Jesus    GOD'S GIFT 

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."

2 Corinthians 9:15

God promised His best gift-His Only Son-

in the Old Testament and gave it in the New Testament!

God created mankind to have fellowship with Him, but both Adam and Eve sinned against God by disobeying His command. God, being merciful, did not like to see any of His special creation perish. His eternal plan of love and mercy was to meet the need of man's soul and provide the best gift to fulfill and satisfy his empty heart. This is God's gift, the unspeakable gift of eternal life. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

God made a promise and kept it. He promised His best gift in the Old Testament and gave it in the New Testament. Love always keeps promises. It was God's idea to come to earth and live as a man - Jesus - fully, man, yet fully God. He came for our sake. It was God's gift to us to redeem us from our sin and provide a way of salvation. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). This is real love. His gift to us did not cost us anything, but it cost Jesus a lot, His death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes, we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). During the Christmas season, we have to celebrate and concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas and not follow traditions.

Today, Christmas is expensive and involves hard work. We celebrate Christmas because it is a tradition. God does not command it. From Christian history, we learn that the Christians celebrated the resurrection and not the birth of Christ. They started to celebrate Jesus' birth by the fourth century when the Romans had their feasts—December 25 in the West, January 6 in the East. As Christians, we should not follow the world's traditions at Christmas. It is more meaningful when we celebrate because of gratitude, as we remember God's gift to us, and include it in our Christmas celebrations.

At the first Christmas, Jesus came a long way from heaven to earth. At this time, it is appropriate to tell you the following story: Some time ago there was an American missionary living in a very tiny African village. The young woman was a teacher who labored alongside the natives. One Christmas Eve a little boy from the missionary's class proudly brought her a crudely wrapped gift. The teacher was surprised. This little boy was poor. What could he possibly give? The teacher unwrapped the present and found within the crumpled brown paper an exquisite seashell. The missionary, knowing that the only place to find such shells was many rugged miles away, expressed her enthusiastic appreciation. "My goodness," she told him, "you've traveled so far to bring me such a wonderful present." At first the boy appeared surprised by her reaction, but his eyes quickly brightened and a wide smile crept across his small face. "Oh, teacher," he explained, "long walk part of gift." — by the President of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly

The scriptures tell us that the wise men came from far away. When they found Jesus after He was born, they did not give gifts to one another but gave Jesus the best gifts they had: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Today, Jesus expect a gift from Christians, too. But the only gift He needs from us is our heart. If we truly think about it, Christmas is all about gift-giving. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift ever given, by the greatest gift-giver of all, our wonderful God and Father. God gave the world a special gift at Christmas, His only Son.

During the Christmas season, it is essential that we remember the true meaning of Christmas. "God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3,4), and He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance..." (2 Peter 3:9). This is God's desire and will for us, and so He offers us His Son "His unspeakable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15).

God knows our problem "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). God knows that the penalty for our sin is death. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Also, God knows that it is impossible for us to do anything to reconcile ourselves to Him. Because of that, and His unconditional love, He chose to become one of us in the person of Jesus Christ. He did this to rescue us from our iniquity and keep us from being eternally separated from Him. He took our place voluntarily on the cross, where He died, and with His blood, paid the penalty for our sins. Because Jesus Christ satisfied all of the righteous requirements of the law with His death and resurrection, He now offers you the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. This is the Christmas message: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

God "walked" 2000 years with his people before sending the gift of Jesus. He has walked 2000 more years expressing the significance of Him. Remember, the gift God offers you does not become yours until you receive it. Millions of other people and myself included, have already received this gift and are eternally grateful for the blessings it has brought. Forgiveness of sins, eternal life, peace with God, and much more are all wrapped up in this valuable gift of God's beloved Son.

One year, a few days before Christmas, a shipping company delivered two big boxes to me. When I opened them, I found an expensive laptop computer and an excellent big monitor. After I read the message inside, I found out that it was a Christmas gift from my beloved son. At that time, I had two choices—send back this expensive gift or to keep and enjoy it. Because it was a gift, I never thought to send it back. I kept it and called my son and thanked him for his love and for his generous gift.

If you have never accepted Jesus by faith into your life, I am challenging you to accept Him as your very own Savior and start your personal relationship with Him. Today, you can reject God's gift or accept it. This is your choice. Just like the choice, I had to reject my son's gift or to accept it. I hope and pray you will accept the gift of love which you cannot find in the most expensive store. If you accept it, you will find Jesus Christ to be the best gift you have ever received. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.

"God walked down the stairs of heaven with a Baby in his arms."

Dr. Paul E. Scherer [His only Son, to provide eternal life to everyone who will receive it!]

"I grew up in a Christian home but was nearly 17 before I realized I had to make my own decision to place my trust in Christ. Salvation cannot be earned by doing good works or going to church, and can't be automatically passed on from Christian parents. Salvation is a free gift from God, who sent His Son Jesus Christ to die in our place." — Dr. Drew Pinsky