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gift 1Every year, during the Christmas season, we all struggle and brave those horrific crowds at the department stores in hopes that we can find the perfect gift.   We are so consumed with finding it that many times we stress and worry ourselves to death about it.  Beating ourselves up asking, “Will they like it?…Do they already have it?…Will they think it’s too expensive?”  Well, in reality, there has only been one perfect gift ever given and that was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  God could not have provided us with anything better.  After all, we need to stop and realize that the perfect gift was His only Son.  Do you remember 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.”

            So what does it take for us to receive this gift…this eternal life that God wants each of us to have?  Yes I said each, the gift of salvation is available to everyone and not a select or chosen few.  The Bible is clear in what it takes to receive this gift.  Take a look at Romans 10:9-10

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

            It’s really that easy.  Well now, you do have to work on changing to be as close to Christ-like as you can; but to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose to defeat death is pretty much everything in a nutshell that you need to join the winning team of Christ.

So let’s look at this perfect gift a little closer and what it entails.  First, let me give you a little analogy.  When you open a present on Christmas morning you can’t just accept part of that present you have to accept it all.  How awful would it be if you gave half that present back and said, “I really don’t need this part.”  Or if you opened up your present and it said it needed batteries and there were no place to put batteries to make it operate…that present would be useless to you.  See, the same goes when you accept Christ.  You can’t pick and choose what parts of the Gospel or God’s Word you want to accept.  It’s an all or nothing kind of gift.  And, not one single part of that gift is useless.  Everything we find in Scripture is for our benefit.  It shows us how to love God and love one another.

I want you to realize that you have to be transformed as a new believer.  Working your very best to transform yourself into what God expects you to be. Now let me make this point clear…I didn’t say you had to be perfect but what you have to do is to live your life in a way that you become a shining light for Jesus and not some dimly lit light in the back of the room or some dark field.  That’s one of the main reasons that when I go to our Lord and Savior in prayer that I ask Him to help me become the Christian He wants me to be.

As you finish reading this I want to say that I hope you realize that Jesus is God’s perfect gift to an imperfect world.  There simply isn’t any way around that.  We are imperfect beings and without God’s love we would never have any hope of spending eternity in Heaven. I would like to close with 1 Peter 1:3-5…

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in Heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

            God’s unconditional love for us motivated Him to sacrifice His Son in our place.  Not a single person past, present or future deserved that love…simply because we have all sinned.  I guarantee at some point in each of our lives we have turned away from God to follow our own desires and not God’s will for our lives.  Still God decided to sacrifice His son for us and our eternity.  We must realize that through the life and death of Jesus Christ we were given an opportunity we didn’t deserve.  It is by God’s love that we are rescued, given an opportunity of eternal happiness, joy, and to be removed from eternal bondage.  All you have to do to have this eternal joy is to accept Jesus as your Savior.  Remember, you have to accept ALL of God’s perfect gift…not bits and pieces. And trust me…the entire package is AWESOME!   I hope each of you have accepted God’s gift and if you haven’t accepted it I want you to know today can be the day that changes your life forever.  Confess with your mouth that you believe in Jesus Christ and that you understand He died for your sins and believe with all your heart that Jesus is King. Finally, if you already belong to God’s family, then you know the value of what He is offering…Tell someone today about this perfect gift….that’s available to anyone who wants it.

 

Be blessed and always be a blessing!

Pastor Mike

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