Editors note: For the month of December, our theme is “The Gift of Jesus” and our focus verses are found in Luke 2:10-14. “but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
What better scripture could describe “the gift of Jesus”? God gave us His one and only son to give us the best gift: Jesus!
Can you imagine giving one of your children to save a corrupt and dying world? I can, in some ways, and I can’t because I was never blessed to have any children. I know how devastated I was not to have any, so I can’t imagine giving one up, not even one. So how did God feel to give us His son as a gift?
A few weeks back Amber Curry talked to us at Among Friends about the Samaritan woman that Jesus asked for a drink of water. She was astonished that a Jewish man would even talk to her, much less ask for a drink. And Jesus said to her, “if you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10
Living water to a Samaritan woman! This was unheard of in those days, but He offers it freely to us as a gift.
Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac? The Lord had given Abraham a son in his old age and then He asked him to give him back as a sacrifice. Abraham was going to obey and the Lord told Him not to lay a hand on Isaac. The Lord said to him: “…you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:12 And God provided a ram as a sacrifice in Isaac’s place. What a precious gift from God to Abraham!
In James 1:17 he warns us not to be deceived because “every good and PERFECT GIFT is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.” Jesus was and is that perfect gift offered freely to each of us for our salvation.
As a child, we would go to church occasionally and I would go with friends every once in a while. When I was in junior high, I went with a friend and was introduced to Jesus as my savior. I didn’t understand some of what I heard, but I fell in love with Jesus. I knew I needed Him but still didn’t understand all of the gift of salvation. I served Him for 21 years at that church, but still didn’t know all I needed to know. I would feel very condemned for not knowing, but I served because I really loved Jesus. I fell away for a few years because of the condemnation I felt, but I never lost my love for Him. I lived with condemnation for too long, but He never left me like I left Him. It was a true gift from God that He never left me. Jesus is my gift! “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Now we are in the Christmas season, giving and receiving gifts from our friends and loved ones. The stress and concerns to get everything done and to make everything PERFECT in our homes. Decorating with lights and garland and cooking all of the things that our family loves. These things are all good and a blessing. But, sometimes during this time we get so busy that we can leave Jesus, our best gift, out of all of the preparations. I know I have before, but this year I have been trying to let some of it go and focus on the true reason for the season, THE GIFT OF JESUS. Matthew 6:21 tells us that “where our treasure is, that’s where our heart will be.” This scripture is usually used when talking of tithing, but if we have Jesus as our treasured gift, He will have our heart. I know I don’t need anything else!
In Acts 2:38 Peter tells us to repent in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Then he says; “And you will receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.” When we think of a good gift to give to someone, tell them about Jesus. And because God gave us Jesus as a gift, we also get the gift of Holy Spirit. When you hear the phrase “the gift that keeps on giving”, think of Jesus.
May the Lord bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you. May He give you peace during this season of celebrating Jesus, our true GIFT.
We would like to thank Debbie Crosby for writing this blog post.