forgive me?" This is the first question.  "How can God so enable me to forgive others?"  This is the second question, and again, the ongoing inquiry whereby we best discover how merciful our Lord really is…

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
(Acts 20:35)

Weekly Memory Verse

      But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 (Romans 5:8)



Thursday, December 26, 2019

"The Womb of Impossibility"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"The Womb of Impossibility"

     When something - or somebody - seems impossible, God's greatest involvement and working may be at hand.  Indeed, our Heavenly Father brought forth His Son in a womb where no chance of conception seemed to exist.
     "A virgin shall conceive...With God nothing shall be impossible" (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:37).

    Regarding the impossible, the Apostle Paul also comes to mind.  Had there been one human being to write off regarding the possibility of conversion during the early days of the church, Saul of Tarsus would have been the man.  This "Hebrew of the Hebrews" joined most of his Jewish brethren in dismissing the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel (Philippians 3:5).  "He came unto His own and His own received Him not" wrote the Apostle John of God's earthly nation (John 1:11).  Saul served as a primary leader of a wayward people, beginning with his consenting to the stoning of the church's first martyr Stephen.  This initiated an unholy persecution of believers by Saul, whose actions described by Luke paint a dark and savage picture of virulent hatred.   "As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women, committed them to prison" (Acts 8:1; 3).  As Paul himself later confessed, "When they were put to death, I gave my voice against them" (Acts 26:10).

   We know the rest of the story, of course.  God interrupted Saul's downward flight on the road to Damascus, first converting Saul, and then commissioning him to go forth as the Lord's chief emissary and writer of the New Testament epistles.  The Apostle Paul was born in the womb of impossibility, so much so that his reputation followed him decades later, leading Christians to hold Paul in suspicion and distrust (I Corinthians 9:1-3).  Again, the one man of his era that all would have counted as beyond hope became the one man of eternity who most proclaimed the "Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope" (I Timothy 1:1).  Impossible?  Saul of Tarsus.  Unless, of course, the God with whom "nothing shall be impossible" births the Apostle Paul in a human heart redeemable only by the Divine intervention of grace and truth in the Lord Jesus.  "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).

   What or who seems impossible to us?  We do well to remember Saul's story, or better yet, our own experience of redemption in the Lord Jesus.  Indeed, every believer must bear the attitude that if Christ could "save a wretch like me," surely all others must be potential candidates for the grace of God.  Moreover, when circumstances, situations, and conditions seem beyond repair or redemption, the remembrance of "nothing shall be impossible" must cause us to lift up our eyes to behold the Light that "shineth in darkness" (John 1:5).  Our Heavenly Father does His best work in things and in people seemingly bereft of hope.  His glory shines all the brighter as the Lord reveals His wondrous capability in virgin wombs and virulent hearts…

"With God, all things are possible."
(Mark 10:27)

Weekly Memory Verse

      But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 (Romans 5:8)



Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas 2019 “Christ Now. Christ Ever. Christ Always."

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

Christmas 2019

"Christ Now.  Christ Ever.  Christ Always."

     Such seeming insignificance.  A baby, born without pomp and circumstance, of parents nigh to scandal, in a place declared by the prophet to be "little among the thousands of Judah," nevertheless serves as the only hope for true meaning, worth, and significance to every human being (Micah 5:2).  Indeed, Scripture declares that apart from that baby - the Lord Jesus Christ - we are not even alive as God defines life.

   "To live is Christ… Without Me ye can do nothing" (Philippians 1:21; John 15:5).

    We are either existing, waiting to die.  Or we are living, waiting to be glorified.  The sole issue that determines such personal reality is the Lord Jesus.  He made us.  He sustains our existence.  He provides all our need.  He protects us.  He is our salvation, our light, our truth, our grace, peace, hope, joy, and most of all, the Lord Jesus alone defines and delivers love in real and vital experience.  "In Him was life and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4).  As my wife Frances affirms in her life motto, "Having Him, we have all."  Or, as Moses declared, "He is thy life" (Deuteronomy 30:20).

