Being Thankful for the Greatest Gift

Isn’t it absolutely amazing about how well God knows man, His greatest creation? It is absolutely mind boggling to know that our God knew before He actually formed man out of the dust of the earth, that man would be sinful. This is especially true when we realize that God did not make man as a sinful being.

When God made man, He made him without sin, and placed him into a utopian place called The Garden of Eden and in doing so man was given the ability to make decisions and to reason. It was this freedom which was the downfall of man. It was the decision made by man that caused him to fall out of his right relationship with his God. And we today, shall either live or die by the decisions we make. The decisions we make today will either keep us in right standing with the Lord, or they will make us estranged from Him.

God knew before the foundation of the world that man would sin and would need a means by which he can come back into a right relationship with God. And because of this, Jesus was already prepared to leave His Heavenly abode, and come to this dark and sinful place to provide man with the means by which he would be enabled to return to a right relationship with his Creator. This is Love!

The world had become sinful because of Adam’s fall from grace and yet the Bible says in 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.” We can be thankful to God for true love. This, indeed, is true love.

It has always been the requirement of God that atonement be made through the shedding of blood. At a specific time, priests would offer the blood of specific, unblemished animals to God for the atonement of the sins of the people. This was the means used under the law, but that was insufficient due to the fact that the law could only identify the sins of man without the power to do anything about the required, needed cleansing that man needed. And because of this weakness of the law, Jesus came down to this dark, sinful world to offer Himself in the shedding of His innocent, righteous blood for the cleansing of the sins of mankind. Through the shedding of His righteous blood, there lies the power for the sins of man to be redeemed and to bring man back into a right standing with God. Because of this, man can now say, “Abba Father.” What true love this really is!

As we approach this Christmas season, let each of us be reminded of the greatest gift of all. That is the gift of life, which was made possible by God giving His only Son and His Son giving His life through the shedding of His innocent blood that each of us might be given opportunity to come back into a right standing with God. Because of this, we can now be called “justified.” Let’s be thankful for the greatest gift of all – Jesus! Hallelujah!

Now, what gift can you give to your fellow man? I give him my love. And what gift will you offer to the Lord? I give Him my life. For my life is but a small token compared to the gift He has given to me.

Celebrate Jesus

As we enter this time of year, we turn our attention to the celebration of Christmas. All over the world, Christians will be celebrating Christmas. As we make our plans for the holiday festivities, let us not forget the reason we, as Christians, celebrate Christmas. On the day following Thanksgiving, the merchants celebrated Black Friday, one of the biggest sales days of the year, if not the biggest. Then, on the following Monday there was another merchant day of celebrating sales which they call cyber Monday.

There is nothing wrong with finding bargains during the time of merchant sales. In fact, that is one of the times when we are able to save on what is already overpriced merchandise. But in all of our rushing to be able to get ready for Christmas Day, let us not forget the reason we actually celebrate Christmas. After all, each of us would be quite upset if those we love celebrated our birthday without us. In view of the fact that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, let us not forget to keep Christ in our Christmas celebrations. Let us not be so anxious to give and receive gifts that we forget about the fact that we are celebrating the greatest gift of all.

The Bible says, “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 KJV). And the Message Bible says, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” With this kind of love given toward us when we were yet in sin, we should forever be thankful and be willing to celebrate Jesus, not only at Christmas time, but at all times.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:8-20).

 If the shepherds were able to celebrate Jesus’ birth, not knowing the total magnitude of His love, how much more should we be willing to celebrate His birth? After all, it is HIS birthday which we are celebrating. Furthermore, we should celebrate the knowledge that He was born so that we can be born again. For without the love of God for a dying world, we wouldn’t have Jesus who loved us so, that he endured a shameful death on the cross, so that we could have a right to everlasting life.

 As we celebrate the festivities of this Christmas season, let us not forget that it is all because of Jesus, that we do celebrate this time of Joy. Let us be thankful for all of our loved ones, and the fact that we are enabled to live saved lives, all because of Jesus. Let us celebrate Jesus’ birth with an everlasting memory of what He did for us. What gift will you give to Jesus this holiday season? LET US CELEBRATE JESUS!!!

Give the Gift of Love

We are currently enjoying one of the most festive times of the year. Having just gone through a wonderful Thanksgiving period, we are currently looking forward to a happy and joyous Christmas season. Many of us have been able to enjoy the presence of family members and other loved ones who we love so dearly and for whom we truly thank God. We have indulged ourselves with foods we all love and enjoy eating, some of which was good and healthy for us, and some which maybe we should have avoided consuming.

I wonder how many among us took the time to remain consumed in reading the Word of God and praying to the Lord, thanking Him for being able to enjoy the times we are so blessed to witness. We should be reminded that the seeking of religious freedom was what resulted in the initiation of Thanksgiving Day. The new settlers were thankful to the already present Indians for showing them how to survive in this new land as they sought religious freedom from the powers hat be in England. This search for religious freedom caused them to set out for this new world.

Yet, we are reminded that this world is not the Christian’s home. For Jesus has said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2c-3. In a strange sort of way, we are yet in a fight for religious freedom. The courts are trying to tell the church how to operate the church, which is in stark contrast and in direct defiance to the Word of God. God has commanded that marriage is between one man and one woman, yet some members of the court would have this God-mandated command struck down. They make it appear like the church may not be able to enjoy freedom to follow the Word of God in such matters, but the Bible has declared, “upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18.

Not only are we enjoying these festive days of the year, but we have just gone through one of the most historic times in American politics. Never before in the history of America have we been able to witness the election of a Black man as President of the United States. Truly, God is in the picture! Yet, our hope is not in the presence of the Black Man as President of the United States, but our hope remains only in God who made Heaven and earth.

As we approach the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Lord, we are reminded that Jesus was the greatest gift ever given, and yet remains the greatest gift to be given. For it is written: “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. Not only did God give His Son, but His Son gave His life that you and I might have everlasting life. This gives credence to the saying, “give the gift of love-it always fits, and can be returned.”

Let us let this Christmas season be a time of sharing of love toward each other and a time of sharing of our material gains to the benefit of those in need. Let us brighten someone else’s day by showing the gift of love. Love is that God-given quality that is no good until it is given away. Let us give to others and to each other the gift of love, thus demonstrating the value of being Christ-like.