The Greatest Story ever - the Gift of God
Last updated 12/15/2020 at 7:50pm
Luke 2:1-11 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Giving a gift to someone is one of the most personal things you can do toward someone. It is "your" gift. Not anyone else. Yours. At Christmas we strive to get just the right gift for someone. We buy the gift with personal knowledge about that person to one level or another. Often we buy according to one's personal need. Which brings me to our Scripture and the occasion we are celebrating…………………………………………
Verse 11 says, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." The angel, most likely Gabriel, was clear to say, "For unto you is born this day…" John 3:16 "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." Jesus is offered up to a world of people generation after generation to be received, believed upon for the saving of their souls in reception of His redeeming work on the cross in their behalf. People are called upon to take this Gift of God, Jesus, in a very personal way in light of their very personal need of His saving grace from sin and condemnation. For everyone who is truly saved, that is, born again through repentance and faith in Jesus the gift of God, within that gift comes the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23). With the Gift of God, Jesus, also comes a new place to dwell in heaven…a new house (John 14:1-3). Through receiving the Gift of God, Jesus, you receive the gift of eternal peace, no more sorrow, no more pain, no more death, and the list goes (Rev. 21:4-5).
Now, there is only one condition concerning gifts at Christmas or any other time that makes a gift truly a gift. It is received free of charge, but must be received. John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" If you believe that Jesus died and rose again personally for you, it remains that you have to stop and personally receive Him into your heart and life as your personal Savior for sin and hell. "But as many as received him…" it says. It can't be a passing thing anymore than being handed a gift at Christmas among friends, family or work associates can be. It is a personal moment that you have been personally considered, and in this case, personally considered by the Almighty God to give you His Son as the Gift of all gifts, having given Him to you as your sacrifice for sin and hell. He suffered, died and rose again for a lost humanity, ready now to receive you unto Himself only if you see your need to receive Him as your "personal" Lord and Savior…your "personal" Gift from God to be your forever Savior from sin and hell.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." This is not a moment to truffle with. We're talking about your eternal destiny that depends on what you do with the Gift of God, Jesus, His Son today.
Charles Empey is the Pastor of Cove Baptist Church, Orange, TX.