What is Your Gift?

By Pastor Jeff,

This is the greatest gift you can give Jesus not just today but everyday of your life.

Matthew 2:1-11, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Now I want to point out a couple of traditions that have been added to the Christmas story that the bible doesn’t speak on, one was that there were only three wise men, we see that three gifts were given but scripture doesn’t say it was by just three wise men, there could of been hundreds for all we know. The other is that the wise men came the night that Jesus was born, in fact when the wise men did have their encounter the scripture tells us he was a young child and based on Herod sending his soldiers to kill all the male children two and under, Jesus could of been that age when the wise men did appear before the child Jesus.

With that we will look at the three gifts that the Wise men brought, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. The gold had a great monetary value and had to help during the upbringing of Jesus as Joseph, Mary, and family had to move more than once until they settled in Nazareth. Frankincense was a resin from the shrubs that grew in the mountain ranges that border Dhofar, Myrrh was also a resin from the Horn of Africa. These were very valuable and may even been more costly than the gold as frankincense was used by Kings and myrrh was used for funeral rites because of its strong aromatic scent. Some speculate that these three items would value in the millions of dollars but of course it that can’t be confirmed.

These valuable gifts were important in the life of Jesus but the question I have for you, is what gift do you bring to Jesus? Some may say our offerings of money, or a vow to pray, read your bible more, and so on it what our gift is, but I tell you that is not what Jesus wants. But you say I have nothing else to give, you say surely wouldn’t want this man of sin, Psalms 8:3-4, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Indeed!

Thank God, that isn’t the way God sees us Psalms 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” I contend if you were the only person in this world that needed saving, Jesus would of still of come taken on the form of man, been rejected, suffered, died, buried, and Resurrected just for you. That’s the value Jesus puts on you, Jesus didn’t come for your bank account, your house, your cars, or any other material thing, He came for YOU! The best gift you could possibly give Jesus this Christmas and any other day is your Life, obey Acts 2:38 and become Born Again, don’t delay for we do not know that this may be the last Christmas we have before He returns.

picture care of:pathmegazine.com

What is Christmas About to me?

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By Pastor Jeff,

I asked this question on Facebook recently and received answers that I pretty much expected, “salvation, the greatest gift, and  God’s love”  these are answers I agree with wholeheartedly. Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

I must let it be know that I love Christmas, though the commercialism of it can be sometimes overwhelming, but even with that I can smile at. Since my grand kids came along my love for Christmas has grown as I get great joy in finding out what gifts they would like, the shopping for; whether on-line or in the store I find exciting, and then seeing the joy on their faces as they open their gifts.

I love that we have the opportunity to share the gospel as it seems people are more open to the message of Jesus Christ coming into the world to save sinners, who I am chief.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” becomes a powerful verse at this time of the year.

With that I must say that the last and this years Christmas is different in many ways for in the fall of 2018 I lost a good friend and my eldest son passed away, then this past January my youngest daughter also passed on after a battle with cancer. This of course has devastated me as I’m sure many before me that have gone through similar instances have. The interesting thing is that I don’t feel sorry for myself but have become more aware of those around who Christmas or any holiday, birthday, anniversary that has become hard to face.

I’m aware that though I still have that joy since I have hope in Christ Jesus, others don’t, and even those that do can struggle immensely. I understand that pain even with this hope and I realize that some will go through depression, anger, sadness that many can never understand. I become more sensitive to those and though I love this holiday I have learned the hard way that we can’t just brush people off and ignore the real hurt that is going on in their lives. 2Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

To those that are going through tough times, who are hurting, who are mourning a loved one, I want to let you know that you are not alone, and God loves you and is with you in these times. Knowing this is what kept me and still keeps me going even though there is a great hole in my heart!

If you don’t know this God who loved you so much that He became a child, lived, suffered, died, and rose again so that we may have a hope beyond this corrupt world, I encourage you to find a bible believing church. If you are a believer and still are having a hard time, I also encourage you with the word from Apostle Paul in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This life is temporal and relatively short but we will have an eternity to spend with Jesus Christ and our loved ones who have become Born Again.

This is what Christmas means to me this year!

My prayer for you is of comfort, hope, peace, and even that you may find joy this Christmas season, God Bless you!

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