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Day 28: The Gift of Himself

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

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NASB

We have spent the past 28 days taking a surface level look at many of the gifts God has richly bestowed upon us. Paul said in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” It would take volumes of books to record all of the wonderful gifts God richly blesses us with. However, none of the gifts is comparable to the gift of Himself.

When God sent us the gift of His Son that first Christmas morning He sent us the Son of God, God in the flesh. John records the coming of Christ by simply saying, “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14). The word “dwelt” that John used is the exact same word as “tabernacle” This verse could be translated “The word tabernacled among us.” The bible teaches us that the Old Testament Tabernacle is an earthly shadow of what is in heaven. (Hebrews 8:5). In fact, every aspect of the Tabernacle points to the person of Christ. The Tabernacle was God’s dwelling place among His people. God dwelt in the innermost part of the tabernacle.

Now through Christ, we have access to the heavenly Tabernacle. The one not made with human hands but crafted by God Himself. Through Christ, we have access to the inner most part of the Tabernacle. There is a single gate to the entrance of the Tabernacle. Jesus is the gate and we must inter through Him. (John 10:9). Once we enter the gate we see the altar. At the altar a blood sacrifice is required. Jesus made that sacrifice for us once and for all. (Hebrews 7:27). Through the blood we can now approach the bronze laver where every crimson stain has been removed and we are washed whiter than snow. Now we can enter into the sanctuary where we see the table of showbread representing our communion with Christ, the golden lamp stand representing our walk in His light, and the alter of incense where we lift up our petitions and praises. Just beyond the sanctuary is the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God. This is a representation of the throne room of God; the very throne that we can draw near with confidence, because of the grace of God and the sacrifice of Christ. The gift of Christ made God’s presence available to us all. All who would call on His name and be saved.

God sent us His Son as an invitation to come into His presence. He knows us and loves us and wants us to know Him and love Him back. For this reason, He gave us Himself as the greatest gift anyone can ever receive. A gift of long ago, a gift of today, and a gift of eternity. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 28 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. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 24, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 25: The Gift of Beautiful Feet

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

“ How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Romans 10:14-15 NASB

When the angel appeared to the shepherds that first Christmas night they said, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10). His declaration was  that the good news of Christ’s birth was for “all the people.” Later in this same chapter Simeon declared that Jesus came for both the Jews and the Gentiles. Again, He is for all the people.

Jesus didn’t come for a select group of people. Nor did Jesus come only for the faithful who sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday. His heart is that all would come to repentance, receive His free gift of salvation, and be redeemed. For this reason, He told His children to, “Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). Peter tells us in I Peter 2:9 that one of the churches primary roles is, “that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Every Christian is responsible for this task.

Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power unto salvation unto those who believe.” If the gospel is powerful for transformation, the opposite is true that if the gospel is not proclaimed individuals, families, communities, and societies will be left to ruin apart from the proclamation of it. If you are saved, you are saved because you received the free gift of the gospel. Now that you are saved, God has called you to pay it forward and tell others so they will not be ruined and undone.

We have already seen so many wonderful gifts that God has given to His children. Each gift is received because we received the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are greedy and dishonorable to God if we hoard all of these gifts for ourselves. God’s heart is to save every man woman and child so they too can receive His free gifts. Paul said in Romans 10:13, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How will they know unless we tell them?

The feet that carry the Good News may become callused, bruised, and bloody; they may become dusty, dirty, and grimy; they may become tired, weary, and worn, but they are beautiful to God. For, they are bringing the Good News of Jesus to a lost world, the world of whom He loves and a world He came to save. Although proclaiming the gospel requires sacrifice on our part, it is a gift. A gift to the world in the name of Jesus. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen. Now, let us freely give as we have freely received.

This is part 25 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. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 21, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 22: The Gift of Joy

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

“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:11

The shepherds, who were tending their flock by night, were afraid when the Angel of the Lord appeared to them. The Angel of the Lord then said, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11). Jesus is the good news of great joy. Throughout the scriptures, we see people who receive this good news have great joy. We see that the first church worshiped with gladness in their heart. (Acts 2:46). When the gentiles discovered that the gospel was available to them, they rejoiced. (Acts 13:48). The bible tells us to consider our trials a joy knowing that we will become stronger, through Christ, because of them. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”

True joy is found only in the person of Jesus. In the eleventh chapter of John, Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches, He tells us that the Father prunes us and that the word of God has made us clean. Since Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, we understand He is our source of life. Jesus lets us know if our life source is not found in Him we are dead and will be thrown into the fire.

He also tells us that apart from Him we can do nothing. Ten times in this text of scripture Jesus uses the word abide. When we abide in Christ we bear fruit and honor God. If we are going to accomplish anything in life, anything eternal, anything that matters, we will only accomplish it by abiding in Christ. In Him and through Him we bear fruit. When we bear fruit, we bring glory to the Father. If we are truly in Christ, bringing glory to the Father will give us great joy and our joy, through Christ, will be made full. Truly, Jesus is good news of great joy. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 22 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 18, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 18: The Gift of Strength in Service

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

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” II Timothy 1:7 NASB

Paul imprisoned, knowing he would soon lose his life for his faith and service to Jesus wrote these words of encouragement to Timothy. Paul knew that Timothy, the pastor of Ephesus, would face some of the same trials and persecutions that he faced. Paul wanted Timothy to know that despite what he faced God would be with him and strengthen him to face it.

We can rest assured the more we strive to serve God the more persecution will come our way. Paul also told Timothy, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (II Timothy 3:12). Satan will stop at nothing to prevent God’s children from serving Him. But remember, “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4). We have no reason to fear Satan or his persecution. Our fear should be of God and God alone.

Paul told Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity.” If God hasn’t given us a spirit of timidity, or fear, then where does it come from? Satan. Satan is a bully trying to scare us away from serving God. Satan knows once we start serving God through the power of the Holy Spirit we are a major threat to his kingdom. We are God’s; therefore, we have no reason to fear Satan, nor anything, or anyone else.

Despite trials, tribulation, or tragedy God has given us through His Spirit the power to serve Him. Let me ask you a silly question. What is more powerful than God? Nothing! If we are working in His power then who do we have to fear. Jesus told the disciples just before He ascended to be with the Father in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses.” The world has never, nor ever will see a greater power than God’s, and He has given to us a spirit of power, His power.

Not only has God given to us a spirit of power, He has given to us a spirit of love. Love is a defining characteristics of a Christian. I John 4:8 says, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” It was love that motivated the Father to send His Son and love that motivated the Son to surrender. It is love, love of God first and of man second, that motivates our heart to serve. Paul asked Timothy in II Timothy 1:8 to, “join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God” What would motivate someone to serve God knowing that there is a great possibility they would suffer? Love! And, God has given us a spirit of love.

God has also given to us a spirit of discipline. This spirit of discipline is what motivates us to stay focused in our service and seek God for our strength. In essence, God has given to us through His Spirit an internal motivator to keep on keeping on. Through His Spirit we clearly see that God has given us everything we need to faithful serve Him. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 18 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 14, 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 5: The Gift of Redemption

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

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13, 14 NASB

Prior to accepting God’s greatest gift, the gift of His Son, the bible tells us that we all, “formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2). We were citizens of the domain of darkness destined to eternal hell and separation from God. We were bound in our sins with no hope of escape and no hope of freedom from condemnation-until God sent His Son. Colossians 1:13 tells us He, Jesus, rescued us. The word “rescued” is used in past tense indicating that the rescue has already taken place. Jesus has rescued us out of the domain of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of God.

How did we become citizens of the darkness in the first place? Sin. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. We bought our residency into the domain of darkness and our ticket to hell with our own sins. The bible tells us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Therefore, everyone who has ever lived has resided in or is residing in the domain of darkness. They have either been saved from the domain of darkness, by Jesus, or stand in need of salvation.

Just as our sins purchased our residency in the domain of darkness, the blood of Jesus redeems us and purchased for us freedom and forgiveness of sin enabling us to reside in our new residency, the Kingdom of God, with Jesus for all eternity. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” As already stated, Romans 6:23 tells us “The wages of sin is death.” The good news is that the same verse tells us, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The gift we have received from God is the gift of redemption. Redemption that came at a great price to Jesus but is a free gift to those who believe. The gift of redemption that was paid for by the blood of Jesus but freely offered to whoever will repent of their sins and make Jesus Lord of their lives. In faith, we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sin knowing that they have already been paid for. Truly Jesus is the greatest gift, “Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession.” (Titus 2:14).

This is part 5 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 1, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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