   In eternity to come, we will know beyond a shadow of doubt that God's eternal purpose begins, continues, and forever proceeds in the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 3:11).  Presently, we perceive and respond to such glory imperfectly.  Distractions and deceptions abound in a fallen world inhabited by fallen devils.  Moreover, the flesh of even the most godly among us resists the intrusion of an all invasive and pervasive purpose of God that flows completely with the current of Christ.  We must therefore keep our hearts in the Scriptures of whom the Lord Jesus declared, "They testify of Me" (John 5:39).  We must also keep the Lord Jesus as the focus of our prayers, seeking His glory and revelation as the primary intent and content of all communion with God.  And we must encourage each other to maintain Christ as the everlasting heart of the matter, and matter of the heart.  He is worthy of such emphasis in both time and eternity, and the peace of our hearts ebbs and flows according to our response.  "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).

    Christ now.  Christ ever.  Christ always.  This is our Father's focus.  It must be ours also.  The Holy Spirit, of course, shares this devotion and works in us to love, adore, affirm, and exalt the Lord Jesus (John 16:14).  This is life.  This is truth.  This is reality.  This is significance and meaning.  Nothing else is, and no one else can fill and thrill our hearts other than the Holy One who forever serves as the delight of Heaven, and the delight of our hearts.

"This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.  Hear ye Him."
(Matthew 17:5)
"He is the the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence."
(Colossians 1:18)

Weekly Memory Verse

      But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 (Romans 5:8).



"Here Is Christmas!"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

(a repeat from 2017)

"Here Is Christmas!"

   Dear Orange Moon Friends,

    A very Merry Christmas to all of you.  Below you will find a recording and the lyrics of one of our songs, "Here Is Christmas," that heralds the season and the day, but most of all, seeks to commemorate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into the world.  God bless all of you on this special day, and we remain grateful for the blessing of your fellowship in Christ.  Glen.

("Here Is Christmas")     

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

"To Journey Further"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"To Journey Further"

   "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).

    Relationship and fellowship with an infinite, eternal God means that we will never reach a place of knowing all that can be known, or of complete response to the splendor of who He is.  His glory ever beckons us to venture further into "wonders without number" and love that "passeth knowledge" (Job 9:10; Ephesians 3:19).  Such truth blesses and challenges us as we realize that something - Someone - exists who can fill our hearts to the degree that we confess with the Psalmist, "My cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:5).

   Our response begins with the confidence that this blessed truth is, in fact, true.  Is God who He declares Himself to be as the transcendent Life of our lives and the fulfillment of our hearts?  Certainly in principle, believers affirm our Lord's assurance and our need to grow in His grace and knowledge.  However, a noisy and deceiving world presents continual distractions from the truth that "in Thy presence is fulness of joy" (Psalm 16:11).  It matters now how well or how long we have known our Lord, devilish, worldly, and fleshly influences seek to stunt our growth in Christ.  The status quo is no less our enemy than regressing, and is actually the state of heart and mind that results in our slipping backward in our faith and faithfulness to God.  We must therefore counter such temptation by the frequent remembrance that an infinite, eternal Lord forever invites us to journey further into Himself and "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8).

   We also do well to remember God's mercy and longsuffering patience.  Whenever we ponder the truth presently considered, the thought may come to mind of how how much opportunity we have wasted in knowing the Lord, and how much further down the road of grace we should be.  It is proper to confess our squandering, but it must not be paralyzing.  We can only proceed from where we are.  Repentance and confession may be in order, and then we arise to go forth in renewed determination to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.  Our Heavenly Father promises both mercy for missed opportunity, and grace to avail ourselves of His present and future offerings to discover the heart-filling glory that He alone provides.  Let us then go forth in this moment with the blessed assurance that there is no end to our voyage into the heart of a God more wonderful than even eternity will fully reveal.

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"
(Romans 11:33)
"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable."
(Psalm 145:3)

Weekly Memory Verse

      But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 (Romans 5:8).



Monday, December 23, 2019

“Acquainted With Grief"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Acquainted With Grief"

    To create a vast and complex universe, God spoke.  To redeem sinful and wayward human hearts, however, He bled.

