The Gift of Christmas
John 1:18 (ESV)
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Christmas has always been a season of good cheer, of celebration and of giving. Gift exchange is common among family members, friends and colleagues. And in this world that is decorated with Christmas lights and bling, it is not hard to forget that this spirit of giving which we immerse ourselves in yearly, began with God the Father on the very first Christmas where He gave His only begotten Son to the world that He so loved.
The birth and the eventual death of Jesus Christ is God’s way of redeeming His wayward people back to Himself. From the day sin entered the world till the day Jesus died on the Cross, people did not have direct access to God. They had to go through a priest, who would intercede for them and make sacrifices to God on their behalf.
All men are separated from God and are unable to know God personally as a result of sin. However, God did not abandon us despite our sins. God had a plan to deliver us from the power of sin and to bring us back into the sweet communion with Him. Just as God said to us in John 1:18, Jesus, who is at the Father’s side, made God known to us by coming on earth through a miraculous birth on the very first Christmas night.
As wayward people, we do not deserve His gift. Yet God in His tender mercies, chose to give us this Gift freely. For those who have yet to receive Jesus, having a personal relationship with God begins the moment you realize your need for Him, admit that you are a sinner, and in faith, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. By doing so, you accept God’s gift of salvation and are accepted by God into His Kingdom. As God said in Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Being acceptable in God’s eyes means that you will never be condemned for your sins, and you are able to have a personal relationship with Him!
Brothers and sisters in Christ, knowing God allows us to enjoy abundant life on earth, in addition to the eternal life that we have received on the day we invited Jesus into our lives. Having a personal relationship means that we are able to receive His word, we can worship Him and we are able to make our requests and thanksgiving known to Him by praying to Him directly. This personal relationship with God is one that is comforting in times of distress and a great joy in the midst of great blessings!
Being a Christian since I was a little girl, my personal relationship with God has allowed me to go through different seasons of life with an eternal hope. Whenever I had to make any difficult decisions such as which course to take in the university or choosing a career upon graduation, I knew that I could always seek God’s will in my decision-making process. While the future might seem uncertain, my relationship with God always points me to the certainty of a prosperous future that God has planned for me from the beginning of time.
A few months back, I started on a part-time degree course to enhance my current skills so as to better prepare myself for the ever-changing working environment. It was not an easy decision, as I have always felt very challenged by the demands of my current job. Going through a part-time degree program would mean that I needed to complete my work in the day and take care of my studies in the night time and over the weekends. At these crossroads of life, I am extremely blessed that I do not have to make any decisions on my own because I have a personal relationship with God. I prayed and asked God for His will in this matter before I decided to enrol for the course. I knew that if I did according to His will, He would bring me through any trying circumstances victoriously.
Many of my loved ones and peers were shocked to hear about it, especially since they knew that my current job could be very demanding. Many of them could not see how I was going to manage the demands of both my job and studies, and still continue serving in church. Despite all these human doubts and uncertainty, I continued to put my faith in God and journeyed on. For the past semester, God has not only helped me to manage my work, but has blessed me with good grades for my assignments! Indeed, with God, all things are possible!
Dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, a deep and loving relationship with God is no longer a privilege that is out of reach since the day Jesus came and brought the gift of salvation to us. Our relationship with God begins on the day we receive Jesus into our lives, trusting in Him to get us through each day, believing that He is our Sustainer and constantly choosing to abide in His Word. This Christmas, let us meditate on the fact that whenever the Christmas Child is born in a heart, a new creation is made and our Father in Heaven receives another lost child back into His Kingdom.
Let us pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for sending Jesus on the very first Christmas night as part of Your redemptive plan for our fallen world. Thank You Lord, for being a God who delights in having fellowship with me. I want to continue to strengthen this personal relationship with You, so that I can be empowered to do the work that will serve Your Kingdom’s purpose. I commit to share the Christmas message of good news and great joy to the people around me, so that they too, can enjoy the abundant life that streams from a sweet communion with You. I thank You that as I continue to walk closely with You, others will be able to see Your goodness in my life and begin to understand and experience this Christmas differently. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”