As we come to this season, recognizing the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it is one of the most profound holidays or celebrations we have. This season we will pause to acknowledge the gift God has given to man, His Son.
What is the gift?
Christmas is a time the world is focused on Santa and the gifts. We may think we’re different when we say Merry Christmas and even Jesus is the Reason for the Season. However, these too have become words that don’t mean much, even to Christians. By now you know that I’m not looking to the world and I’m definitely not satisfied with the ordinary. Let’s look a bit deeper at what Christmas is so we don’t miss the enormity of what God has given us.
Who is the gift?
We celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior on December 25th because Jesus is the greatest gift ever given to humanity. He is eternal and He makes an eternal difference in our lives, and those of others. As we take time to reflect on who Jesus is to us, His names reveal the nature of the gift the Father has given us. He is Our Savior, the Prince of Peace, Our Redeemer, Healer, Deliverer, Advocate, and so much more. Most importantly he is Emmanuel, God with us. Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Why did God give Him to us?
It’s powerful to know that God is with us. And Jesus is also the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29) When we say this or read this it may not mean much to our the natural mind, but it is powerful when you stop and think about it. Without a Savior we would be doomed to eternal damnation because all of us have fallen short.
It is important to remember that all sins must be atoned for or paid for. In the Old Testament they used the blood of animals to cover the sins of men. We know that it didn’t do away with the sins, but only covered them. But when the Father gave His son, the Lamb of God, His blood washed away our sins of the past and the future. Colossians 2:14-15 AMP having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross.
How do we unwrap this gift?
Friends the Father was not satisfied with canceling our debt, making a way, and then being our God from far off. He sent Jesus to be Emmanuel, God with us to let us know that we are not alone. Even more than that, to show us the kind of intimate relationship He desires to have with us. First we need to know that Jesus covered all our sin.
Then we can clearly see by His sacrifice and His Word that He desires to have a personal relationship with us. James 4:8 Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. However, He won’t violate your free will. He waits patiently for us to come to Him, or give Him a place in our life.
How do we receive this Gift?
God made the first move. He gave Jesus to us. Next He draws us to Himself and He offers us forgiveness, peace, healing and many benefits. Of course accepting Jesus as our Savior is the first step.
Then we receive more when we develop time for prayer, reading the Word, and worship, and quieting ourselves in his presence to listen for His voice. These are keys to growing in our relationship with Him. Like any relationship, it takes time to develop.
Think about this: Most of our time is taken up by people and things that cannot change our lives, or add anything significant to it. We get caught up in the day to day. We make appointments and spend time with people we don’t even like. Not to mention the screens that easily distract us. We give the flashing lights hours of our time on a daily basis.
What is really important? Relationships. Naturally we want to give time to the people we love and value. Yet we often neglect to give our relationship with the Creator of the Universe much time. It starts with a desire for more.
Return on investment
If you desire more of God’s presence, power and peace in your life, you must respond to the gift and invest your time. Instead of time with the Lord being an afterthought or a have to, I’m challenging you to give God the gift of your focus and give Him prime time. Will you commit to investing quality time into your relationship with the Father? You know, it’s an investment with a harvest, you are not just spending your time. The return from this investment is immense; the peace, the protection, and the fellowship are priceless.
What to do with this priceless gift
We have been given the immense gift of a relationship with Father God. When we spend time with Him we want to deepen our relationship. Sometimes we forget that it involves give and take. Remember that prayer is not listing all of your wants and desires, but a time of fellowship with the Lord. First take some time to be still and worship Him. Remember we enter into his presence with praise and thanksgiving.( Psalm 100:4) Begin by expressing gratitude for all of the ways God has shown His love to you. How has He provided for you? How has He protected you and your family? Of course part of the conversation involves sharing your needs and desires with Him, but don’t stop there. Ask who God wants you to share His love with.
How do we share the gift?
Remember this gift of Jesus is in us, wrapped in human flesh. Colossians 1:27 “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. When we are open to him and available to be used by him we are a gift to humanity. He is a gift to us and we are a gift to humanity when He is expressed through us.
This is the gift that the Father gave humanity. We can now rest knowing that we not only have a God, but a Savior, and not only a Savior, but a Father. This Father calls us sons and daughters and He said that He would never leave us nor forsake us, throughout all eternity. Now let’s go tell it on a mountain! Be The Word!