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Thought For Today -December 12
It is only a few more days before Christmas. This is the time for the giving and receiving of gifts. Who is the most important person on your Christmas gift list?
We celebrate the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas time, but do we really? Where are our thoughts, and where is our mind and our heart focused, really, at Christmas time.? We ought to be celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but I wonder if he is at the top of our Christmas giving and receiving list, or at the middle, or at the end , or is he really there at all?
As we gather around with our family and friends to celebrate this most festive of occasions, the first gift that ought to be received with gratitude and thanksgiving is God's love gift to us, the Lord Jesus Christ. Open his gift first. Give him gratitude and praise him first for his gift of love.
At Christmas time "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. At Christmas time God offered us the opportunity to become his adopted children by grace through faith. "As many as received him to them gave he the power (or authority) to become the sons of God." At Christmas time he made it possible for us as the children of God to become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. At Christmas time, God gave gifts unto men. "Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men." Ephesians 4: 8. At Christmas time, God provided for our salvation.
Salvation is a big package, containing many things. It first of all contains forgiveness of sins, freedom from guilt, justification with God. It includes peace and joy and all the fruits of the Spirit. It contains everlasting eternal life. It guarantees an all expense paid trip to heaven and the right to walk on streets of gold. It guarantees that there is a mansion prepared and waiting for us in heaven. Jesus said: "I go to prepare a place for you and if I go I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there you may be also." John 14. The package of our salvation contains abundant life here on earth, protection from danger, healing for mind soul and body, and a guaranteed audience with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It contains all the provisions available to us in the 23 rd Psalm. It all happened at Christmas, and what a Christmas gift it is, thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we gather to receive and give gifts, lets first thank Christ that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, the godly for the ungodly and the righteous for the unrighteous.
Lets covenant with ourselves and with each other that we will not receive any gift from anyone else this Christmas time until we have received with gratitude in our heart, the treasure that was given to us at Christmas time. No matter how abject the poverty, or how small the bank account, or how few the gifts under the tree, no one has a right to say that they received nothing for Christmas. God gave us everything he had at Christmas time. Lets covenant with ourselves that we will not offer to anyone else our meager trinkets or gifts until we have rededicated our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ and offered our selves again to him in loving gratitude and service.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present you bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12: 1. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." Matthew 6:33.
Every gift that we present to someone else should not be with the attitude of seeing how much the recipient of our gifts will be pleased with us for having given them a gift. Instead, every gift that we present to some one else ought to be a symbol of the gift that was offered to us by Christ coming into the world and shedding his blood for us. If opportunity presents itself, we ought to first offer to every one on our giving list, God's plan of salvation. Our first gift ought to be presented to the Lord Jesus Christ in gratitude for his gift to us. We ought to present to him our bodies as a living sacrifice which is our reasonable service. We ought to present to him our complete love and loyalty. The gift which is acceptable and pleasing to God is to love the Lord with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our soul. We ought to keep our minds clean, and our thoughts pure, and our bodies as the temple of God, spotless and clean that they may be God's dwelling place, and headquarters on earth.
If the Lord Jesus Christ is not on the top of our Christmas gift receiving and giving list, then we are not celebrating the coming of the Lord into the world. Instead, we will be celebrating a pagan festival of lustful covetousness and self seeking for vain glory and the esteem of men.
How sad it is that in this so called Christian country of ours, we are told that in order to be politically correct, we must exclude the word and idea of Christ from Christmas and celebrate a pagan holiday instead. This is utter blasphemy. May God have mercy on our souls and on our nation for this gross sin.