“Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
For several days prior to our family’s Christmas gathering I had been thinking of the Lord’s gifts He has given to all mankind, but for the sake of our time together (and the attention span of small children) I limited my remarks after reading the Christmas story from Matthew’s account to three specific gifts. One gift God has given to us is the gift of family. The Bible says, “Behold, children are a gift from the Lord.” (Psalm 127:3) One of our grand-daughters told us that her family would be attending six different family Christmases! It takes commitment to take time to celebrate and embrace God’s gift of family. Don’t let the season slip away without expressing your love and appreciation to family members and to the Lord for His gift of family. Another gift from the Lord is the gift of friends. The wise man Solomon wrote, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17) It has been said, “When life begins to fall apart, one finds who their real friends are!” It is wonderful to know many people, but a true friend is a rarity. The last seventeen months have borne that out in my own life, and it has been an incredible blessing to be blessed by God with friends! It would be good to start off a new year by expressing your love and appreciation to those who are friends in your life.
The third gift we have been given by God is indeed the greatest, the gift of His firstborn. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Unfortunately many people have misunderstood the meaning of the word, “believes”. Translated from the original writing of the New Testament, the word means, “To trust in; To cling to; To rely on.” To believe in Jesus means to trust Him for forgiveness. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23), and Jesus has satisfied every demand by heaven for the payment of our sin debt (1st John 2:1,2) Secondly, to believe in Jesus means to cling to Him for faith. The Christian life is a life impossible to live for anyone but the Lord Jesus Himself, so we cling to Him for the faith to function freely. Thirdly, to believe in Jesus means to rely on Him for fulfillment. Jesus told His followers, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3) When the time comes to leave this earthly life, we rely on Jesus to fulfill His promise to come again to us and take us with Himself to our eternal home in heaven! Don’t fail to receive and claim your gifts from the Lord: Your family; Your friends; and His firstborn, Jesus!