It won't be long now. A few more days and we will all be celebrating the birth of Emmanuel -- God with us. The Bible tells us that Emmanuel is Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:22-24. This little baby is God's gift to mankind to save the world, the Messiah, the hope of the world! The gift of Jesus can mean different things to you depending on whether you find yourself full of joy this season, full of gratitude for all God is doing in your life, or desperate for a fresh understanding of His grace and love. The perfect gift is here, today, for you.
One of my favorite verses of all is Isaiah 9:6, a prophecy that was written describe the coming Messiah. Let's take a look and then unpack this to see what gifts Jesus can give us.
For to us a child is born.
To us a Son is given.
And the government shall be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Prince of Peace.
Are you troubled or discouraged, wondering how you will survive the holidays despite everyone else's joy and laughter? Are there things on your mind that you don't dare express for fear of being misunderstood? Maybe the gift you need is Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor during this season. You have no reason to hesitate talking to the best counselor there is, really. Jesus already knows what you're going through and takes delight when you trust Him to give you wisdom and encouragement. "Wonderful" in this case literally means incomprehensible; beyond what we can imagine. So He is beyond amazing as our counselor and He offers you wisdom. Why not take Him up on this gift?
Do you need someone to fight for you, to stand up for you, or to take up your cause? Then how about accessing the power of Jesus, the Mighty God? The truth is that you have a God on your side who will fight for you. Exodus 14:14 reminds us, "The Lord Himself will fight for you." His power is unmatched and available to all who believe. Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, and as believers that means the Holy Spirit lives in us and we have his power coursing through our bodies and minds -- the same power that came upon Mary to give her a child (Luke 1:35), and the same power that raised Christ from the dead (1 Cor. 6:14). What an indescribable gift!
Do you find comfort today in knowing that Jesus is your Everlasting Father? I know I do. I had a wonderful earthly father and I would often seek out his advice, opinions, approval, or thoughts on decisions I faced or situations I found myself in. He always wanted what was best for me even when I disagreed. There are plenty of days I wish I could still call him and hear his voice, but guess what I do? I call on my Father in Heaven. We have a heavenly Father who lives in eternity, who cares and loves us without end. What a gift to have a Father who will never let you down and always have your best interests at heart. Is that the gift you need this Christmas?
Prince of Peace
Finally, if all you want for Christmas is a little peace, guess what? Jesus is the Prince of Peace! He gives the only kind of peace we need, because His peace is peace with God. When we claim peace with God, we let down our weapons that we use to fight battles we shouldn't fight, and we strive to be at peace with others. You really cannot be at peace with God and be at war with others. Remind yourself that you have a God who will fight your battles and His perfect plan will be fulfilled! We know who wins, right? Wear the gift of peace this year.
Perhaps the gift you really need is Jesus as Savior. That's what Christmas is about -- a time for us to rejoice that our Savior is born! Jesus is the Messiah -- the One who came to take away the sins of the world, not counting them against us. The gift of Salvation...this is the greatest gift of all! If you feel like you just can't be forgiven one more time or that you have made mistakes that can't be redeemed, remember this:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." -- John 3:16-17.
If you doubt that God wants to lavish you with gifts this Christmas, Romans 8:32 reminds us,
"Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for all of us, won't he also give us everything else?"
God is the ultimate gift giver. Which gift of Jesus will you ask for this year?
I look forward to interacting with you during your spiritual journey. Please email me at Lauriek@ptlb.com to let me know how God is working in and through your life. Your greatest life is just ahead.
Merry Christmas to all,
Please Consider PTLB in Your Year-End-Giving Plans!
We would welcome your tax deductible end-of-year gifts. We will be creating more books and video curriculum this year to help husbands, wives, singles, families, and more. Video curriculum will make many of the live classes we teach accessible to anyone, anywhere, when it is needed. That means people won't have to wait for the next class or workshop to get the help they need, or live in the area! We also will be publishing several new books, including a new marriage book by Gil Stieglitz, and several other projects. To read more about our plans, please click the link below. Thank you again for your generosity and support. To make a tax deductible, end-of-year donation, click HERE! We appreciate your support!