It's not even Christmas yet and already we have ripped gifts open. Our hearts are big with gratitude.
But... already there have been fights, screams, and tears over gifts that have been given. There is unwillingness to share. When we share we quickly place requirements on the use of our gift and how long the other can use it. Further, I have noticed that sometimes when we give to another person, we expect a gift in return...
Our Christmas gift from God does not work this way.
Is Jesus "the reason for the season" we hear so often? or is it our sin?
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)
God promised his Christmas gift to the world back when Eve and Adam sinned in the garden.
God could have chosen to get rid of all of us anytime! But he didn't.
God didn't get rid of sin by washing the world away with the flood, storms of fire that burned Sodom and Gomorrah, the 10 commandments showing us our sin and the law...
There had to be another way to get rid of sin... and God chose a gift.
He chose love.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
How does God see Christmas? He knows Christmas in a way that we can never imagine. He synchronized prophesies to come true to the very smallest detail! He saw the King of Heaven made low. He watched Jesus come to the world as a baby to die.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
What is on God's Christmas gift list? What does he want from us? To share His gift. The gift of love.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (I Peter 4:8)
It is not easy to share God's Christmas gift, his love. It is a lot easier to say nothing to others that we feel don't deserve our love let alone God's. It is hard to share with the family member who hurt us years ago. It is hard to share when we know the other person has nothing to give back to us.
But please. Please share God's Christmas gift. Let's not hold onto His precious gift and hide it in our hearts. God's Christmas gift is not meant for us to keep for ourselves but to be shared!
Instead of talking about each other this Christmas let's talk to one another. Don't miss the opportunity to share! Skip the small talk and get to the heart. Let's tell the one who caused hurt that Jesus came for not only their sins but also for ours. If we hurt a family or friend or even that neighbor ask for their forgiveness. May we love as he loved us. Freely. Without restriction. Without expectations of what we will receive back.
God gave us the Christmas gift that will never perish, spoil, or fade.
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. I Peter 1:3-4
The whole point of this Advent bible study series, "Too Adventageous?", is to focus our hearts not on all of the pressures to make Christmas plans perfect but to point to the one who is - Jesus.
When we walk by sight we see the Christmas of rushed schedules, lavished menus, decorations, wrapped presents... but when we walk by faith we see love.
Dear God, The reason you left your throne and came to our fallen world is because of our sin. You are our Rescuer. Please forgive me when my heart easily gets focused on all the things that I need to do during Advent. Through your saving love, my heart can find contentment and peace during Christmas. Thank you for keeping your promise to not leave us as orphans and to be our Heavenly Father. May all of our preparations for Christmas be stemmed from Christ's love for us. May we find rest in You alone this season. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Click here to print off the bible study that goes along with this blog post!
1. Discuss! Is Jesus "the reason for the season" we hear so often? or is it our sin?
2. Read Genesis 3:15! How can we interpret this section of the Bible as being God's first promise of the Savior?
3. Read 1 Timothy 2:4-6! How do we know that Jesus came to die for the whole world and not just a select few?
4. Read I Corinthians 15:20-22! Why is it important that Jesus didn't come just to die?
5. Discuss! How can we specifically give the gift of love this Christmas? Are we in need of forgiveness from others? Do they need to be told that they are forgiven?
6. Read Psalm 73:25! How can we find contentment during Christmas even if we do not receive or give any material gifts?
7. Pray John 17:20-26! How does the world know that God sent His Son and that Jesus loves us all?
*If you use the bible study in a group or share it with another please give source credit to me and the blog. Thank you!
During the rest of the week you can find me at our private online bible study Facebook group where we dive deeper into God’s word and talk about it. If you want to be a part of the bible study I highly recommend being a part of the Facebook group where we get to know you more and be mutually encouraged! The Facebook group is private so any information that you share will be seen only by those allowed in the group.
You can join the Facebook online bible study group by clicking here.