Christmas! It conjures images of a tree covered in lights and surrounded by gifts. As children, we LOVE Christmas because we only see and experienced the joys of the season. As adults we often get bogged down in the pressures of the culture, expectations from our loved ones and the costs involved in creating that “special memory.”
Let’s pause for a moment as we approach the holiday and take a journey back to a few of the gifts God has given you. These gifts are alive and powerful and as real today as the day they were given.
As Creator, God has given you LIFE—both physically and then spiritually when He redeemed you for His purposes. In Isaiah 43 God says, “Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither will the flame kindle upon you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
God is saying, “I made you, I saved you, I’m going to take care of you.” God has made you for a purpose. Only when we are redeemed are God’s purposes activated in and through our life. He provided redemption to bring you into personal relationship with Him. He’s promised to stay with you… take care of you and see you through life. He will never leave you or forsake you. What wonderful gifts these are!
Even when sin messed up God’s original creation and separated us from God, He didn’t give up on mankind. His love is too great. He found a way around our sin to bring us back to Him. What a gift His enduring, unshakeable LOVE is.
God also gave us the gift of HEALING. In I Peter 2:24 (AMP) we are told, “He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross [willingly offering Himself on it, as on an altar of sacrifice], so that we might die to sin [become immune from the penalty and power of sin] and live for righteousness; for by His wounds you [who believe] have been healed.”
Think about these two gifts from God—salvation and healing. Because of His love for you, God sent His only, perfect, sinless Son to die in your place—to pay the price for your sin. That’s why we celebrate Christmas—to celebrate the gift of God’s Son.
Why would God do such a wondrous thing? Because He longed to be in intimate, personal relationship with you. God also allowed and ordained that Jesus, His beloved Son, would be whipped and tortured in His body, so that the price of your healing could be paid for.
God has blessed His children with priceless gifts. How highly He paid for them. Just as a parent longs to see the look of joy on the face of their child when they open their gifts, God longs to see us embrace His gifts and walk in them with joy.
Psalms 103:1-5 (AMP) contains a wonderful reminder of how we should remember what God has done for us:
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
Who forgives all your sins,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crown you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.”
These are just a few of the many gifts and benefits God has bestowed on His children. May I encourage you to focus on these priceless gifts at this gift-giving time of year. Just as we remind our children to say “thank you,” don’t forget to thank your spiritual Father for these expressions of His love.
Please know that Dale and I love you too, and we are praying for you and remember,
With God nothing is impossible!
Dale and Paula
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