An Important Due Date – A Glorious Gift

In a little over 4 days a celebration will take place.  The reason for the celebration is clear to the Christian.  It is the birth of our Savior.  It is the greatest love story ever written, it is the story of a living hope.  It is the lifeline God tosses to us, but we need to be able to not only listen to the story, we need to understand the need as to how the story came about in the first place.

 

A purpose has to be determined.  Why did God feel the need to send us a Savior?  After sin entered into the world, wickedness prospered and soon it was everywhere.  Man was disobedient and did not honor God as he was instructed to do.  Man not only was disobedient, but he also failed to live by the law.  In short, the law became unattainable and impossible to maintain – to follow.  God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that man was wicked and that they would always fall short of fully obeying His Word.  Man lived in a sinful world, and in his own selfish desires; thus being charged as a sinner.  Due to sin man now had a penalty to pay for their sin.  The penalty of sin is death.  All of this determined the need for a savior.  God, who wanted to reconcile Himself with man, and through His love, endless mercy and compassion, decided to send His son to save us.  I know many of us cannot comprehend a love so deep that would require a sacrifice to be made in order for us to live, that a lot of us choose not to believe it happened or that it could ever exist.  You would be wrong in that assessment and would miss out on the gift bestowed to all.

 

However, I am here to share that this is an opportunity for you to hear the news and accept the gift offered.  None of us are worthy of it and none of us can earn it.  It is through His grace alone that we are presented this opportunity.  Do not let it pass you by!

 

To understand this powerful birth of our Lord, we need to understand God’s deep love for us.  In John 3:16 we learn of God’s great love for mankind and the price that our Savior would pay for us to live and have eternal life.  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

 

We not only know the need for a savior, but we know from prophecy in Isaiah that the Messiah was coming.  We are promised a Messiah as Isaiah 9:6 points out:  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.  The government will rest on his shoulders.  And he will be called:  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  It is here that we see God’s blueprint as how His Word would be fulfilled and the titles attached to Jesus.  All of these are titles befitting a king.

 

To fulfill prophecy God had to choose a vessel to use that would deliver Christ; thus bringing Him into the world.  He chose Mary as someone He highly favored, to carry our Savior.  This pointed to the sign that the Messiah was coming as stated in Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23.  All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” 

 

In order to understand fully this important due date let’s take a look at the history of that time and we can see how it all pieces together.  In the book of Luke we get the background story and the blueprint of the coming Lord.    The others gospels (Matthew, Mark and John) also mention the birth of Jesus, but I want to focus on Luke’s narrative for a reason.  Luke was not only trustworthy, but he was also a historian who was careful with details about the birth and he was known to be very accurate about the facts.

 

As we read the gospels we learn that there was a decree issued by Publius Sulpicious Quirinius the Roman Governor of Syria, who within the reign of Herod, called for a census to be taken of the people.  Each person was to go to their house (one of the twelve tribes) for the census.  Joseph, who was from the House of David, took himself and Mary to Bethlehem.  This is the where the setting for this love story begins.

 

Upon arriving, as pointed out in Luke 2:7, we find out there was no room for them at the inn, but a stable was available. This now becomes the chosen setting to deliver the baby who though born a King, came into the world in the most ordinary way. “She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

 

A king, who, was born into this world without any royal fanfare, lay in a lowly manger, not a crib in a luxurious palace.  Here lay a king who came into this world without any pomp or circumstance.  There were no fancy announcements about his arrival.  Jesus arrived in an ordinary way to demonstrate that he would be the savior for all mankind, and not for just the rich or the prominent classes.  God had a purpose behind this setting.  He was making an announcement more profound than we could understand.  He sent forth angels singing and praising Jesus.  He sent three wise men, who upon seeing a Star of Wonder, followed it and found the baby who would become a future king.  Gifts were bestowed to Jesus – gifts fit for a King.  God had made it known not only who Jesus was, but what Jesus would become and represent to the world.

 

In this distance, down the road, the future would lead to a cross and the world would see a love so greatly given, so righteously and faithfully lived, and a greater prophecy fulfilled.  The child He sent would give up his life in order to save all of us.  This is a reason to celebrate and live a life with immense joy.  This gift once accepted cannot be taken away as pointed out in John 10:28.  “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  This is a promise from God to us.

 

So as you gather together to celebrate Christmas, take a moment to reflect on the true meaning, and then open this gift and accept Jesus.  Nothing will ever compare to its value.  Let Him in and watch how your life changes.  Wrap yourself with the warmth and glow of true love.  Merry Christmas to all and God bless!

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