The Gift of Jesus

The Gift of Christ Devo

Daily Reading: (Luke 2:7-8, Matthew 2:11):

“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.”

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

Way back in Genesis, God proved Himself generous, creating a world of abundance, then choosing Abraham to become the father of the many nations through whom He would show His blessings to the whole Earth. When Abraham’s children had become an entire nation, God rescued them from captivity in Egypt. He provided for their daily needs and gave them a Law to live by and a rich bountiful land in which to live.

Throughout the Old Testament, with few exceptions, God’s people rejected Him and preferred a king they could see. Mankind has continued the pattern Israel set through centuries: We reject the eternal, invisible, immortal, only wise King and desire to rule ourselves. But God loves us, despite all this. Instead of abandoning us or retaliating against us, He offers us a gift, the best gift that has ever been given: His Son, crucified and raised to life again. And He promises He will reign over us in an eternal kingdom that is far better than any of us could ever ask for or imagine. 

The first chapter of the book of John tells us that Jesus came, God is with us. He was with God in the beginning. He was God from the beginning (John 1:1). Everything was created through Him, and life and light belong to Him. He came to Earth to give that light to us (John 1:9). But the people He, Himself, had created did not recognize Him. Most didn’t receive Him (John 1:11-12). Yet to those of us who do receive Him, He gives us the right to enter His family forever, to become children of God (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 5:13), even to reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12).

The gift of Jesus meets all of the criteria for being a perfect gift. Jesus is the perfect gift because God gave Him knowledge of our needs. God knew we needed a Savior, a Deliverer, Redeemer, Healer, and Friend. We needed someone who was fully God and fully man. Only Jesus could meet this need.

Being fully God enabled Jesus to carry our sin. His deity enabled Him to be the Sacrifice who could bear the sin of the world along with the penalties of sickness, poverty, and spiritual death. Being fully human allowed Jesus to identify with what we go through, enabling Him to provide for all of our needs and desires and to care for us in any situation.

Jesus also became our substitute. We owed a debt we could not pay, and Jesus paid a debt He did not owe. Because of Jesus, you and I have freedom. If our greatest need had been more information, technology, money, or pleasure, God would have sent us someone who would have met those needs. God would have sent an educator, a scientist, an economist, or an entertainer. The truth is, our greatest need was redemption, and God sent a Redeemer. God who knows our needs, met our needs in abundance as He sent the perfect Gift.

Even though we don’t deserve and could never earn the gift that Jesus gave to all who believe in Him of everlasting life, God freely gave Jesus to us. God’s love for us in Christ never fades, diminishes, or weakens. God’s love for us remains consistent and continually available.

Jesus is the gift to be received today and every day of your life. The greatest gift you could ever give someone else is to share the love of God, Jesus Christ with them today. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Merry Christmas!


Grace Has Come

Grace Has Come

Daily Reading: (Luke 2:10-11):

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord”

“Don’t be afraid”, let us start there. The angel realizes that his presence among the shepherds has startled them and caused them to be afraid.  Shepherds were tough characters who encountered a lot of dangerous predators. Predators mostly attack at night. So, when the angel appears they would have already been on high alert. Scripture says in Luke 2:8: “shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” when all of a sudden out of nowhere in the darkness of night this is what happens next, an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.”The Greek word for terrified is “phobeo” and it is where we get the English word “phobia” from. Take a moment and think about what kinds of things in the past year have unexpectedly entered your life that caused you to be afraid.

The angels had a word to remove their fear, a message of love and one of grace. This same word will deliver you from all of your fears. “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” It is the Good News, the Gospel that will remove your fear and the Gospel is for “all people” (Luke 2:10).

The Gospel will drive out fear. Most of our fears come out of a newfound need. I have a health situation with the need to be healed. I have bad news that has come from a family member, they have a need for a new job.  Someone broke into our home, I am afraid it will happen again, there is a need for security. The announcement is that when Jesus arrived, grace has come. When we go back to Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” “Peace has come to earth!” Jesus Christ is the way to peace.

Whatever you need, grace has come so that you might not lack any good thing. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32). Hebrews 4:16 has become your opportunity: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

It is so hard to believe that God’s favor rests upon you and your life, when troubling things happen. When bad happens to you, listen to those angelic words, “do not be afraid.” Romans 8:28 says, “And we know…”, there is something that we know and believe in and can trust. While we don’t know what will happen to us in our daily lives as James 4:14 says that “you do not even know what will happen tomorrow” and that is why bad news can catch us off guard. Paul says, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. There will not be an absence of trouble in life, Jesus told His disciples “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Fear may enter in, but we can join the company of the heavenly hosts and praise God. We can have peace in trouble because Jesus has given us His peace.

May Christmas fill you with joy, grace has come! Whatever it is that you need, the greatest gift, Jesus Christ is your supply. Do not fear whenever bad things happen, for God’s favor is upon you, you are highly favored by God and so all things will work together for your good. Praise God in every situation because Christ is with you and He gives you the victory.

The Real Inn

The Real Inn Devotional

Daily Reading: (Luke 2:4-7):

“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

The popular new message going around today is that a traveler’s inn never existed that it wasn’t a lodging inn but a relative’s home. The Greek word “inn” is (kataluma). Kataluma is Greek meaning inn or lodging place. So, what some people have done is try to stretch this definition and say that a family home can be considered a lodging place (kataluma). They try to add to their argument by saying that it was custom in the Jewish culture to stay in a guest room of a family member’s home especially if you were pregnant. However, there is a Bible passage that talks about the creation of an inn for travelers in Bethlehem (Jeremiah 41:17).

And they went on, stopping at Geruth Kimham near Bethlehem on their way to Egypt” (Jeremiah 41:17).

It is an interesting reference to a little-known location near Bethlehem that has no bearing on the story being told in Jeremiah 41.

As we study the reference to “Geruth Kimham,” an amazing picture begins to unfold for us.

Hebrew: geruth “lodging-place” (Jeremiah 41:17).

Greek: kataluma “lodging-place” (Luke 2:7).

Geruth Kimham is not a city near Bethlehem, it is an inn named after a man (Kimham) that was established near Bethlehem as a place for travelers to find shelter.

Where does Kimham come from? After the rebellion of Absalom (David’s son who stole the throne from his father), David returns to Jerusalem to be reestablished as king over the nation of Israel. David is accompanied on this return trip by many of the men who provided for him when he fled from Absalom to avoid a civil war in the streets of Jerusalem. One of those men, Barzillai the Gileadite, [2 Samuel 19:33]- has a very special place in David’s heart, and David desires to richly bless him. Barzillai refuses the offer of King David and sends a substitute in his place (Kimham) to receive a blessing.

Geruth Kimham tells the story of what can happen when a man chooses to leave his past and walk in relationship with a king. All of this points us to Jesus who would be born outside of the inn this man established. When we leave behind our past and walk in relationship with the King of Kings there is blessing to be found, and there is favor with God forever. King David blessed the man Kimham, whose only right to receive the blessing was that he didn’t say “no” when the invitation was extended. The only qualification for you to become a child of God, and have a heavenly inheritance is to say yes to King Jesus’ offer of salvation.

So the real inn (Jeremiah 41:17) has direct connection to the royal family of David, and therefore Jesus should rightfully be allowed to stay in the inn. Like the unmentioned innkeeper, when the Gospel of Jesus arrives in our lives, we will either decide to let Him in or turn Him away, stating there is no room.

The Bible says that when the time had come, Mary “brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger” (Luke 2:6–7). Did you know that the manger was a “sign”? The angel clearly said in Luke 2:12: “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” But why was that a sign? The Bible says that after Jesus’ crucifixion and death, Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body, wrapped it in linen and laid it in a tomb hewn out of a rock (Mark 15:43–46).

Wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger, baby Jesus would one day be wrapped in linen and laid in a tomb. That was the sign the angel was referring to. The way Jesus was born was a sign that pointed to Jesus’ death. He lived to die, so that we might live and enjoy life abundantly today! Merry Christmas!


#’Tis the Season

Daily Reading: Luke 2:10-14:

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The reason for the season is the birth of the Messiah, who came to take away our sins, defeat death, and offer everlasting life to all who believe. If there was any other way, Jesus wouldn’t need to come, live among us, suffer and die a criminal’s death for our sins, but it was the only way, and Jesus was willing and so was God our Father. It is a simple foundational truth of the Christian faith but it is so powerful and it reveals the Truth that God is love.

Matthew 1:23 states: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). God will be with us forever from now on, which means the sins of those in Christ will not separate a believer from their heavenly Father.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” There is no need to have fear the Savior is here/has come (Luke 2:10). You don’t have to have fear in your life because Jesus has entered your world.

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests (Luke 2:14). Peace on earth was the baby Jesus himself on earth (Micah 5:5). So, when you hear- “my wish for Christmas this year is peace on earth” …God’s peace with mankind already came and it is only available through Jesus. That is why it says- “to those on whom His favor rests” because permanent favor of God forever is for those who are in Jesus (Luke 2:14). What does the favor of God look like? It looks exactly like Jesus. God’s favor and Jesus the Savior are synonymous.