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Day 10: The Gift of Friendship with God

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 NASB

Wow! What an amazing statement that we have from Jesus. If we are His disciples, we are His friend. Not just that we have befriended Jesus but He has befriended us. Jesus said, “I have called you friends.” Jesus is the master and we are His servants, yet, He has allowed us to come into His inner circle by accepting us as His friend.

To be friends with Jesus means that we know Him and He knows us. I have a multitude of “friends” on social media that I have never met and others that I seldom see. Although I am glad to be connected with them that is not true friendship. A true friend is someone you know. Someone who is there for you. Someone you have invested your life into and they have invested their life in you.

Within the lingo of social media, Jesus is the one who sent us a friend request and asked us to follow Him. Prior to us accepting that request we were friends with the world which made us an enemy of God. Jesus sent us a friend request by leaving the glories of heaven and becoming a man. He is God who took upon flesh. Colossians 2:9 tells us that, “In Him (Jesus) all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” This is the purpose of Christmas. God becoming who He created to walk among us, to sympathize with us, and to saved us. Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Yet, He became one of us.

We’ve all had those friendships where it seemed as though we were putting forth all of the effort and the friend was always in need. There is no doubt in our friendship with Jesus that we are always the one in need. Philippians 2:5-8 tells us that the purpose of Jesus becoming a man was to die on the cross. Jesus is the perfect friend. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” He is always there for us and will always provide for us. I can’t think of a greater friend, can you? Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 10 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 9: The Gift of Being a Child of God

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12 NASB

Since God is the creator of all, everyone is technically a child of God. However, this text of scripture specifically tells us, “But as many as received Him.” To be a child of God we must receive the gift God has for us. If we receive the gift, we become His children. Most men can biologically father a child. Unfortunately, not all men father their children. I Timothy 5:8 says of those “men”, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” God, however, will take care of all His creation. Jesus said in Matthew 5:45, “He (God) causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” For God to truly be our Heavenly Father we must accept Him. Most of God’s created children have rejected Him. Only those who by faith receive Jesus are His adopted Children.

Through Jesus, we are legally adopted by God and therefore become His children. Paul starting with a short narrative of the Christmas story explains this in Galatians 4:4-7 saying, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”

We are not slaves we are sons. Sons and daughters of God that are joint heirs of God. Sons and daughters of God who can call God “Abba Father” which is the most intimate and loving expression a child can offer to their father. Sons and daughters of God that will one day inherit the Kingdom of God as joint heirs in Christ Jesus. Jesus will eternally be the Master of the Kingdom but we will eternally enjoy the blessings of the kingdom with Him.

God has made it clear in His word that Fathers of this world are to take care of their children, tend to their needs, teach them, and provide for them. Our God is a righteous God. This means God will always do what is right. Even if our father of this earth was worthless and left us, we know that our Heavenly Father will always be there for us. God has assured His children numerous times throughout scripture in many ways, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” For, He is a righteous Father.

Lastly, as we think about God desiring to be our Father enough to send His only Son to die for us we see the ultimate expression of love. God loves everyone, and wants everyone to be His child. We love Him because He first loved us. (I John 4:19). You may have never know the love of your earthly father. He may have been the most unloving man on earth. On the other hand, you may have had a wonderful, loving father. Regardless of your life’s experiences, nothing can compare to the love that our Heavenly Father freely offers to those who will receive Him. Truly, we have the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 9 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 7: The Gift of Union with God

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” I Corinthians 6:17 NASB

Prior to God sending us His Son Jesus, as the greatest gift, we were not only hopeless, we were also helpless. God’s clear standard for our lives is to be holy because He is holy. (I Peter 1:16). This presents for us a major problem. Apart from Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit we are unable to live holy lives. Ephesians 2:3 tells us that the nature of man is one of wrath. Since the unregenerate person is one of wrath he cannot be holy, he is a sinner.

