At Christmas time in America, we often hear the phrase, “Don’t forget the reason for the season.” As Christians, we know the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus is that reason, and today I want you to see the true message of Christmas is that you matter to God. You matter to God so much that God sent Jesus, His only Son, to this world as a gift for you. The most common word we hear this time of year is “gift.” People worldwide run from place to place to find the right gift for the right price for the people they love. But on that first Christmas day, God gave us the only gift we will ever need, His gift for us – His son Jesus Christ.
“15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
Though we may never be able to describe the gift of Christ fully, today, we will try in just a few areas by talking about three gifts that Jesus Christ’s birth gave to us.
Remember the angel Gabriel spoke to Joseph and Mary about a miraculous birth that would take place in her life? After Mary gave birth to her son, there were in the same country shepherds watching the field where their sheep grazed. When suddenly appeared before them a host of angels and they had a message:
“9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Notice when the angels appeared, they said, “fear not,” meaning don’t be afraid. Some people are so scared of God, but Jesus Christ came to earth to save us, not to scare us. Of all the ways Jesus could have come into this world, why would God choose to come as a baby? First, babies are non-threatening, so we can relate to babies. Just think for a moment, everyone loves a baby! If God wanted to connect with birds, He would have come as a bird! If God wanted to relate to cows, He could’ve come as a cow. But God wanted to relate to us as humans, so God came as a human being Himself. And He chose the least threatening form of a human to present as Himself – a baby. No one is afraid of a baby. The scripture teaches us that Christ came and when the angels appeared, they said, don’t be afraid. I want to share with you today that Jesus came to give you life, and you don’t need to fear the things that life brings. As a young person, you don’t have to fear the future because God can help you with that fear if you serve Him.
The angel also proclaimed bringing tidings of great Joy! Christ coming was joyful news! Something extraordinary that happened for all humans! God wants us to be happy and joyful at the coming of His Son. God is not in the sky looking down and wishing to make our lives miserable. Sometimes, young people feel that going to church and learning of God is boring and just not something exciting. I want to share that when Jesus was born, and the angel spoke to the shepherds, the angel proclaimed, fear not, I bring you good tidings of great joy for all people!
Young person, God wants to give you happiness. Not a rollercoaster happiness, but a lasting, eternal joy! Jesus wants to heal the relationship between God and us, and this healing brings genuine happiness to our lives. Have you ever been separated from someone you love for a long time? Maybe a family member or friend and you were sad because you hadn’t seen them for a while. Then when you finally see them again, you are lifted up with joy at once again being together! This is precisely why Jesus came. So we can be made one with God and have true happiness. God wants us that serve Him to have abundant life. It is God’s plan for us to enjoy life, and He wants us to be happy serving Him by giving us a joy that runs deep within our soul. It is not a sin to have joy in our lives, which is why Luke chapter 10 is telling us not to be afraid! I bring you the most joyful news you can have, and this news is for all of us!
Jesus’s birth also gave us the gift of hope.
“11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
I am convinced that God sent Jesus Christ, His son, to meet each of our greatest needs. So let’s explore this thought a little further and think about these things. If information were humanity’s greatest need, God would have sent us an educator. If it were technology, God could have sent us a scientist. What about pleasure? God would have sent us an entertainer if pleasure were our greatest need! But our greatest need is for forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. God sent a Savior so He could save man from their sins.
- The Savior provides us with forgiveness for our past.
- The Savior provides us with a life free of the bondage of sin!
- The Savior gives us purpose for our life.
- The Savior came to provide us with a home in heaven.
So God came to give us the gift of hope, the gift of Salvation, or we could say — the gift that never stops giving!
What would happen if you received a gift but never opened it? Some people do this; they receive a gift and forget about it, never opening it and enjoying what’s on the inside. To me, it’s sad to know that young people today hear God proclaiming this great Salvation, but they don’t accept His gift. What about you? Will you accept God’s gift today by gifting Him in return with your life?
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
So God, through His Son, wants to give us the gift of hope through this great Salvation.
Let us briefly review. First, God doesn’t want us to be afraid. Then God wants to give us the gift of happiness, and finally, God wants to provide us with the gift of harmony or peace.
“14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
God sent His Son so that man can have reconciliation and peace with each other. I believe Christmas time is a good time to consider reconciliation. A time to break down barriers and restore damaged friendships and relationships. It’s time to say, “I’m sorry, and would you forgive me?” Sometimes Christmas is a difficult time for individuals. Families get together, and there might be conflict because of past hurts, but the angels proclaimed that Jesus came to bring peace to the earth. Are you allowing this Christmas peace to affect you? Will you look to reconcile with people you’ve done wrong or people that have done wrong to you? It is sad to look at the world and see there is little peace. But before there can be peace, we need to be reconciled with God. When we receive peace from God, we will work to have peace with those around us.
Young people, God is calling you to peace. The scriptures in Luke teach us that the angels’ message is for us not to be afraid because they bring tidings of great joy and happiness. Then the angels speak to us of the hope, which is the Savior, God’s Son who has come. Last they spoke of the gift of peace because of Jesus’s birth. But these are just a few of the gifts that God gives. There are yet so many more. Will you accept and then open God’s gift for you today?
I challenge you to open the gift God is offering you this season. It is so simple to receive. All you need to do is ask. A simple prayer in your words is all it takes, and your prayer doesn’t need to be perfect or long.
“Dear God, I want your gift in my life this Christmas. I open my heart to Jesus Christ, your Son, and pray that you will forgive me of my sins. As much as I know how I ask you, please come and place your spirit in my life, making me the person you want me to be.”
Will you accept God’s precious gift today?