Oh my goodness it’s Christmas time, which means all of our favorite traditions! In my family we like to decorate the tree together, do some Christmas baking, spend time with extended family, and on Christmas morning my cousins & I eat a cupcake for breakfast in honor of Jesus’ birthday (as you can imagine, this was my childhood favorite!).
In addition to this, my family participates in the typical American tradition of buying presents, wrapping them up all nice, and putting them under the tree for Christmas morning. When I wrap a Christmas gift for someone, I wrap it totally expecting them to tear it to shreds when I give it to them. Gifts are never given with the intention to stay wrapped. At least, it would be a little weird if I gave my sister a present and told her she could never open it!
In the same way, God did that for us many, many years ago. When He sent His Son, Jesus, to be born, He gave us the greatest gift ever! Jesus was the promised Messiah, and He was the One who would later die to save us from sin and restore a right relationship with God. You see, we are all sinners (meaning that we have rebelled against God- He tells us to be honest, yet we lie; He tells us to honor our parents, yet we disrespect them; He tells us to love others, yet we hate those who wrong us… I think you get the point… we are not as good as we seem!) The Bible even says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and my goodness He was not kidding (Romans 3:23). This sin keeps us from having a relationship with God (because ya know… He’s perfect!), and in fact, the Bible says that “the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23). This leaves us in quite the predicament… But here’s the best part: “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8). Even though God has no reason to pursue us, by His grace, He chose to send Jesus to die on our behalf to restore our relationship with Him and offer us eternal life (John 3:16). This is not something we could earn. It is only “by grace we have been saved, through faith,” (Ephesians 2:8-9). What a gift!
After reading this, you’re in one of two places… Either you’re reading this and it feels like you’re seeing the gospel in a new light for the first time or this gospel is a gift that you received many years ago.
If the gospel is something you have never really believed before, but today you’re beginning to see it in a new light, I encourage you to think of it like a gift! Jesus is God’s gift to you, and He is intentionally offering it to you. Just like a Christmas gift is not given with the intention to stay wrapped, the gospel is not given to you with the intention of just remaining words on your screen. The gospel is being offered to you, and you have the opportunity to unwrap it. What I mean by that is you can choose to believe and surrender to God. He wants a restored relationship with you! My goodness, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on your behalf because He loves you. All that He asks of you is that you admit that you’re a sinner and you need Him, you believe the gospel to be true, and you surrender to Him. The Bible puts it simply when it says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved,” (Romans 10:9). It’s just that simple! If you’re in a place where you’re ready to do just that, I encourage you to pray right now. I admit you might feel silly, but I promise God hears you and He wants to talk with you (:
As far as next steps go… start reading the Bible (if you don’t have one at home, you can find it online). If you need a place to start, check out Romans! I also encourage you to find a church close by. If you know any other Christians, ask to go to church with them! I’m sure they would be excited to go with you!
Now, to those of you have received this gift already (whether that be 2 min ago or 10 years ago), the gospel is not a gift that was intended to stay wrapped. We’re in a season where we spend a lot of time with family and friends, some of which may have never responded to the gospel before. I encourage you to be bold and tell others about this gift! I mean, if it really is the BEST GIFT EVER, we probably shouldn’t keep it a secret, right?
I hope you feel encouraged this Christmas season and empowered to share this gospel gift with the world! You are so loved. Have a merry Christmas!!