GCM-42 - Christmas: God Gave The Only Gift Everyone Really Needs

At the first Christmas, God gave the only gift everyone really needs. 

Each Christmas, as we open God's Word and remember the greatest event since Creation, we have an opportunity to reset our minds on the real message from God for this season in our lives. 

As we open to Luke 1:78-79 pause and think about how far we have come from the First Christmas.

More and more here in America, Christmas has become all about wanted gifts; gift giving, give buying, and gift receiving make up so much of these weeks of the year. Many are looking for the most “wanted” gifts; and so much so that often these gifts are sold out and so they become even more sought after. Think about what are:

THE MOST
WANTED GIFTS

Each year the world’s largest retailers send out beautiful, full color glossy flyers with their ads stating they have the “gifts everyone wants” this Christmas. 

I read through the ads to see what were the items offered as “Most Wanted”: diamonds, home theaters, complete “dream vacation” packages to be with music stars backstage, and on went the list. Then one even advertised the “ultimate” gift—a million and a half dollar personal jet that seats four! 

Just what we all really want—diamonds, dream vacations, and private jets, right?

Christmas in America is mostly about gifts I give and receive. Billions and billions of dollars of sales attest to the fact that for these 4-6 weeks Americans flood the retail outlets and search out the gifts that are most wanted, most sought after, most unique, most memorable and so on. 

But the real Christmas was the very first one, when God confronted the world with the only gift everyone really needs. Jesus is the gift everyone needs. 

God provided the only gift that everyone absolutely, critically needs—the substitutionary death of His Son, who came to meet our eternal-life-threatening need, prompted by our sins.

To help us understand Christmas from God’s perspective: 
•    look over the holiday crowds that always seems to get in front of us everywhere we want to go these days; 
•    look beyond our house, our street, our city, our state, and even our planet—and look above and remember to see our God on His Throne.

GOD IS ON
HIS THRONE

This very moment—as the six billion plus of souls on Earth go through their routines of eating, sleeping, working and living—our God is enthroned in the Heavens; He is sitting in power and majesty, He is surrounded by countless angelic hosts bowing before Him and reverently crying out Holy, Holy, Holy. 

•    Before Him, the Ancient of Days—burn seven fires, reflected in the mirror-like surface of the crystal sea. 

•    Around Him, the King of Glory—peal endless claps of thunder and flashes of lightning as angelic hosts and saved sinners rise and fall in adoration.

•    In front of Him, the Almighty God—rises the constant incense of prayers and worship songs from His redeemed creatures. 

Our God sits enthroned in Heaven, as Ruler over the entire Universe. But as the Lord looks down from His Throne upon this planet overspread with people—it looks pretty dark down here. 

Listen to the picture that God left us; this is His analysis of our human plight. Please stand as we listen to God from Luke 1:78-79:

Through the tender mercy of our God, 
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, 
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Pray

From God’s perspective, all of humanity is hopelessly lost, sitting in the dark and awaiting destruction. He said:

WE ARE
LOST IN DARKNESS

Christmas is the story of the Lord God Almighty, motivated by His great love, sending Jesus to provide the way of salvation to lost humanity sitting in that complete darkness. 

Jesus came to Earth as the sunrise [Dayspring] from God, to shine the light of salvation upon all of the lost and sin darkened people of this world.

It is always darkest just before dawn, and that is just how it was. The Roman world of the 1st Century had reached the highest levels of science, literature, culture, engineering, transportation, and medicine known since Adam and Eve stepped from the Garden. 

Yet with all that advancement most people were still hopelessly lost, and endlessly troubled by an inability to even control their own fears and desires—let alone know how to come to know the Awesome God of the Universe.

God surveyed His creation and found that the crown of creation, the only creatures made in His image had a soul threatening, terminal illness called sin. In every instance of Christ's coming (Christmas) there are clues describing what we needed as exactly what Jesus came to offer us.  

This Christmas, we need to see ourselves as God saw us. 

We are born spiritually blind, and grow up sitting lost, helpless, and hopeless in the darkness of sin; as sinners who have sinned even once in God’s sight—we are guilty of breaking all of God’s commandments (James 2:10). 

Christmas from the Divine vantage point as explained in the Bible should make us see ourselves as worst than we think, rather than better; because Christ's death is only for the guilty, only for the hopelessly stained, and only for the helplessly lost. It is in that condition—that we find God’s grace.

DO YOU SEE
YOUR CRITICAL NEEDS?

All sinners (so that means all humans that have ever lived on planet earth except Jesus Christ) have seven basic Biblically described critical and soul threatening needs. 

Luke 1:67-79, explains God’s purposes in sending Jesus to the Earth. Our critical need is summed up as—all humans are hopelessly lost, sitting in the dark and awaiting destruction unless their life-threatening needs are met by God through Jesus. The Bible defines our greatest needs as: 1. forgiveness; 2. justification; 3. regeneration; 4. reconciliation; 5. adoption; 6. redemption; and 7. sanctification.

Only if we have received Jesus who came to save us from sin, do we really have anything in our possession that matters. Every other possession and gift can be stripped away from us by disease, disaster, or death. Only Jesus will never leave us or be lost; only He can save and keep us forever.

As you think about Christmas, gifts, presents, giving and receiving—why not check and be sure that you have received the most important of all gifts. 


Have you received the one and only gift that you (and everyone else) really needs?

THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS—
CRITICAL NEED #1

Because of our sin—we are all debtors to God’s Righteousness; so we need forgiveness.