Due to the unsaved persons condition of wrath, he is unable to even understand the things of God. I Corinthians 2:14 tells us, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” The natural man is the unsaved man who is void of the Holy Spirit within his life. Apart from the Holy Spirit revealing God and His truths we are clueless, blinded, and helpless. For this reason, the things of God are foolish to the unsaved.

As we have already seen, the power of the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from our sins and restored us into a right relationship with God. However, that is not the end of the gift that God has given to us, it is only the beginning. In every other religion in the world the follower is left on his own to figure things out for himself. The Christian, however, is never alone. God sent us His Son, Jesus, who is also Immanuel which translated means, God with us. (Matthew 1:23). When we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord He is in us and we are in Him. (Ephesians 2:5, 6).

When we become a Christian, God not only brings us into communion with the Father and the Son but also the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 says, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” In other words, if you have the Son you have the Spirit, if you don’t have the Son you don’t have the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives us life, empowers us to serve God, convicts us of wrongs, leads us to what is right and teaches us the mind of God. On our own we are utterly helpless and therefore hopeless. Fortunately, for us, God didn’t leave us on our own. He is with us, God with us, Immanuel. We are in Him and He in us. Truly, God has given to us the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 6 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 3, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 6: The Gift of Peace

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 NASB

Those who reside in the domain of darkness have set themselves up to be at enmity against God. James 4:4 says, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” They are enemies of God because they have chosen to live for the world rather than repent of their sins and live for the Lord.

Fortunately for us, God has chosen to provide a way for those in the world to be reconciled with Him. II Corinthians 5:19 says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” To be reconciled is to be restored into a right relationship. God’s means of reconciliation is the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus purchased for the world redemption. The world then receives redemption by faith and are then reconciled unto God.

When one has by faith been reconciled with God by being redeemed by the blood of Jesus he is then justified before God. To be justified is to be made right. His sins are now forgiven, blotted out, removed as far as the east is from the west, and remembered no more. (I John 1:9, Acts 3:19, Psalm 103:12, Hebrews 8:12). By his faith in Jesus he is now in a right relationship with God.

When one has been justified by God, made right, he now has peace with God. Paul is not talking about an emotion or a feeling of peace, nor is he referring to a sense of security that brings peace. Paul is talking about a practical peace; the type of peace between two warring parties that have called a truce. We were enemies of God yet we are now reconciled. We agreed to the truce God called by placing our faith in His provision of the truce-Jesus.

Being a nice person cannot bring peace between you and God. Being a generous person cannot bring peace between you and God. Being a religious person cannot bring peace between you and God. Being a good person cannot bring peace between you and God. Jesus said, “No one is good but God.” We were the aggressors in our hostility toward God. We are the guilty party. For this reason, we deserve God’s condemnation. Instead, God provided justification through the blood of His Son. By faith in Jesus we are justified. By faith in Jesus we are at peace with God. Peace is not a gift we deserve but a gift we are given by grace. Truly, Jesus is the greatest gift.

This is part 6 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 4: The Gift of Grace

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB

Paul begins Ephesians two by reminding us in the first verse that, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins.” Romans 6:23 tells us that, “The wages of sin is death.” There are three types of death mentioned in the bible. The first type of death is what Paul is referencing here, being dead in sin. Our sins separate us from God. They have trespassed the law of God. For this reason our sin keeps the Holy Spirit and Jesus from residing within us. Because of this we are spiritual dead, separated from God. One who is spiritual dead is physically alive. Their hearts are pumping, their blood is flowing, and their lungs are breathing. The Dr. might tell them that they are a picture of health. However, they are spiritually dead.

The second type of death is physical death. Hebrews 9:27 says, “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” Unless we are caught up in the rapture, we will all die physically one day. If one dies while spiritually dead he will then enter into eternal death separated from God in hell with no hope of redemption. Revelation 20:14, 15 says, “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Spiritual death, physical death, and eternal death are all the wages of sin. Death is what we have earned and death is what we deserve. We have all sinned; therefore, we will all pay the penalty of sin-death; unless of course someone pays the price for us. Fortunately for us, God chose to send His Son Jesus to die in our place. We deserve to pay the price for our sins with death; yet, God chose to send His Son to die in our place as a gift, a gift of grace.

