THE GREATEST GIFT!
By Norman Watson
Even though Jesus was not born on December 25 and nowhere in the Bible does it say to celebrate His birth, Jesus did say in Luke 22:19 “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
However in John 3:16 ESV we read “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Romans 6:23 ESV tells us what is the greatest gift that He gave the world “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2:8 ESV “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”
Jesus is the “GREATEST GIFT” that God gave to a sin lost world that did not deserve such a precious and costly gift but God the Father wrapped His Son in the flesh of a human baby boy who was born and laid in an animal feeding trough most likely in a cave which was dirty and surrounded by smelly animals.
If you have not received this “Greatest Gift” I encourage you to do so now, use the prayer that King David prayed in Psalm 51 as your prayer, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner — yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.”
Once you have sincerely received “GREATEST GIFT” you can now shout from a sincere and pure heart along with the rest of us who are His children,
“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV
let us remember Jesus not only this Christmas but everyday by unwrapping Him as we study the Bible and do what the Word of God says.
Is He Worthy?
( Sung by Sounds Like Reign)

 
Do you feel the world is broken? (We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen? (We do)
But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? (We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do)
Is all creation groaning? (It is)
Is a new creation coming? (It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? (It is)
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)
Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory
Is He worthy of this?
He is
Does the Father truly love us? (He does)
Does the Spirit move among us? (He does)
And does Jesus, our Messiah hold forever those He loves? (He does)
Does our God intend to dwell again with us? (He does)
Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave
From every people and tribe
Every nation and tongue
He has made us a kingdom and priests to God
To reign with the Son
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of this?
He is! He is!
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
He is! He is!
He is worthy! He is worthy!
He is!
 

The Names of Jesus
By Tony Evans
When the angel Gabriel visited Mary to foretell the birth of the Messiah, he instructed Mary that she should call the baby Jesus because that name meant that He would save His people from their sins. Jesus is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament name Joshua which means “salvation.”
Yet Jesus has other names as well. While they are not literal names you would use in conversation, they are descriptive names assigned to Him that give us insight into His character and mission. Look at Isaiah 9:6: And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace.
Let’s work through these names individually:
Wonderful Counselor
When members of our congregation come to me for counseling, the quality of the advice they receive depends on the kind of day I have had. People often come expecting that perfect pearl of wisdom that will immediately solve their problems and put their life instantly in order. Unfortunately, I am human; I can’t hit the bull’s eye 100% percent of the time, no matter how hard I try. My personal resources and experience are limited.
That’s what makes Jesus such a wonderful counselor. His perspective is infinite; His resources unlimited. His experience includes a lifetime on earth during which He experienced the same trials and temptations we face. Who could be better qualified to offer us guidance and direction?
Mighty God
Jesus never fails. He is faithful. All the power of creation stands behind His promise to provide and care for us. He has the power to raise a dead man from the grave. Yet, even more, He has the personal power to keep Himself from racing ahead of the perfect, Divine timing and rushing to the aid of Martha and Mary before Lazarus died. He has the might of control and wisdom coupled with the might of supernatural strength.
Jesus can turn some crackers and sardines into a lunch that is able to feed thousands of hungry people, simply by believing and offering up a “thank you” in that belief. He has the might to calm the seas by simply uttering the word, “Peace.” The Hands that formed the mountains, oceans and skies are strong enough to defeat any enemy yet gentle enough to comfort any heart. Might is more than strength. Might is the ability to use that strength strategically for the good of others. Jesus – Immanuel – embodies might in its most perfect form.
Everlasting Father
Have you ever spent time pondering where God came from? Don’t. After you’ve gone back as far as you can imagine, you’re no closer to the origin of God than when you started. “Everlasting” means forever. There is no beginning. There is no end. The fact is that God never did arrive. He has always been here.
That can be mind-numbing for us as finite, temporal human beings. That’s why many have concluded that it’s too hard to believe as they settle on evolution instead. Yet evolutionists confuse me. They say they can’t believe in an eternal God. But they have no trouble believing that nothing plus nothing results in something. They readily conclude that, way back when, one kind of substance accidently collided with another and resulted in an intricate creation.
All it takes to destroy that theory is a simple question: Who created the substance?
Rather, God transcends time and also penetrates time and space to make Himself known to us through Jesus Christ. And He has done this, and will do this, forever.
Prince of Peace
Humanity wants peace desperately. Rulers will sit around tables and negotiate for peace. They will pay any price and make any compromise for peace. If that fails, they are even willing to go to war to get peace.
The truth is, few of us even understand peace. Many of us wouldn’t recognize it if we saw it. This is because we are so frequently unsettled within. James understood the nature of our discontentment. He said, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something, but don‘t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want,” (James 4:1-2) In Jesus, we have an alternative to this life-long struggle. Paul the Apostle discovered this truth, enabling him to make this declaration:  I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have
learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether filled or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)
Most of us believe that peace is the absence of conflict. Yet Jesus gives us so much more. He promises peace that transcends our circumstances. It invades the inevitable conflicts that arise in living a life in the midst of a sinful creation. It makes perfect sense to be at peace when all is well. But Jesus who is the Prince of Peace promises us a peace that transcends understanding. (Philippians 4:7)