The Incredible Gift

Kevin Ibanez

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  I John 4:10 NIV84

The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year.  My family and I eagerly await this time because of the great joy it brings to not only to our family, but also to many people all around the world.  It is such a special time because it is the time that we celebrate the God of this universe, the creator of everything; coming to this little speck in the universe, we call Earth.  We celebrate what theologians call, “the Incarnation” of Christ.  This means that Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, took on human flesh and lived with us.  He was born a human baby, grew to be a man, the God-man and then died for the sins of humanity, but then He rose again, conquering Satan, Sin and Death and ascended into heaven.  Therefore, now we eagerly await the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What makes Jesus’ life on Earth so significant was the mission that He was sent to fulfill.  His mission was to take on the sins of all humanity, past present and future, and die on across, atoning for these sins.  God loved us so much that the only way He could have a friendship with us was to make a way for us to have a relationship with Him.  God had to deal with the problem of our sin.  Our sin was such a big deal that He had to send Himself, His Son, to atone for our sins and because of that, we now have a relationship with God.  The crazy part was that He did this because He wanted to!  It was out of His mercy His grace and ultimately His love that He did this for us, even though we did not even want it or even knew we needed it!

We celebrate Christmas by the giving and exchanging of gifts and many of us attribute that to the Magi/Wise men giving gifts to Jesus.  However, in reality, the first gift that was given was the gift that God gave to us.  This gift of eternal life was given to us by Jesus who came to pay the penalty for our sins.  If we repent of our sins and follow Jesus, then we, too, can have eternal life with God while we live on this earth and later in heaven when we pass.

My challenge to all of us is as we exchange gifts this year is to remember to give thanks to God for the incredible gift that He gave to us – JESUS!  As the Apostle John states so simply, “This is love” – the love of Jesus that was demonstrated for us on the cross.  Let us then, being motivated by our love for Jesus, be like our generous God and share the gift of the Gospel with others as we live our lives for Him and love those that we interact with on a daily basis.

 

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