Christmas is a time to remember the greatest gift of all. In the midst of the glittering shimmer of lights and decor, the world we live in is filled with pain, grief, and loss. Of all the gifts that could be given, there is only one that could heal the deepest hurts in all of us. It is a gift of love, forgiveness, enduring joy, purpose, eternal life- eternal relationship, all bundled up into the package of a tiny infant born in a stable for animals, and lain in the scraggly straw of a feeding trough.
He was promised thousands of years before He was born, with over 300 promises about how He would come, what He would accomplish for mankind, and Who He was. As the long awaited Emmanuel, “God with us,” came and left the world humbly, to this day the King of Kings humbly and respectfully knocks on the doors of each heart, allowing each of us the freedom to choose His forever solution to our greatest problem or choose to keep the door closed to life with Him.
He created everything perfect for His glory, but “All we like sheep have gone astray. Each one has turned to his own way, but God has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). All the wrong we have done against Him- from lying, murder and adultery, to selfishness, hatred, and lust had earned us eternal separation from God. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus took the paycheck of spiritual death that we had earned for our rebellion against His perfect plan.
The sky went black midday the day He died, with other miracles underfoot (Matthew 27:45-54). Three days of hushed silence and grief were broken by His coming to life again, just as He promised. He stayed for 40 days, appearing to over 500 people. A handful of these were writers of the New Testament of the Bible, which reveals what some religions believe are secrets God would never share. God did share them. They are no secret.
It is no secret that He returned to heaven and is preparing a place for all who have an eternal relationship with Him through the forgiveness of sin He provided through His death on the cross. Though He departed from a hilltop in Israel with only a crowd around him to see Him go, He will return in His full glory, with a loud trumpet call and vibrant display that rings throughout the world.
Until then, he wants every nation, every tribe, every culture to hear the good news of the greatest gift of Christmas. It is the gift of a living, breathing relationship with God through all the hurry and joy and sorrow of life- a relationship that lasts forever (John 17:3).
This is not something you must earn by being good enough. It is a gift. – A gift received by trust, as one trusts what Jesus did and gives Him control over their life to help them live for Him (Acts 20:21). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
If you have already unwrapped the greatest treasure of all time, may your love for Him deepen through this season, through whatever may be happening in your life. If you have not, the priceless gift of an eternal relationship with God is held out to you. The Greatest Gift of all is waiting to be unwrapped and taken into every heart.
Share this with anyone you love that might be blessed to hear this message this season!
Your Best Christmas; Your Best Life
I pray that if you have never warmed up to this message in the past that this could be your best Christmas- the first that you spend in the presence of the God who loves and pursues your soul. Sip Life Slowly is designed to help you get more out of life. To help you be more present in it and to enjoy it more. A key to living your best life is to joyfully embrace the things that give you lasting joy and to turn from those things that are cheap counterfeits. You may also like:
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