Presents, and More Presents

It’s Christmastime, and everywhere we turn, we see Christmas trees and lights. Even though Christmas trees and lights have been turning to white instead of red and green, which might by some far symbol remind us of Christ, but that isn’t what this is about. It is not about what color lights are on the trees instead of Christ, or even about workers not being able to wear Santa hats to work during the Happy Holidays instead of the forbidden and politically incorrect Merry Christmas holidays. It isn’t about the loss of our freedoms we are undergoing in expressing our Faith, no it is about Christ, it is about Jesus and about His Father God who loved us so much that He gave His only Son for us.

 “16 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)

Christmas reminds us of the gift of God Son’s to man, and although it’s really not His birthday, it was a birth date believed to be made by the Romans, but let’s get back to what this is all about. It is a time that we can reflect on God’s precious gift to us, and as we look around the house, we see the Christmas tree, the lights, and brightly wrapped presents. Everywhere we go we, see signs buy this, buy that, we are all looking for that perfect gift for those people that we love, our children, our family, a special friend, or even a pastor. Think of all the time and money we put looking for that special gift. Regrettably, we put little input into the most important person that ever lived; the God-King who laid aside His Glory and came down to live as a man. Often, we do not think about the one that we should give the most to, the one who took our sin upon Himself. Think about it; imagine how hard it would be; how harsh it was for the sinless Christ to bear the iniquity of our sins. Yet, on that cross, Jesus in His broken body bore the sins of humanity for all the people who would ever live from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Think about it, not only our sins but the sins our families, our loved ones, our friends, and billions of people we may never know; Christ took their sins. Christ’s gift to mankind was to take all of our sins upon Himself when He wore them on His body on the cross with the sheer magnitude of His gift for us, what can we give to Jesus?

This time of year, we are reminded that Angels rejoiced at His birth. We celebrate with Christmas trees wrapped with lights because Jesus is the Light of the world. We wrap our presents with ribbons and bows to remind us of our Savior born in swaddling clothes in a lowly manger. God is so good to us He loves us so much He gives His children everlasting life, and we set up the evergreen tree as a symbol of our eternal life in Christ.

This Christmas season is a reminder that God loves us, and even though it may be cliché, it’s been said: “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Not only is Christ the “reason for the season”,  He is the almighty God who came down and sacrificed His life for us. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son Jesus Yeshua, that we may have life, that we may be redeemed, and be with Him. God gave us the gift of His Son, and if the precious gift of the Christ was not enough God gave more, He gave us the incredible gift to the Holy Spirit- the Spirit of truth to those who believe to live inside of us.

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray for the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18)

The gift of the Holy Spirit is remarkable, and indeed more than enough, but Hallelujah, Christ also gave each of us gifts. It states in Ephesians that He, Jesus, led captivity captive and that He gave gifts to men. It says in Ephesians,

“7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ,  8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Ephesians 4:7-8)

What can we give to Jesus this Christmas that would be precious enough to give to Him? What would be worthy of going before the throne of our holy God to give the King of Kings, the almighty, the God-Man, the Captain of the Lord of hosts, the Captain of our salvation what is worthy to give who gave His all for us? What can we give to Jesus? Paul writes in Romans,

 “1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Present your bodies. Present your bodies. Present, that almost sounds like a gift or a Christmas present. Hmmm, how can we give Christ a wonderful gift? Money wrapped up under the tree does not sound like enough for Him. I could give to others, but that still does not seem enough for Him who died for us. What would be enough for the Savior of the world? Then I was reminded of the young boy at church who asked the usher to put the offering plate on the floor and then stepped onto the plate. The only gift that is one that is big enough for Jesus is the gift of ourselves. Lord, we step inside the box and give ourselves to you. Lord, we are not wrapped in ribbons and bows, and we are not too fancy, but we give ourselves to you. We are here, Lord, standing before you now, as your Christmas gift; just us. Here we are, Lord. We give ourselves to you. Here we are, Lord, open your gift.

Father God, we thank you for the extraordinary gift that you gave us in Christ our Lord, we thank you for the gifts that you gave us, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Lord, for you. We love you so much, and we give ourselves to you this day. Father, we present our bodies, a living, breathing gift to you. Help us not to be conformed to this world, give us the strength not to lust after the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes. Help us to go after your Word as sweet honey, Lord God be our bread of life, and Lord God be our water, our living water is everything that we need for sustenance. We humbly present ourselves to you and let it be a small gift to you for everything you are to us.

 

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