“A Throne is Established: Love Reigns!”
by Pastor Jerry Ingalls
At the end of your life, what one word do you want to come to people’s minds that best describes who you are and how you lived your life?
Let me give you some prime words to choose from: Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. These are the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and are who we are when we are walking in footsteps of Jesus Christ by His Spirit’s presence and power.
Faith, hope, and love are the virtues of Heaven that we are called to exhibit as Christians, with the greatest of these being love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
I have made a decision in my life that there is one word that I want to describe my time at FBC as your pastor and to describe my life as a whole. That word is ‘love.’
I want to be known as someone who is loving, who loved well, taught truth in love, cared for others with love, and when put under pressure responded in love and when necessary even handled conflict in love. Love as an emotion word. Love as an action word. Love as a character word. Love as my very DNA.
In fact, love is the very DNA of God and love is why Jesus came. John says, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Jesus teaches in John 3:16 that it was for love that God sent Him to the earth. Let us look back to a promise God made to King David 900 years before Jesus came to show us God’s love.
Listen to the Word of the Lord through the Prophet Nathan, given to King David about his legacy. From 2 Samuel 7:12–17, “‘When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’ In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.”
God declares that He would establish an eternal throne through King David. God declares that His steadfast love would not depart from the one who sat upon it. Because God will treat those of David’s line as if they were His own children. What is happening here is the promise of a new covenant between God and David—the Davidic Covenant. I don’t want to get technical with you in this message, but please know that the Hebrew word for God’s “steadfast love” in 2 Samuel 7:15 is hesed which means God’s covenant faithfulness. It is a love that cannot end, because it is a love that begins and ends with God’s promise, based on God’s DNA of love.
From the time that this promise was given until the time it was fulfilled, over 900 years pass. In that time, David’s literal throne was decimated and David’s blood line was rebellious and not submissive to God, like David. Israel was nearly destroyed, was taken into exile, and tread upon as empires rose and fell in the region.
Did God forget or break His promise? Was God’s steadfast love able to fulfill His promise even when the people were breaking their promises to God?
It is at Christmas, that we remember and celebrate that the promise of God to King David is fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ, who is of the lineage of David; who in is the One who sits on David’s throne forever as the King of kings. Listen to the fulfillment proclaimed in Luke 1:26–33, “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’”
What God promised to do, He fulfilled in Jesus Christ! The throne of God’s eternal kingdom was established in a manger on that first Christmas morning. The promise of God to establish an eternal throne was made in an exalted palace, but was fulfilled in a lowly manger. In this humble circumstance, with farm animals, with a teenage mom and a scandalous pregnancy, came forth the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Jesus Christ came in love, emptied of His glory, to bring mercy and grace to all who put their faith in Him as the Son of David, the Son of God. All for God’s glory as a generous gift to all humanity, through whom would come the forgiveness of sin and the satisfaction of God’s wrath. Paul understood this and described the Christmas gift of Jesus Christ as an “indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). Let us give thanks and receive in love what was sent to us for love’s sake.
Jesus Christ fulfilled the promise of God with not only his lowly Christmas birth, but with his perfect sinless life, sacrificial death on the Cross, and victorious Easter resurrection. The throne of God’s eternal kingdom was promised in an exalted palace, but established in a humble manger.
Will you invite God today to establish His eternal throne in your humbled heart by putting your faith in Jesus Christ?
It is my prayer for you that you will let God’s love reign in your heart, and be forever a child of God in fulfillment of God’s promise to David! John tells us in 1 John 3:1 of this rich inheritance that comes to us through faith in Jesus Christ “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
Let us not only receive this “indescribable gift,” but let us then live a life of love that embodies the true reason for the season. I believe the Christmas gift has the power to transform each our stories and become our life’s message when we open the Christmas gift for ourselves. The gift is Jesus Christ on the throne of our hearts who can transform each of our stories so that it is love that our words and deeds proclaim.
I end with this promise from John, the Beloved of Jesus, “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So, we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment” (1 John 4:14–17a).
This promise will be fulfilled in you today when you confess that Jesus is the Son of God. No greater love has been offered to you and no greater love can you give another.