Hello! How is everyone? Is everyone surviving the hustle & bustle of the holidays? I bet many people are getting ready to wrap their gifts (if they have not done so already) and put them strategically under the tree in anticipation of Christmas. Or, for those like myself who did not put up a tree, I have all of my gifts wrapped and neatly placed to one side of my living room waiting to be given out to family and friends.
I am sure that most of the time when one thinks about gifts, it is a happy, notion filled with wonderful anticipation. But, what about those who do not like to open their gifts right away? Or, worse…what about those who do not like to receive gifts at all? You may think “What?! Who doesn’t like to receive gifts?” Believe it or not, there are people who don’t like to receive anything-gifts, compliments, love, etc…. Now, there could be various reasons as to why one would feel that way. It could be a self-image issue; meaning that one may think or feel they are not worth much of anything to deserve any form of a gift. Or, someone may feel obligated to give something back once they received their gift -whether or not they have the finances or even like the person-they do not want to feel indebted to anyone. And yet, another reason for someone to be this way could be a prideful attitude: “I don’t need anyone; I can take care of myself! “I’ll do it myself.” “I’ll buy it myself, etc…” The sad part about that attitude is that you rob yourself and that other person of a blessing because God uses people to show His love to one another.
You may ask, “What gift has God given me? What has God done for me?” The answer: His Son, Jesus. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Through God’s love and mercy, He imparted the gift of eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus. “Jesus said: “I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest” (John 10:10). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) You may think :“God can’t identify with me!” “He’s too big and I’m not important enough.” His response would be: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11) “You may ask, How?” His Word to you is: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
You see, our sin is what separates us from God and everything He has to offer. “Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.” (Romans 5:12) If we compare ourselves one to another, we probably think we don’t sin…but we do. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s holiness (Romans 3:23). “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12) “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23). You are probably thinking that this is a message thing to say to everyone, but I tell you in God’s love, it is the truth and the only truth that matters is God’s truth.
That’s why God gave salvation as a free gift. We can’t earn and in reality, we don’t deserve it. But once we receive it through the acceptance of Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives, it is ours forever! “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.) (Romans 11:29 Amplified)
This why God’s redeemable gift is so special. The Bible says There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. (1Timothy 2:5). This Christmas, accept God’s free gift of salvation if you have not done so already. All you need to do is: 1) admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness; 2) believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave; and 3) through prayer (talking to God) confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your life.
I pray that you accept the gift God has waiting for you. It’s your choice to accept His gift of love and salvation. This is a gift that need not to be returned.
In His Love,
Joy to the World
Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Music: Arr. from G.F. Handel by Lowell Mason, 1792-1872
Tune: ANTIOCH, Meter: CM with Repeat
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing. 2. Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! Let all their songs employ; while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy. 3. No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found. 4. He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness, and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love.