Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

by Tim Howard

Don’t get mad at me but I plan to open my presents tonight – on Christmas Eve – Not because I couldn’t wait until tomorrow but because that has been my family tradition since childhood. As a parent, I didn’t find it too difficult to convince my children to do the same…

The Bible says it’s better to give than receive but many children seem to like receiving gifts a smidgen more than giving. I’m sure that’s true for some adults as well!

Regardless… Gifts are a part of the celebration we call Christmas and it’s possibly rooted in the fact that the Bible records some wise men bringing gifts to Jesus after His birth – to worship Him!

In our family, we do purchase gifts for each other – and will sacrifice time, energy and finances even though we don’t spend an extravagant amount of money. No one in the family, however, runs to the mall – picks up the first thing they see and buys it without some considerations.

We all ask a few questions before making a purchase. Will my brother like this? Does my sister want this? Is this something my mother will appreciate and use? Does my dad need this – is it something he would buy for himself? Why these questions? Because we want to give gifts that have meaning! We want the person to know we were thinking of them and chose this specific gift with them in mind.

God has purchased a gift and it has your name on it. It’s not generic but is specifically and especially designed for you. The sticker on the present has a ‘TO’ and ‘FROM.” Your name is listed where it says ‘to’ and where the ‘from’ is found – the name of Jesus is there.

God knows exactly what you need because according to Psalms 139 – He thinks about you all the time. He knows you inside and out. He knows everything about you and cares for you deeply. His gift is very expensive but He didn’t count the cost because of His great love for you. You can’t pay for it or work for it because His gift is free.

As you open your presents tonight or tomorrow – I can say with certainty, the gifts you will receive cannot compare to the gift God has given you through His Son – Jesus. It is the gift you need the most!  You need it more than a new house – more than physical healing or emotional healing – more than a job or a raise.  These gifts are temporal but God’s gift is eternal.

"The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23b

 Eternal life - that's what God wants to give you.

His gift is a quality of life that affects your present condition and causes your destiny to be bright. He gives you – this day – entrance into His family if you believe, receive and put your trust in Him.

“To us a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end.”

Merry Christmas

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