Friday, December 24, 2010

Jesus, The Real Gift

Christmas is full of hustle and bustle with all the preparations for family meals, Christmas parties, church activities such as programs, cantatas and office parties, outings with friends, Santa for the children, decorating our homes, lights outside, the list goes on and on. We have made Christmas into such a commercial and social event that we have really forgotten the most important part of Christmas.

We must get back to that very first Christmas when our Savior Jesus Chrsit was born. It was a cold night and Mary was about to give birth to her son and she had ridden a donkey all day and was very tired. Jacob had walked all day guiding the donkey carefully so that Mary would be as comfortable as possible. When they arrived in Bethlehem there was no where for them to stay except in a barn with animals. Now mind you the child she was carrying was Jesus Christ the Son of God.

That night she gave birth and wrapped him in cloths and laid him in the manger, or feeding trough to sleep. There was no large family gathering, no gifts, no carols, no decorations, no toys, just Mary and Joseph and the animals in attenance. Jesus should have been born in a palace with all the attendants to care for him. I can only imagine what was going through Mary's mind after her birth experience. She knew that Jesus was the son of God, but I can imagine that all of this was very confusing to her. Can we imagine that when she held him close and kissed his cheek that she was actually holding and kissing the Son of God. That sends cold chills down my spine to think about that.

This gift was and still is the most wonderful, perfect gift that has ever been given. Jesus was the one who died for our sins on the cross so that we could have eternal life with God in heaven. When I think about Jesus and his life here on this earth, it was short, simple , but oh so amazing and fullfilling. He spent his life giving to others of himself and God. He never turned anyone away or had a harsh word for anyone. He gave totally of himself to all. He did this in the end by dying on that cruel cross for our sins. Jesus had done nothing wrong. He lived a perfect life here on this earth, but was treated alike a very horrible criminal. When Jesus died he had no more belongings than what he had when he was born.

When we look at Jesus' mother and father and him we see that each of them had a choice in this matter. They could have each said no and God would have followed through with their wishes. They did not. Mary and Joseph had faith in God that he was directing them in his will. Jesus knew that he had to be the sacrificial lamb for all of us who were sinners to go to heaven. When I think how our story could have been, it makes me so thankful for Jesus and his life and death.

We as believers should be constantly in tune with those around us and taking every opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus christ with all that we come in contact with, because we never know when there is someone standing right beside us that does not know Jesus and we may be the very one that either helps or hinders their gift of knowing Jesus as their Savior. Quite a sobbering thought when you think about it.

I urge each one of you as Christians to spend time with someone that does not know Jesus this season and help them to understand and accept this most wonderful gift of Salvation. I promise you that your heart will never be the same and you will have helped someone else to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

May God Richly Bless you and keep you this season.

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