December 2015

Have you ever received a perfect gift? One that was exactly what you needed, more magnificent than you ever imagined and at no cost to you? A gift so perfect you treasure it with all your heart, protecting it and treating it with utmost respect. So perfect a gift that you cannot control your desire to share the news of it with everyone who will listen. In all honesty I am hard pressed to recall such a gift, except one.
Luke 2:10–11 (ESV) “10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” This is the only truly perfect gift you or I have ever received. Jesus describes this relationship like this, Matthew 13:44 (ESV) “44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” It is a gift so perfect that I willingly sacrifice everything else I possess to secure and protect it.
As we journey toward the celebration of Jesus’s birth, there are so many good and desirable things that obscure our remembrance that He is the most perfect gift of a loving Father to His children. We easily get caught up in the excitement, joys, warmth, traditions and responsibilities of the season. We are distracted by the enjoyable and so forget the perfect.
I am not really suggesting you put Christ back into Christmas. You can’t, because He was and is never not there. What I am suggesting is that you put Christ at the center of your heart, mind and actions. Or as I was taught as a child, you enthrone Christ as the ruler of your life. Jesus says in Luke 16:13 (ESV) “13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” So the question becomes who am I serving? My answer is that it be Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. My suggestion is that we treasure this perfect gift of God with all our heart, and soul, and strength.
One unique thing about this perfect gift is that we are not to keep it for ourselves. We have the responsibility to share it. I have the exciting privilege of sharing this most precious gift with others. I can never use it up or run out of it when I give it to others. There is an infinite supply of perfect satisfaction. Another incredible benefit is, the more I share Jesus, the perfect gift, the more precious He becomes to me. In every other situation when I give something away it’s gone. But with Jesus the more I share Him with others the more precious and present he becomes in me.
So let me start at the beginning and suppose that you don’t see Him as that perfect gift for you. What might you do about it? First follow the shepherds. Luke 2:15–16 (ESV) “15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” First make the personal effort to go and see for yourself. Seek out Jesus where He is and inquire. The point is not so much where to seek Him but that you seek Him. Second listen to what the Lord has made known about Him. God reveals Jesus in the Bible, in preaching and in the testimonies of His people. What does God say about Jesus? What does God want me to know? I need to listen with good attention. Active listening is an important skill. Third enter into all that the Lord says. When I say enter in, I’m saying “follow Jesus” or obey God’s commands. I’m saying walk with Jesus every day, giving Him preeminence in your life. Or as Jesus said above, serve God.
I pray that this Christmas you will possess the most perfect gift ever given, Jesus Christ the Savior and Lord.
Merry Christmas and may the blessings of our Lord be yours to treasure each day.
Pastor & Susan