Gods Gifts at Christmas Time
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” – “John 3:16”
The story is told of a Vicar who came into his Church at Christmas time to make the final preparations for the Christmas Carol Service. To his dismay on inspection of the nativity scene he discovered that the Baby Jesus was missing. He naturally looked, but it could not be found anywhere. He therefore carried on with his preparations. Whilst he worked, he heard the Church door open, and in came a little boy, pushing a bright red wheelbarrow. He watched the boy, and he realised that in the front of the wheelbarrow on a cushion, was the nativity scene Baby Jesus. The boy went to the front of the church, lifted the Baby Jesus out and placed Him back into the nativity scene. The Vicar heard him say, “there you are Jesus, I promised you a ride, if you got me a bright red wheelbarrow for Christmas”.
Now why have I related that little story to you? Well! it’s because I want us to see Christmas for what it really is. It is yes, a time of great festivity and celebration, when people from all over the World gather together with families and children. It is a time for the exchanging of gifts, to signify love and care, for the nearest and dearest etc. It is also a time to eat drinking and be merry, amongst family and relations. However, it is also a time when Men and Women and Boys and Girls should reflect on the varying degrees of prosperity they enjoy, and the blessings and joys they have because invariably at Christmas time, the very Christ of Christmas gets entirely left out.
Jesus Christ is the central reason we celebrate Christmas, it is because of his birth in Bethlehem, some 2000 thousand years ago that we are having the celebration time today. He was the greatest gift that was ever given, and our text says, that He was “God’s Gift” to the entire World. This gift is not a gift like so many of the toys and presents that will be received over the Christmas celebrations, which will work for a while and then be discarded. No! He is the gift of God that revolutionises lives on a permanent basis, and with the acceptance of God’s gift, an enormous number of extra benefits and blessings are immediately ours. This God’s gift is the gift that “keeps on giving”.
What I want to share with you today isn’t profound by any stretch of the imagination; it is a very simple and short reminder of what God has provided for us in the acceptance of Jesus Christ the gift of God.
The Gift of a Peaceful Heart and a Restful Mind
Christmas time in many respects like the rest of the year, is a time when we are rushing about like “Mad Things” in a desperate hurry to get everything done. It’s surprising really as it’s a time that arrives with anticipated regularity every year. The World at this time of year is characterised by “Speed and Haste” so much so that many are pushed into metal and physical breakdowns and depression.
Many have and will find that its all too much for them and they have reached the end of their tether and are just unable to hold on.
I have met many who on the surface seem quite “calm and relaxed” and yet behind the smile there is confusion and turmoil and so much of it that they would not dream of sharing how they were really feeling. Yet! They are crying out inside for someone to come alongside so they can find some relief. They are so desperately in need of “relief, a mind at rest and their fears and worries” removed.
So many are worried about tomorrow and what it might bring, they worry about the uncertainties they face and whether they will be able to pay for those things they have purchased. Its just turmoil all the way in their life’s journey.
Well! Let me say if this speaks of your experience today then I’ve got some really great news for you and it is that the gift that God gave to you and the entire World 2000 years ago in Jesus Christ is the entire solution to your situation right now.
Listen to what Jesus sys to us today – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” – “John 14:27”
There are many thousands today who could testify of the fact that when they received Jesus Christ into their lives and allowed Him into the circumstances and situations of their lives, have discovered that the peace of heart and the restfulness of mind that He provides, is not comparable with anything that this World with all its tinsel and glamour is able to offer. Jesus Christ the gift of God says to you today – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” – “Matthew 11:28”
If you today will be willing to take the gift of God, you will discover the reality of the benefits of the gift of Jesus Christ.
The Gift of Forgiveness bringing a Clear Conscience
Not only are so many today plagued by an anxiousness of heart and mind, but many also live out their lives with consciences that are continually condemning them. They are continually worried that there relevant skeletons in the cupboards will be discovered, and bring to them considerable embarrassment and perhaps you are like that today. You’re not a bad person, in the eyes of all that know you; you are well liked by all that you associate with, and you are considered to be generally an “ok” sort of person. However, you know your heart, you know of the bitterness therein, you are aware of the evil thoughts you have about people, and you are reminded constantly of those things you consider bad in your life. Those things which you would not want anyone to know about. Well, let me tell you that your secret is out, because God has declared in His Word the Bible, that – “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” – “Romans 3:23” all have come short of the standard He has established, and He declares “No one is righteous – not even one” – “Romans 3:10”
Today however does not matter what you have done, it does not matter how helpless you might feel because although God gives a true reflection of you at the same time God’s Christmas gift of Jesus brings with it “forgiveness and a conscience as clear as crystal. God says to you – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” – “1 John 1:9”
In the receiving of Jesus Christ there is a full and free conscience given.
The Gift of Assurance for the Future and all it Holds
One thing that the Bible very clearly tells us relating to the day and generation in which we live is that “Men’s hearts (are) failing them for fear, looking at those things which are coming on the earth…” – “Luke 21:26”
The future is so very insecure, all around us on the television, on the radio on hoardings in nearly every type of advertising, the main theme is that this product or that investment scheme or this new idea, will bring security. What does it show us? Well! There is money to be made out of insecurity and fear but also all these things show up so very clearly how important everyone considers security to be, and rightly so.
Yet what is there really around us that we can really depend on without worry of being let down, nothing really, even the very life we have we can’t really be sure of. In fact, the Bible declares that our lives are like a “vapour” on a window – “…whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” – “James 4:14” Yes, life is here one moment and gone the next. People worry about future employment and whether their pensions will be able to support them in their later years, and their health, and the worry of these things get them really in a panic and turmoil. Yet there are many today all around who have discovered a tremendous secret and that is, that in the acceptance of Jesus Christ, they have found one who has become a Saviour and a Deliverer from these distresses. They have found one in Him who gives security and hope to the hopeless.
Please understand today God cannot fail and if He is on your side as He will be if Jesus is in your life as Saviour and Lord it does not matter what the world and all its worries throw at you. He will be like a strong tower of safety.
God gave at Christmas time the greatest and most beneficial and the most precious gift that He could ever gift, to a World that for the most part never gives Him a second thought, and yet He did so because He loves like no other, He gives peace of heart, restfulness of mind, forgiveness and clarity of conscience, and also great assurance and hope for the future. When does He give it? He gives all this to you right now, simply by accepting Jesus Christ into your life.
God has given all things for you, will you today simply give to Him a yielded heart and a submissive will, and say to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Christ of Christmas, come into my life.
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