    "He spake and it was done.  He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:9).
    "But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

    Interestingly, sacrifice characterized both processes of God's working.  He created all things in full foreknowledge that He would one day be required to smite the Lord Jesus with wrath, forsakenness, and death in order to rescue human hearts.  Thus, Scripture refers to our Savior as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8).  Our Heavenly Father then fulfilled the terrible necessity at Calvary when the Son of His love became the sin of His judgment.  "He hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).  Sacrifice.  Every human being knows to some degree the meaning of the word, and the experience of its challenge.  But no one begins to know the excruciating reality as does God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  From creation to the cross, sorrow lines the pathways of our Lord's creative and redemptive journey.

    We do well to realize this about our wondrous Lord.  He knows.  He knows the trail of tears that often characterizes the fallen world in which we live, and the imprints of grief left upon our hearts.  As the writer of Hebrews declares, the Lord Jesus is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15).  We therefore approach the throne of grace upon which sits a God who not only sympathizes with our challenges.  He empathizes as well, in full awareness of what it means to hurt, lose, bleed, suffer, and die.  Such awareness leads us in truth.  We know the Lord as He is.  It also leads us in access, making it far more likely we will cast our cares upon One who knows better than do we ourselves what it means to hurt.  This is the God of creation and redemption, the God of Scripture, and the God who presently beckons us to trust He can abundantly provide comfort because He fully knows what it means to require comfort.

"He is… a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
(Isaiah 53:3)
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort."
(II Corinthians 1:3-4)

Weekly Memory Verse
      But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 (Romans 5:8).



Saturday, December 21, 2019

"A Little Lamb"

Saturday Songs

    We haven't sent out a song in quite awhile due to time constraints.  Arranging and recording takes a lot of the clock.  This one was written in November, and is a simple little piece that expresses the most wondrous of mysteries, namely, that the Lord Jesus Christ is "the Great I AM" who became for us "a little lamb."  I try to write a Christmas-themed song each year, and we are planning on possibly doing an entire project for next Christmas that will include most or all of the ones we've written.  I hope you will find this one an encouragement, and of course, Merry Christmas!

   Here's the link, and below, the lyrics:   

"Somebody Loves You"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Somebody Loves You"

    Amid all it's glory and splendor, Christmas proclaims in its sublime simplicity that God loves us.

   "The grace of God was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 1:14).

    We do well to find time during the season to still ourselves by letting the truth of such Divine goodness bless our hearts and minds with wonder.  I am reminded of a Gospel tract entitled, "Somebody Loves Me," wherein a dreadfully abused child finds a tract that declares, "Somebody Loves You."  A believer happens upon the child, who asks who it might be that could love her.  Before going to find help for the child, the Christian responds, "Jesus loves you."  The child dies with the tract blissfully clutched to her heart as an angel receives her to Glory.  "Somebody loves me!"

   We are all that child.  A fallen world filled with fallen devils and flesh (including our own) abuses us in countless ways that challenge our awareness and confidence regarding the love of God.  Regardless of how long or well we have known the Lord Jesus, fresh reminders and confirmations must grace our hearts throughout the journey of our lifetime.  We open our Bibles day by day to remember.  We pray.  We fellowship with other believers.  We choose to expect God's involved presence and working along our pathways.  And during this season, "wonders of His love" not only sing to our hearts from the blessed Carol, but whisper to us yet again that Somebody does indeed love us.  

    Let us each make it personal.  The Apostle John did, referring to himself on four occasions in his Gospel as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."  That is you, my sister or brother.  That is you.  And somehow, wonder of wonders, that is even me!  The Season declares this to all, or rather, the Spirit flies upon the sounds and sights of this time of year to bear witness and testimony to the place - the place of love - that exists in God's heart for us in the most personal terms.  Yes, Somebody loves us.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have life everlasting."
(John 3:16)

Here is a link to the tract mentioned:   https://www.chick.com/products/tract?stk=0006

Weekly Memory Verse
  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name.  Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
(Psalm 29:2)