Three Christmas Gifts From Jesus
My family was so poor we could barely pay attention. I know, I know…old joke, but I like it. Seriously, we were poor. Very poor. I did not know it at the time, because I had no standard of comparison. I never lived in a house that we owned. Never. Until I bought my first house in 1971 as a married man of two years, my family lived in parsonages. I went to work at age 12 helping local farmers so I could buy clothes and a .22 rifle for myself. No complaints here. I learned a lot from hard work and not having much. All of this to say that I remember a very special gift I received when I was nine years old. I wanted a bicycle for Christmas, but I knew it was probably out of the question because of the cost involved. Imagine my surprise when my brother and I (we shared everything until he had a growth spurt…a luxury I never received) got a blue bicycle for Christmas. Turns out, my dad found it in a pile of garbage. He painted it and put new tires on it. I can still see it in my mind. I was ecstatic! (Please do not tell anyone that it was a girl’s bike; I did not care then, nor now). That little blue bike remains (think: “Rosebud”) one of the best gifts I ever got. May I share with you some other gifts that supersede anything the world can offer?
Monday…Do you need forgiveness? The wise person does not have to think long about this. Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 are sobering to say the least. The hope offered in Romans 6:23 is so encouraging. Think about this gift given to you freely through the blood of the Lord Jesus: forgiveness! You, if you are saved, stand forgiven. Right now, that may not have much impact, but when you close your eyes for the last time, it will mean a great deal indeed.
Tuesday…I have a book called, “The Raft”. It is the true story of three men who were marooned in a 4’x8′ life raft during WW II when their plane was shot down. For more than 40 days, they drifted in the vast South Pacific. When they were rescued, they were asked what kept them alive. Their one word answer: “hope”. What a powerful concept: hope. Be sure to read I Corinthians 15:19.
Wednesday…How long will your life last? No one knows. Statistically, somewhere around 80 years is a good guess. See Psalms 90. Scientists have worked for decades to find ways to prolong life…and that is a good thing. One wonderful gift that Jesus offers is eternal life. What a wonderful gift! As you count your blessings this Christmas season, put near the top of your list the fact that Jesus said, “Those who believe in me will never die” (John 11:26).
Thursday…God gave the gift of His Son (John 3:16). Those who receive that gift, are adopted into the family of God (Ephesians 1:5). I do not know what your family was like. I was very blessed to be born into a Godly family and I thank God for that very, very often. Each person can make the decision to be born again (John 3) and become part of God’s family. Are you grateful today for your church membership? Not just the piece of paper which identifies you as a member (though that is to be valued), but the fact that you are part of the church…God’s eternal family.
Friday…George Beverley Shea was a faithful Christian and an incredible singer. For decades, he traveled with Billy Graham all over the world. Do yourself a favor, get on You Tube and listen to him sing. Be sure and hear the song he wrote, “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” The first line says, “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be his than have riches untold.” You may want to meditate on that truth for a few moments.
By Dale Holzbauer