The Greatest Gift

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“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is…you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

The man who pioneered mass production of motor vehicles, Henry Ford, said that the most successful person would be the one who would fill the greatest need the best.

There is no doubt that Jesus Christ remains the greatest person who ever lived because He made the greatest sacrifice to fill the greatest need for the greatest number of people.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

We need forgiveness for sin and freedom from sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

We need life, love and light. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

We were dead in our trespasses and sins, and Jesus Christ came that we may have life and life in all its abundance. Jesus Christ gives us our spiritual life, eternal life and abundant life.

We need grace – undeserved favour – and it is in Jesus Christ that we find the mercy we so desperately need. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

We are lost, and He is the Good Shepherd that shows us the way.

We are often deceived and confused, but He is the Truth.

We were dead in our trespasses and sins but He is the Life and through Him we receive spiritual life, abundant life and eternal life.

“And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

A gift, by definition, is something that we did not earn, but which we receive from someone else’s generosity. A gift is appreciated either because of the giver that you have received it from, or because of the value attached to the gift.

If you received a gift from the Queen of England, I’m sure that you would greatly appreciate that prize. If any Head of State were to award you something, you would probably talk to others about it, and display the item most prominently.

Consider if you were in a court of law, and required to pay a fine that is way beyond a lifetime’s earnings. Imagine if somebody else’s sacrifice paid your fine and set you free. Would you be grateful?

How might you express your gratitude?

If that person asked you to do something, would you not willingly and eagerly do it?

Jesus said: “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching…” John 14:23

God our Creator has poured out His gifts upon you. Your very life. Your talents and abilities. Every moment of every day, every breath you breathe and every ray of sunshine is a gift from the hand of our Creator. The beauty of His Earth. The splendours of His Creation. Wonderful wildlife. Our pets. Our friends and family relationships. Have you thanked your Creator for all the gifts of life and health?

Have you always loved God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?

Have you loved your neighbour as yourself?

Have you always obeyed God’s Commandments?

Have you ever told a lie?

Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you?

Have you ever failed to return something that you have borrowed from others?

Have you ever committed adultery? (The Lord Jesus Christ said that if you have looked with lust, then you are guilty of committing adultery in your heart.)

Have you ever killed anyone? (Our Lord Jesus Christ taught in the Sermon on the Mount that if we hate our neighbour, we have committed murder in our heart.)

Have you ever gossiped and slandered, bearing false witness against your neighbour?

Have you ever coveted, been envious, or jealous, of something else’s possessions, or abilities?

Have you always been respectful to your parents?

Have you worshipped God alone?

Have you ever taken God’s Name in vain?

Have you ever made an idol of your possessions, sports or politics?

The more we look at the Ten Commandments, the more we realise that we have broken the Law of our Holy God.

If God was to judge you on the basis of His Ten Commandments, would you be innocent or guilty?

If you were to die today, would you go to Heaven or hell?

“It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the Judgement.” Hebrews 9:27

Almighty God has come to earth in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. He not only showed us the way, told us the Truth and offered us life; He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus said to him: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and declared: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” John 1:29

Jesus Christ lived the perfect life that you and I should have lived; He died the sinless death we deserved to die. He has paid the punishment for our sins. Not only has He won for us eternal salvation, but He offers us adoption into His family as sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:3-5

Jesus Christ came into this world to reach those who feel that nobody cares. The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him. The Lord Jesus Christ does care, and He is reaching the lonely and the desperate, the confused and the hurt, the depressed and the disillusioned. Jesus Christ, Himself is reaching out to you.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

As we turn away from our sin and turn to Christ we find forgiveness and freedom.

Jesus Christ is a friend to the friendless, a helper to the helpless.

He gives freedom to the addicts.

He loves the unloved.

He accepts the outcasts.

He changes the unchangeable.

He forgives the unforgivable.

He accomplishes the impossible.

He saves sinners.

He seeks the lost.

He gives direction to the aimless.

He gives hope to the disillusioned.

He gives Truth to the confused.

He gives joy to the depressed.

He gives purpose to the purposeless.

He gives hope to the hopeless.

He redeems and He renews.

He touches and transforms.

He answers prayer.

He works miracles before our eyes.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; all things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

God gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him.

Have you surrendered your life to Christ? Pray to God, and give Him all the bad things in your life: your hurts, disappointments, fears, failures and sins. Give them to Him, and leave them with Him. Let Jesus Christ heal you inside, and forgive you and clean you. He will change you, and turn your sorrows into joys, your fears into peace of heart, and mind. Submit to Him and He will give you a new direction in life.

“Repent and…be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38

Jesus Christ gives us a new start in life and a new life to start. We must not only surrender to Him all our sins and failures, but all the good things that He has entrusted to us as well: your talents and your abilities, your plans and your opportunities, your energy and your time, as well as your love.

Give everything to Jesus Christ and determine: no longer will I do with them just what I want to do, or what other people tell me to do. From now on I’m going to use my talents, time and treasure as God wants me to.

I will ask: what would Jesus do in my place?

I will no longer live just for fame and fortune, for popularity and prestige, no longer will it be just for me, myself and I, anymore. From now on I must live for Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost, to help and to love and to reach this world for Him.

His Great Commission will be my supreme ambition. His last command will be my first concern. My highest priority will be to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbour as myself.

We only have one life – it will soon be passed; only what’s done for Christ will last.

The will of God will never lead us – where the Grace of God cannot keep us.

God’s servant is God’s responsibility. Where God guides – He provides. God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.

Our priority must be to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, then all these things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33). When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4).

The Word of the Lord promises us: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

Do you know that peace that passes all understanding? Does the peace of Christ guide you? Is your mind steadfast? Are you trusting wholeheartedly in Christ alone?

“For He Himself has said: ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:5-6

If you want to revive your devotional life turn to the Psalms. The Psalms are the middle book of the Bible, the biggest book in the Bible, the Prayer book and Hymn book of the Bible. If you don’t know what to pray. If you don’t even want to pray – turn to the Psalms and begin to read and pray through them. There are 150 Psalms. If you pray through just one Psalm a day it will guide your prayers for 5 months. Make the Psalms the prayer of your heart and you will experience a revival in your devotional life.

This is God’s Word for you: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit…and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose…who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?…Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:1, 28, 35-39

Have you come to God through our Lord Jesus Christ?

Have you repented of your sins?

Have you confessed where you have broken God’s Holy Law?

Have you asked for His forgiveness and accepted the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord?

Have you thanked Him for this gift?

Are you living in joyful gratitude for all His mercy and undeserved favour?

Are you introducing other people to the greatest gift of all?

To whom much is given, much is required. Freely you have received. Freely give. Make this Christmas your best Christmas ever by accepting God’s gift of adoption into His family and inviting others to receive the greatest gift of all.

 

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

Dr. Peter Hammond

Livingstone Fellowship
P.O. Box 74
Newlands, 7725
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: (021) 689-4480
Fax: (021) 685-5884
Email: info@ReformationSA.org
Website: www.ReformationSA.org

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Greatest Gift

2 Corinthians 9:15 by Peter Hammond

Series:Christmas

 

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