Wednesday, December 9, 2009

.... He Gave His Only Begotten Son.....

Today we are going to unwrap the second gift that we are given from the verse John 3:16.

The first gift was love, "For God so loved the world..., and the next gift is Jesus,... "that He gave His only begotten Son".

For believers, Christmas is all about celebrating this gift of the newborn King. This gift of Gods one and only son, that He so sacrificially gave to us.

Jesus was a gift that we did not deserve.

Have you ever received a gift that you felt guilty accepting? Maybe the person who gave you the gift, was someone that you had talked negatively about just a few days earlier. Maybe the person who gave you the gift was someone who you really didnt like at all, but felt obligated to keep up a good front when around her. Or maybe someone gave you a gift, but you did not get them anything in return.

In any circumstance, it can be hard to enjoy a gift that we know we do not deserve! Sometimes, I think about how I do not deserve the gift of Jesus. In fact, there have been so many times in my life when I have found myself wondering why Jesus even loves me, and why God would send His son to die, for someone like me.

Why would God give a gift to the human race, knowing that so many would not receive it, understand it, accept it or appreciate it? Why did He give us that gift of His son - knowing that we were imperfect, helpless, broken people?

The answer? Love. Infinite, unconditional love. No other reason. Just love.

You know, we usually feel like we need a reason to give someone a gift, such as a birthday, a holiday or a special occasion like a wedding or a new baby. But I bet you will agree, that a gift given just because someone loves you, and not out of obligation because of a special occasion, is so much more treasured and appreciated. Nothing lifts my spirits more than to receive a gift from someone, "just because they love me". Those types of gifts are the ones that truly fill my heart with love.

And that is exactly the type of gift God gave when He gave His Son. He emptied Himself, so that we could be filled - "just because".

He emptied Himself so that we could filled - with life. So many people think the only reason that Jesus died for us was so that we would not go to hell. Carrying out that belief is like only opening the gift halfway and barely peeking into the box. Its like never fully opening the gift and reaping all of its benefits, because Jesus was not given to us to provide fire insurance - he came to provide life insurance!

Insurance is nothing more than a guarantee against loss or harm - is that not exactly what God provided?! He sent His son Jesus, to give us a guarantee of life.

Not a guarantee of a trouble free life, but a guarantee of a joyful earthly life through Him.

In order to be eligible for physical life insurance, one has to sign up for it, accept the terms, and sign on the dotted line. You have to go through a lot of health screenings, medial approvals and legal hula hoops. But in order to be eligible for Gods life insurance, we merely have to unwrap the gift, accept it with open arms, and say thank you.

An undeserved gift, given out of love, just because.

In just a few weeks, the Christmas season will be over. You and I both will probably have received gifts that we dont know what to do with, we didnt really want, or that do not fit us or our lifestyle.

But the gift of Jesus is always a perfect fit. A gift that never breaks, never wears out, and never goes out of style. A gift given for other no reason than love.

Now that is the type of gift that I want to open this Christmas. What about you?

The gift of Jesus definitely gives us a profound reason to celebrate at Christmas.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Tracie,
"....He Gave His Only Begotten Son...."

....For me this is incomprehendible, undescribible, unimangable. Totally SPECIAL!! Where would one be without HIM.

The second week into Advent for us is: "preparing"...ourselves for him.

In my little blue book
Advent and Christmas Seasons 2009-2010
Six-minute reflections on the Infancy narrative of Luke....

I read: "And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and his is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. (Lk. 1:36-38)

Mary speaks in only two of the four Gospels: Twice in Luke (both times in the Infancy Narrative), and twice in John (both times at the Cana miracle).

The words that Mary speaks in today's passage are among the best known words in all the Gospels: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."

These are words of total acceptance of God's will.
These are words we could say at the beginning of every day. it takes just four seconds.

Mary wasn't saying, "This is wonderful. Of course, I'll do it." Instead she was saying, "This isn't what I had planned, and I'm not sure I understand, but I'll do my best to do what the Lord wants."

What is it like to say words to that effect on any given day? Or at the beginning of every day?

Try it.

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.

Tracie both you and my little blue book....have really given me something to talk to my lord about.

Just want to say Thanks....and now to his peace I go. Peace be with You:)


Anonymous said...

Hi Tracie. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of God's gift to us this season. I would love to read this blog at our next MOPS meeting on Tuesday. Would that be ok with you? I know it would encourage our moms. Heather