Some people think it is about giving and receiving. Others get the idea it is about "joy to the world, peace on earth, goodwill to men," silver bells, and of course, Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer.
It is a holiday season. Many persons get three paid holidays in less than two months. Many stores and businesses depend on the holidays for a major part of their yearly profit.
Why have Christmas? Behind the commercialism, the gimmicks, the holiday cheer, the tinsel, and the advertisements, there must be something real something with a greater meaning than all of that.
There is. That something can be summed up in the Hebrew word "Emmanuel." "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:23).
God with us! God came to earth, in the form of Jesus, His Son. Christmas is when Christians remember His birth. Amid all the buying, selling, and partying that accompany Christmas today, many forget the real meaning of Christ's birth.
The celebrations, the carousing, the partying, the tinsel and decorating, the continuous music and holiday noise are just cover-ups for the emptiness of men's hearts. We were created to know Emmanuel God with us. Even if we do not admit or recognize it, our hearts long to know God.
God with us! What would this world be like if God Himself came down and lived with man? Would it not truly mean "peace on earth, goodwill toward men"?
It would--and it does. That is the very reason Jesus came: to show God's love for us, and to make a way for God to dwell with us and in us.
"But," you may be thinking, "there certainly isn't peace in the world today; look at all the wars, crime, violence, and hatred." Obviously, you are right. But those things are not a part of the lives of those who have received Emmanuel. They know true peace. True, they experience problems. And yes, they may be victims of crime or hatred. But God Himself lives in them, and they know and experience real peace.
They do not need to cover up the emptiness of their hearts; their hearts are full! They commune with God daily. All the tinsel and noise of "the holidays" are to them just that tinsel and noise. They know the true meaning of Christmas God with them.
I invite you, this Christmas, to experience real joy, real peace, realsatisfaction. Receive Jesus Christ Emmanuel and God will live in you.
The Perfect Gift
Many people spend much time looking for that gift that is just right for someone special at Christmas.
God gave the only truly perfect gift. "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" (John 3:16).
We who have received that gift find our hearts overflowing with love to our loving Father. "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
We cry out with the psalmist, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?" (Psalm 116:12). What indeed, could we do to repay God for His marvelous gift of love to us?
We can do nothing that would repay Him. It simply is not possible for us mere men to repay God in any way for His gift.
However, we can and must, if we would continue in His love give ourselves wholly to Him. God withheld nothing to provide our salvation. We cannot nor do we want to withhold anything from the One who so freely gives us so much.
The Apostle Paul put it this way: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1). That is the only acceptable gift we can give our God.
Christian friend, is your life a living sacrifice unto God? Are you totally given over to serving the One who gave heaven's perfect gift?
This Christmas, I invite you to "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves" (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Who rules your life? Does the one you call Lord make the decisions or do you make them? Jesus said that many would claim Him as Lord, but only "he that doeth the will of my Father" would enter glory (Matthew 7:21).
IF YOU WANT TRUE RICHES
RECEIVE GOD'S GIFT
Jesus is God's Gift to man.
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten SON" (John 3:16).
"He that hath the SON hath LIFE; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12)
"He that spared not his own SON, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us ALL THINGS" (Romans 8:32).
CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING GOD'S GIFT
Repent of your sins, believe on Christ, and confess Him as your Lord.
"REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19). "He that BELIEVETH on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
"If thou shalt CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).
AFTER RECEIVING THE GIFT
Rejoice, and continue following Christ in a Bible-believing brotherhood.
"Your heart shall REJOICE, and your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22).
"If ye CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed" (John 8:31).
"If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS daily, and FOLLOW ME" (Luke 9:23).
"Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, WITH THEM that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22).
© Copyright, Christian Light Publications
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