|Posted by whybelieveinjesus on December 28, 2016 at 5:10 PM|
If you had to write a top five of things you most enjoy about Christmas, would receiving gifts make the list? They certainly would for me! I can be thinking of things I'd like for Christmas months beforehand!
One of the reasons we give gifts to each other at Christmas is because the wise men (however many there were; the Bible doesn't say!) came to Jesus sometime after his birth and brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These respectively symbolised that Jesus would become King, High Priest and Saviour of all. This could warrant a blog entry of its own!
But besides the gifts that were given to Jesus around his birth, we'd do well to remember that actually Christmas is more about the gifts that God has bestowed on us. In sending his Son to become human and identify with us, he has lavished gift after gift on those who choose to follow Jesus. Here's a few for starters, which we can enjoy when we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour:
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." ~ 1 John 3:16 (NIV)
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace that you have been saved." ~ Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!" ~ Romans 5:15 (NIV)
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Romans 5:1 (NIV)
"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." ~ John 16:24 (NIV)
"We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)
THE HOLY SPIRIT
"Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" ~ John 20:21-22 (NIV)
ADOPTION AS GOD'S CHILDREN
"But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir." ~ Galatians 4:4-7 (NIV)
ACCESS TO GOD
"Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." ~ Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." ~ 1 John 5:20 (NIV)
FREEDOM FROM SIN'S POWER
"For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been set free from sin." ~ Romans 6:6-7 (NIV)
VICTORY OVER SATAN
"The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." ~ 1 John 3:8 (NIV)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 6:23 (NIV)
So when you're wondering whether to follow Jesus and commit your life to him, think about this list and whether the cost of being a Christian is ultimately worth it!