Why Christmas?

WHY CHRISTMAS?

The closing line of a movie caught my attention. I quote: “GIVING IN ITS PUREST FORM EXPECTS NOTHING IN RETURN.” I got to thinking. While that may be so, what joy it brings when that same love flows reciprocally back to you. It may have been an act of kindness or an item given that you know your loved one is fond of. Whatever the gift, the love that prompted it is the true and lasting treasure. And certainly if we love someone, we want to protect them, so we give them our attention, our care, our nurturing, our best counsel and encouragement.

Before time began, God thought of us. He knew us entirely, and loved us completely. He knew what we would experience, yearn for, reject and respond to. He knew what we would gladly embrace; He knew our hidden thoughts and deepest feelings. Before we were, He was aware of what would be our insecurities and hopes, our failures and joys. He knew what dangers and temptations we would be susceptible to. Knowing us as He did, and loving us as only He can, He gave us His most prized and priceless treasure, His love gift; the gift of His only Son, Jesus.

Giving in it’s purest form “expects nothing in return”? Perhaps. But does not the heart long for acknowledgment from those it loves? Is there not pain when love is not returned? Is there not a sense of loss and sadness when a gift of love is overlooked, or worse yet, refused entirely? God loved. And because of that love, He gave. God so loved you, He so loved me, that He gave His one and only Son Jesus, to die for our sins. Why? So that anyone- you, me, whosoever would believe on His Son should not perish in eternal payment for our sins, but might have everlasting life.

But how much greater it is, when love is returned. God loved, so He gave. Does He demand we accept His gift and give Him our love in return? No. But what joy we can give Him by returning His love. Loving and giving, expecting nothing in return, is selfless and can be fulfilling. How wonderful when love is reciprocated, shared. And of course there is the benefit of eternal life rather than eternal punishment for us by receiving His gift!

Have you accepted God’s gift to you? Do you return the Lord’s love? He knows you in minute detail, and loves you infinitely, with a non-stop, regardless of us love, an everlasting love.

And that, my friend, is why we celebrate this holiday. That answers the question “Why Christmas?” Because, GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. (John 3:16 New King James Version -NKJV)

What love! What a gift! Accept His gift of Jesus, who paid the price for forgiveness from your sins. Love Him back! It’s a win-win situation. We receive His love, He receives our love. Return that love He has given you, and pass it on to others needing to learn of and accept this awesome gift.

Gifts of Life

It was Good Friday 2016 when our youngest son came home to his family to heal from a surgery that saved him from much illness, pain and misery…and potentially much worse. My heart ached for him thru these past two years…month after month of ever increasing suffering. What a gift this successful surgery has been to our son, his wife and two children, my husband Bob and I as his parents, to his siblings and their families, to his church family, his friends and fellow classmates and yes even to those whose lives he will touch in the future by being a better nurse for having had this experience.  What a beautiful gift being made whole is to so many!

Going back in time, there was another and oh so much greater gift of life given.  It was given on Good Friday over 2000 years ago.  For you. For me. God’s only Son laid down His life for us because He was the only one who could pay the price required for us to be forgiven.

Forgiven of what?  Of our sins.  God is pure and holy.  He cannot look upon sin.  Yet He loved us and wanted a relationship with us.  He actually made us for that purpose!  But when Adam and Eve willfully chose to disobey Him in the Garden of Eden, a curse of sin was passed down on all people to come which blocked us from God. So while we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus, who was not a sinner, gave His life so that all who would accept His gift of forgiveness could be in right relationship with God… all because of what Jesus did.  A GIFT … to make us whole.

Oh, the heart of the Father!  With mind-boggling love He loved us!  And oh the love of His Son!   He willingly, knowingly not only suffered, but DIED so we might receive the gift… a FREE GIFT … of forgiveness.  It cost Jesus everything.  It hurt the Father horribly.  But their love that looked beyond their pain, gave us this opportunity to love and be loved by God.

Let’s talk about gifts for a bit.  A gift is something given (obviously), but think about this: it also must be received, or it does not belong to the one intended to own it.  It must transfer from the giver to the receiver.  The giver can hold out the gift to give it away, but if the one intended to get the gift does not take the gift, the transfer didn’t happen and the gift was not received.

Have you received God’s gift?  Have you admitted you need a Savior to remove the curse of sin from your life?  It is not something you chose to have…just like my son did not choose the illness that came upon him… but there it was.  Sin is imposing its’ rule over you and forcing pain on you that you don’t have the ability to get rid of, no matter what you do.  The curse is on you, but wait!  The gift is here for you, ready–“just for the taking”!

What if my son had refused having surgery?  What if the surgery was scheduled, the nurses, anesthesiologist and surgeon were standing by ready to start the life-changing surgery, but he said,  “No thanks, I’ll pass.  Not interested.  I don’t need help from any doctor.  I know I can expect increasingly worse pain until I’m debilitated for the rest of my life, but that’s ok.  I’m good.”

Will you receive it?  Don’t make Jesus death for your freedom from the curse be for nothing!  He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.  He bore our sorrows and sicknesses so we might be free from them.  For what?  To be rejected, spurned, treated as if it was nothing?   That is what rejecting salvation does.  It dooms us to a life without hope and a hopeless eternity without God.  It is an automatic choice of death and damnation.

Rather, choose the gift offered! If you have not already, please pray this prayer with me. “Lord, I’ve done wrong.  I have sinned and need forgiveness.  I believe you are the Son of God, and I believe you shed your blood and died for the forgiveness of my sins.  I believe you rose again on the Third Day and are alive in heaven.  I accept Your gift of salvation and thank you for coming into my heart. Be my Lord and Savior I pray.  In Jesus Name and with thanks I pray.  Amen.

Oh what boundless love!!! How GREAT God is! Amazing, Ever-loving, never-abandoning us — the true lover of our soul has Given Us Eternal Life!!! What now? Read His Word, Talk to God (He knows your heart, so share it freely with Him…no regrets, just joy of forgiveness!) Get into a Bible-believing church family and grow strong in your spirit. Share the good news of this awesome, FREE gift with others!