Monday, December 09, 2013
Christmas decorations line the store aisles, the jingling of bells fill the air, and shoppers scurry to purchase wanted items for loved ones. Under many decorated trees, packages tied with pretty ribbons wait for a date marked on the calendar. Plans and gathered supplies anticipate celebrations in homes without many knowing or offering the Greatest Gift which began this whole holiday of giving.
Yet, with constant news of troubling times for our world in crisis, sights of many hurting people lining the sidewalks and knowledge of hundreds of homes without peace, my heart searches for every opportunity to offer the very best gift ever given.
This gift is God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, sent to earth to bring us back to God. Sin entered our world bringing sadness and destruction. We chose our own way and grapple for control in a dying world. Jesus Christ came to earth and paid the price of a horrible death, full of rejection and sorrow, to reconcile us back to God and give us eternal life in Him.
It's a beautiful story of love recorded in Scriptures and history. Seeing the sadness in many eyes, I long to share this tremendous gift with many.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to speak of this awesome GIFT during a class for ladies. After sharing Scripture on the covenant God made with Abram and fulfilled in Jesus, we decided to meet each Wednesday morning for 10 weeks and study the story in context.
As our guide, we used a Stonecroft study book, Following Jesus with Luke and the New Testament book of Luke as our text. The book encourages reading designated passages of Luke along with each chapter, and then, asks questions to help the readers think through what is actually said and how it applies to our understanding of Jesus' purpose in life.
Because I believe that Luke is an inspired book of God's Word, I began each class with prayer, asking God to show us what he would like us to know about His GIFT. Luke 24:45
Luke's research approached actual eyewitnesses of the life and ministry of Jesus. Many were touched personally by contact with him. They heard his lessons, were touched by his power, and followed Jesus through the region of Galilee. The chosen stories, messages, and parables of Jesus were recorded as Luke depicts Jesus as the true Son of Man.
The most important message I take away from this study is God's faithfulness and overwhelming love. As far back as the Garden of Eden, God promised to send a "Seed" who would be the Savior of the world. Galatians 3:3 tells us that God preached this Gospel to Abram in a blood covenant. Although humanity put Jesus to death, resurrection shouted the victory of completion! Not even death could thwart the promise of God given in the gift of His Son.
Now, in our day, God is patiently waiting for many to claim His gift as their very own and receive forgiveness of sins.
So, while many try to find just the right item to prettily wrap and put under a tree, I hope my readers take this post as an invitation to consider the most precious GIFT ever given anyone. The Bible says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
"But to all who did receive HIM, who believed in his name, He gave the right to become children of God."
God's gift is for you.