Jesus was always teaching His disciples and encouraging them. He knew that until the Holy Spirit came, they would feel alone and discouraged. He assures them and us that we will never be alone. He isn’t here physically with us now, but He is here abiding in our hearts and guiding us. If we love Jesus, we will be obedient children and the Father loves all of those who love Jesus. Every word that Jesus spoke came straight from the Father, so it is Truth. Everyone has the same opportunity to answer the call to come to Jesus. It is difficult for us to understand why some do and some don’t. God doesn’t send anyone to hell, a person has to work hard to get to hell. The wages (salary, pay) of sin is death. It is hard to understand why anyone would continue on that path when the plan of salvation is free and open to all who will accept. So, each of us has a choice to make, we can accept salvation full and free or we can earn our way to hell.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Amidst all the glamour and clamor of this holy day season, let us never forget the real reason we are exchanging gifts at this time of the year. Each gift should be a reminder to each of us that God gave us Jesus and Jesus gave us everything. Let each gift be a gentle reminder that Christmas isn’t about us but about the one Who came that we “might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He continues to give to us daily everything that we need to live a Godly life through His divine power and precious promises (2 Peter 1:3-4). On this special day that we have chosen to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, may each one of us take a few minutes to pause and reflect on His goodness and thank Him for His free gifts of mercy, love, peace and joy.
“Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King!”
16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:16-18 (NLT)
11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7:11 (NLT)
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Acts 2:38,39 (NLT) 20 But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! 21 You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. Acts 8:20,21 (NLT)
Everything that we receive from God is a free gift, from our initial redemption and salvation to our eternity in heaven with Him is totally free. He will not be obligated to us because of anything we have done. This is to keep us from boasting about our salvation. Jesus lived a perfect life and freely gave Himself on the cross for us. Everything good was created by Him and is freely given to us.
We should learn this lesson from nature. Do the trees pay anything to get the rain to fall on them? Does the day pay the sun to shine? Does darkness pay the sun to go away? Do birds and animals have a revenue system to pay each other for their food? If God takes care of all these little things in nature and He created us to have dominion over all that, why would He withhold any good thing from us? Does worrying change anything in our lives? Considering all this why don’t we just relax and worship God. Worry and fear are sins against God. Israel was destroyed because they would not accept that and enter into the rest God had provided for them. That rest was the Lord and our rest is Jesus. 7 All who found them devoured them. Their enemies said, ‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them,
for they sinned against the Lord, their true place of rest, and the hope of their ancestors.’ Jeremiah 50:7 (NLT)
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT) 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all
Jesus went to the cross to fulfill prophecy and shed His blood to redeem us from our sins. What great love was shown by the Father to allow His Son to die on the Cross. What great love was shown by the Son to be obedient to the Father even unto the Cross. God was not punishing Jesus for anything that Jesus had done, Jesus lived a sinless life. He chose to lay down His life for us. He was beaten, mocked, pierced, scourged, and hung for our sins. Not only for our salvation but for our healing as well. We cannot work to earn any of this. Every good thing is a free gift from God. Our good works are to lay up
rewards in heaven. Do not confuse the issue. There is only one way to heaven and that is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Any other method presented by anyone is a lie and a deception. But what about works? Is there no need for works? Yes and yes, again. But the works that we do have nothing to do with salvation. They are an example to the world that we love Jesus and are being obedient to Him. We will be rewarded for those works in eternity, not here on earth.