Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve Message - Salvation

This past weekend I ventured out to watch the crowds that waited patiently for the last-minute deals and mark-downs. I went out early in the morning to see how many would be braving the elements to buy their last gifts. As those individuals filled the stores that I visited, each had one thing in mind. They all wanted to find and buy the perfect gift for someone. I observed many of them picking up shirts and holding them up to make sure they would fit. Others looked for specific colors and styles. Once again, each person looked and shopped with a singular mission in mind, find that perfect gift.

On Christmas Day, children and adults alike will wake and head to the Christmas tree. Under its branches and twinkling lights, there will be presents. Each wrapped and ready for the big event. Some will start their Christmas dinners while the children pick up presents and shake them, each hoping that they got what they wanted. Even the adults will be doing the same thing. Each wanting that perfect gift that they had been hinting for during the prior months leading up to this moment. Yes. Christmas has finally arrived for each home.

While we open our gifts and prepare for the big feast, we somehow forget about the one gift that isn’t under the Christmas tree. It is sometimes overlooked or pushed out of mind. It sits quietly and waits for those who are truly looking for that one perfect gift. It is the gift of salvation that came into our dark, sinful world in the form of a baby. This baby would grow up and become the Savior of the world and provide redemption in one selfless act of dying on a cross for our sins.

That child would be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. He would be given the name of “Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us”. Later in his life and his ministry, a young man, Peter, would stand up and declare in a loud voice, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

It is through this one gift, given by God the Father, that we receive the greatest of all gifts. There isn’t a gift that is more perfect or pure. It is the gift of salvation. This gift provided a way back to the Father and allowed us to be made right by God.

Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, writes in chapter five, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

The essential part of this gift for us is that we, after being made right with God through His Son, Christ Jesus, are now Christ’s ambassadors who must share this gift not only on Christmas but also all year long. This gift continues to be given to those who have and those who have not. The gift is perfect no matter what time or occasion it is shared. It never goes out of style, breaks, needs batteries or requires any assembly. It remains perfect for as long as we live and beyond. You couldn’t ask for a better gift. 

In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

The gift that we receive is freely given to us. All we have to do is accept it and enjoy it for eternity. It is through Christ Jesus that we are reconciled and made holy by our Heavenly Father. 

In chapter ten of the Book of Hebrews, the author writes, “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

So, while you and your family celebrate the magic of the season, I ask that you and those you love take a moment to remember the small child who came into this world to love and save it from sin and the punishment of death. Over the course of the next year, I ask that you give this gift to others. When you do, you can stand firm in His grace.

On behalf of our ministry, we wish all a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your support.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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