We cannot earn the gift of salvation. We have already earned death and condemnation. We certainly don’t deserve the gift of God that was paid for through the death of Jesus. Again, we deserve death. God would be completely just in giving us what we have earned. But praise be to God He chose to offer us grace. Grace has been described as the unmerited or undeserved gift of God.

The Word of God is extraordinarily clear that we are saved simply by placing our faith in the person and works of the Lord Jesus Christ. By faith we believe that the blood Jesus shed and the death that He died cleanses us from all unrighteousness, freeing us from the power of sin and death giving us everlasting life. By faith, and faith alone we receive the grace of God. Can you think of a greater Christmas gift than the grace of God? I can’t. Truly, Jesus is the greatest gift.

This is part 4 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 3: The Gift of Us

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” Ephesians 1:3, 4 NASB

Does the title confuse you a little? How can God give to us the gift of us? Are we a gift? Not exactly. However, the fact that God created us is a gift. One of the greatest foundational truths in scripture is the fact that God created. Why else do you think Satan so adamantly attacks this truth with non-scientific theory and philosophy? We are not an accident. We are not by chance. We didn’t morph out of a blob or evolve from a big bang. We are, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 118:14). We are intentionally made by God himself. Uniquely and individually designed by the Master. God deserves to receive the glory for His creation.

The amazing part about God creating us is that He knew us before He created us. God is omniscient, (all knowing), therefore, He knew everything about us prior to laying down the foundation of the world. He knew what we would look like, he knew what we would sound like, He knew how we would walk, He know how many hairs would be on our head and how many days we would have on this earth. He even knew that our hearts would become morally corrupted by sin separating us from Him.

God knew prior to creating us that He would have to send His Son to die for us. I Peter 1:20, referring to Jesus, says, “He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” What was Jesus Chosen to do? He was chosen to come to this earth to become a sacrifice for sin for all mankind. Revelation 13:8 tells us that our names were written in the Lambs Book of Life from the foundations of the earth. Does this mean, as some would suggest, that God chose before He created who would be saved and who would not? Of course not. That would make God an unjust God. He has clearly given everyone a free will to choose Him or reject Him. He simply has the foreknowledge of who will receive His free Gift of salvation and who won’t. His clear will is for all to come into repentance. (II Peter 3:9).

God in His foreknowledge, knew before He created us, that He would have to one day send His Son to die for us and He chose to create us anyway. He didn’t have to. He chose to. “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law” (Galatians 4:4).  Truly, we have the greatest gift through Christ the world has ever seen.

This is part 3 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on November 29, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 1: Giving Thanks for the Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

              Christmas time to me is the greatest time of the year. Whether rich or poor, or young or old Christmas brings joy to all who celebrate. I however, am one of those traditionalist who believe that the Christmas season doesn’t start until the day after thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a also a very important holiday that should never be overlooked. Thanksgiving is an important day for family and friends. Giving thanks is a biblical principle that runs throughout Scripture and should be practiced daily. Why then talk about Christmas on Thanksgiving? Because Christmas is all about Jesus and Jesus is our greatest blessing of which we should be the most thankful for.

When Joseph, who was engaged to Mary, discovered that Mary had conceived a child he desired to secretly divorce her. However, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream telling him of the plans of God. At that time the Angel of the Lord told Joseph the very purpose of Christmas. He said, “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). The purpose of Christmas is Jesus, the Son of God, God with us, coming to this earth to save His people from their sins.

Romans 6:23 tells us that, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” For those who have been saved from their sins and brought out of death and into life, I cannot think of a single thing to be more grateful for on this day of Thanksgiving. Psalm 118:21 says, “I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.” Therefore, rejoice in your salvation and give God thanks!

For the next 27 days, from now until Christmas Eve, I will post daily devotions sharing about the Greatest Gift, the Gift of Christ. I will focus on who we are because of the gift of Christ. Please share this with others. PM me your email and I will add you to my subscribers list. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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