Sunday, December 14, 2008

Your Best Christmas Gift

Jesus Christ, the Son of God It is without a doubt the Best Christmas Gift You or I ever received.

Sent by the Father’s Love from heaven to be our Savior.

One Tree – The Cross of Calvary
One Gift – Jesus, The Savior
One Result – Eternal Life for You and for Me.

I want to tell you a story about how Christmas works.

I KNEW there was a tree because from the time I was born my mom and dad took me to church.

I KNEW about Jesus for I had heard all the stories from the nursery class to the junior class.

I even KNEW that verse John 3:16 – “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…..”

But what I didn’t know was that there was a present under the tree for me.

I saw all the others at various times open their gift.
I saw all the others eagerly enter the Baptismal waters after receiving their gift.
I saw the evidence of the gift in lives all around me.

But I didn’t know and didn’t even care that there was a gift under the tree for me until that fateful night in 1957 when the Angel in charge of the Tree picked up the gift and read my name out loud to my heart.

“James Wheeler Shaver” - “This gift is for you.”

And as the songwriter Charles Wesley put it so well.

“Long my imprisoned spirit lay Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quick-ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed thee.”

I KNEW the Gift was for me.
I KNEW it was all I had been searching for.
I KNEW it held all the answers to all my questions.
I KNEW I had found Salvation.
I KNEW Christ had Died for me.
I KNEW I was Saved.

Now there are some who teach that the gift is generic and lies dormant under the tree until You and I decide IF and WHEN we want it.

But we who have received it know differently.

There was a gift under the tree for each of us and it was personal. It had my name on it and your name on it as though it were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life eons ago.

And the reality of our salvation was not that we stumbled over it, like curious children snooping under the tree; for the Bible itself says that all have gone astray and none seek Him or his righteousness. No, we had NO interest in the tree until our Name was Called.

When He Called My Name
When He Called Your Name
WE Arose, Went Forth And Followed Him.

Hallelujah, What a Gift
Hallelujah, What a Savior

It’s possible to be familiar with Christ and not know Him.
It’s possible to be familiar with the Church and not really Be a part of it.
It’s possible to be familiar with all the Christian Lingo never to have experienced the Real Gift of Christmas in your heart.

Our prayer at Providence Baptist Church this Christmas is that the Tree – the Real Christmas Tree – the Cross of Jesus Christ, might become the Focus of your Attention this Christmas Season.

May He call your Name
May He Present you with Your Best Christmas Gift ever – Eternal Life.