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Christmas – free for all

December 2010 | by Roger Carswell

Christmas – free for all

 

Shopkeepers, advertisers, and little children all know that Christmas is about gifts. There is magic in the air when bright, cheery wrappings are ripped open to discover what is hidden inside. Nothing quite compares to a gift lovingly given and received.

     It is said that the way to measure a person is by what they give. Christmas is about remembering what God gave to us. He gave himself.

     God came into our world as a baby. He came to save us. God knows we need saving – from what we are doing to our planet and each other, from ourselves, and most importantly, from what we are doing to God who created us.

 

Jesus is God’s gift to us

 

A Christmas cartoon showed a little boy gazing into a shop window, which had a sign saying, ‘Have the best Christmas ever!’ The boy thoughtfully said, ‘It’s pretty hard to beat the first one’!

     The Creator became like us whom he had made. He was born in a stable, laid in a manger, and worshipped by shepherds, wise men and angels. This is history which cannot be improved.

     The riches of the world belonged to Jesus, but he didn’t give people money. When the poor and hungry came to him, he rarely gave them food or clothing. He had something far better to give. He gave them love and service, and the greatest gift of all – himself.

     The Bible says, ‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!’

 

Salvation is God’s gift to us

 

It is a blow to our pride to realise that we are not good enough for God, and are making a mess of our little world.

     It is painful to recognise that we need forgiveness and a new start, but that is why Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The actress Mae West got it right when she said, ‘I used to be snow white, but I drifted’. We have all drifted.

     Jesus the light of the world gazed on the world’s darkness. Jesus the prince of peace gazed on the world’s wars and conflict. Jesus who is love gazed on the world’s hatred. So Jesus came to our world to shine, to give rest, and to bring life and love.

     As the Bible puts it: ‘And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us’.

     Jesus was born to die on a cross outside Jerusalem. Hanging there, he carried on himself all our sin. He paid the punishment for our wrong. He was dealing with all that cuts us off from God. Sin would keep us out of heaven and condemn us to hell. Jesus came from heaven to rescue us.

     The Bible says, ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’.

 

Eternal life is God’s gift to us

 

Jesus, the cradled baby, then crucified Saviour, died and was buried. Three days later, he rose again from the dead. Today, he offers forgiveness, new life, reconciliation with God, and a relationship with himself which is eternal. He gives peace and joy for ever.

     These are God’s gifts at Christmas. They are to be received and celebrated with all the gratitude and relief of a drowning sailor at sea. Individually, we should ask Jesus to become our personal Lord and Saviour.

     The Bible says, ‘The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ the Lord’.

     You can receive the gift of Jesus, of salvation, of eternal life, by asking him to forgive you and to become your Lord and Saviour (for more information, visit www.tell-me-more.org)

Roger Carswell

 

 

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