Saturday, January 17, 2009

Have You Received God's Gift?

Have You Received God’s Gift?
By Creth D. Hopkins

What do you want for Christmas? This question is probably the most asked question there is during any Christmas season. And the answer to such a question is manifold in nature. Gifts asked for range from cars to handbags, shoes to shotguns, perfume to puppies. But I have one question for you: Have you received God’s gift?
In the Biblical account surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, we have the following heavenly message conveyed to Joseph, the betrothed husband to Mary:

"Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20-21).

The gift of God is His Son, Jesus. The name Jesus means “Yahweh saves.” When a person receives Jesus as his/her personal Savior, that person is saved. It sounds simple, and it is – but the ramifications of receiving such a heavenly gift are immense. To understand the gift and its ramifications, let’s look at the heavenly declaration closer.
“She will bear a son…” The first thing we must recognize is that Jesus is a heavenly gift. The personhood of Jesus did not originate in the womb of Mary. Jesus was not created in time, rather he became incarnate in time. Incarnate means “in the flesh.” Micah, the prophet, spoke of the eternality of Jesus over 700 years before he was born into this world:

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2).

Before Jesus took on human form, He existed in eternity. The apostle John quotes Jesus speaking to this point in a conversation with the Jews:

56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad." 57 So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am"(John 8:56-58).

When Jesus was speaking to Pilate about His Kingship and His Kingdom, Jesus said,

"You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice”
(John 18:37).

Only Jesus could have said this: “For this purpose I was born…I have come into this world…”.
(1.) To receive God’s gift, you must believe that Jesus is God come in the flesh.
(2.) To receive God’s gift, you must acknowledge you are a sinner.
The Bible states:

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Will you acknowledge the truth about yourself – you are a sinner in God’s eyes. If you will confess that to God, then the Bible has some great news for you:

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15).

This is God’s heavenly message to you: To glorify His Father, Jesus came to save sinners:

“…for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21c).
(3.) To receive God’s gift, you must repent (turn away) from your sins, and ask Jesus to save you.

By receiving God’s gift, your sins are forgiven you, you become a child of God, and your final home will be heaven. Jesus said,

“Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37).

Will you receive God’s gift this Christmas?

No comments: