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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 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 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 2: The Cost of the Gift

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

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6:19, 20 NASB

Today the Christmas season has officially started. It has started on a day most call Black Friday. A  long and tiresome day many will spend looking for a value. The value of a gift isn’t always determined by monetary value. In fact , I have received many gifts over the years that are worthless as far as the world is concerned. To me however, they are priceless. They are priceless because of who gave them. Because of who gave them they are among my greatest treasures. Yet, if a stranger were to give me a gift my personal value of the gift would only be its monetary value. Although I would be grateful for the gift I wouldn’t treasure it in my heart. Since there are no emotional ties to the gift giver, the gift itself would not have any emotional value.

Some of the greatest emotional gifts are gifts given by people who love you. Because they love you they poured their heart into the gift in which they gave. In my opinion the greatest of these gifts are gifts they crafted with their own hand. Some of the greatest monetary gifts are gifts that were created by the original masters craftsmen and artist. An original Picasso painted by Picasso is worth much more than  a copy. Knowing that you have in your position the very piece that the craftsmen poured his heart and soul into brings great value.

We have received a gift from not only the master craftsmen of a piece of art or a particular object, but, the Master craftsmen of all-God Himself. James 1:7 says, Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” He is the master craftsmen of all. He said, “Let there be light, and there was light” for this reason He is the Father of Lights. He is the Father of “every good thing given” and “every perfect gift.”

The gift that He gave us in creation was for a singular purpose. God is eternal, therefore He existed in eternities past prior to creating the earth. However, God chose to create this earth to populate it with people of whom He desired to have a relationship with. God’s singular purpose in creation was to have a relationship with mankind.

Unfortunately, just after God created a perfect world man corrupted it with sin. Man didn’t only corrupt the world with sin they corrupted their own hearts with sin preventing them from fulfilling the purpose in which God created them for, the purpose of having relationship with Him and therefore living a life that brings Him glory.

This leads us to the greatest gift the world can ever receive. A gift given by the master of all. A gift given by one who loves us more than all. A gift given with which He poured His heart and soul into. A gift given at a great personal cost to Himself. The gift He gave was His own Son, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). The high price He paid was His Son’s life, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:7). Truly, the greatest gift was given at a great cost.

This is part 2 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions place your email in the follow tab on the right. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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