Psalm 32:1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, 
And in whose spirit there is no deceit. NKJV

So Christmas is all about Jesus coming to live and then die the substitutionary death to take the hopeless debt we owe to God and pay with His own life our eternal death sin has caused us to be responsible to pay--that’s forgiveness. We stood before God as a debtor and that debt is forgotten by Christ's payment.

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace NKJV

Have you experienced the relief of knowing that all your sins, everyone of them—past, present, and future, are GONE? 

Your sins are paid for, and your eternal life is purchased—and you have the receipt in your hand, written in the very blood of the One who paid the price. Christ's record of that payment is forever settled in this book the Bible!

Forgiveness is the first element of the only gift everyone really needs this Christmas.

THE GIFT OF JUSTIFICATION—
CRITICAL NEED #2

Because of our sin—we are all guilty convicts in God’s sight; so we need justification. 

A U.S. Justice Department report released on November 30 showed that a record 7 million people -- or one in every 32 American adults -- were behind bars, on probation or on parole at the end of last year. Of the total, 2.2 million were in prison or jail.

But the reality is actually vastly greater than one in 32—it is actually ALL of the inhabitants of the USA are convicts in God’s sight; and so are all of the other people alive around the world this moment. 

Psalm 51:3-4 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. NKJV

So Christ died to take guilty convicts and destroy any record that that ever committed a crime and takes their place in the punishment—that’s justification! We stood before God as accused and is declared righteous by His imputed righteousness.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, NKJV

But justification is only for those who confess their crimes (sins) to the judge (God) and ask for His pardon and forgiveness. All of those who refuse to believe they are a guilty, hopelessly sinful convict in Christ's eyes are denied any relief from the penalty of their sins—both now and forever.

Have you experienced the peace of justification, all guilt removed, all punishment forever taken away from God’s sight? 

Justification is the second element of the only gift everyone really needs this Christmas.

THE GIFT OF REGENERATION—
CRITICAL NEED #3

Because of our sin—we are all dead in our trespasses and sin; so we need regeneration. 

Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, NKJV

So Christ died to take dead and rotting spiritual corpses and make them vibrant, full of endless life and brand new—that’s regeneration! 

John 10:10 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. NKJV

Have you experienced the power of an endless life, and every day partaking of the powerful presence within of the very Lord God Almighty? 

Regeneration is the third element of the only gift everyone really needs this Christmas.

THE GIFT OF RECONCILIATION—
CRITICAL NEED #4

Because of our sin—we are all enemies of God; so we need reconciliation. 

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. NKJV

So Christ died to take enemies and make them friends—that’s reconciliation! A Sinner stands before God as an enemy and is made a friend by His peace.

Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. NKJV;  

Reconciliation is the fourth element of the only gift everyone really needs this Christmas.

THE GIFT OF ADOPTION—
CRITICAL NEED #5

Because of our sin—we are all strangers to God; so we need adoption. 

Ephesians 2:12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. NASB

So Christ died to take strangers and make them part of the family—that’s adoption! A Sinner stands before God as a stranger and is called a Son by His choice.

Galatians 4:4-6 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born  of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” NKJV

Adoption is not our entrance into God’s family, the way a homeless child would enter an adoptive family in our society. Rather, our only hope of getting into God’s family is by regeneration or “the new birth” (John 3:3). In New Testament language, the word used by God for adoption means “placed into a family as an adult son.” This denotes our standing in God’s family of God: we enter God’s family not as little children but we enter as adult sons with all the privileges. Entrance into God’s family is by regeneration, but enjoyment of God’s family is through adoption. 

Have you experienced the joy of being adopted into Christ's family? 

Adoption is the fifth element of the only gift everyone really needs this Christmas.

THE GIFT OF REDEMPTION—
CRITICAL NEED #6

Because of our sin—we are all slaves to unrighteousness; so we need redemption. 

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. NASB

So Christ died to take slaves and make them freed forever—that’s redemption! A Sinner stands before God as a slave and is granted freedom by His ransom.

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

Have you experienced the thrill of being liberated, set free, rescued by God forever? 

Redemption is the sixth element of the only gift everyone really needs this Christmas.

THE GIFT OF SANCTIFICATION—
CRITICAL NEED #7

Because of our sin—we are all defiled; so we need sanctification. 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

So Christ died to take our soiled and spotted lives that always get wasted and make them clean, focused and fruitful—that’s sanctification! 

Sanctification is the final element of the only gift everyone really needs this Christmas.

Christmas is the story of the Lord God Almighty, motivated by His great love, sending Jesus to provide the way of salvation to lost humanity sitting in that complete darkness. 

Jesus came to Earth as the sunrise [Dayspring] from God, to shine the light of salvation upon all of the lost and sin darkened people of this world.

As you think about Christmas, gifts, presents, giving and receiving—why not check and be sure that you have received the most important of all gifts. 

Have you received the one and only gift that you (and everyone else) really needs? If not, why not extend your hand in faith to the outstretched arms of Jesus? If you would like to receive the only gift that you really need, Jesus offers Himself to you today.

Please bow your heads with me. You can receive Christ right now if you will call out to Him. Here is a simple prayer to receive Him:

Lord Jesus, I believe you came seeking me as I sat in the darkness and blindness of my sin. 
I feel the light of Your salvation upon my soul. 
I ask for You to save me now, I am reaching out to you by faith.
I trust Your promise to take all who come to You.
Jesus I am coming right now.