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In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind
At times the world can seem cold and harsh---an uncaring, unwelcoming place. That’s how it was the very first Christmas, more than 2,000 years ago. The God of the universe came to earth in the flesh. But there was no royal welcome, no glorious fanfare or thunderous applause.
“He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:10,11).
An angel appeared to some shepherds on a hillside near Bethlehem, saying, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).
What a startling announcement! Jesus, the Son of God, had left the majesty of Heaven to become a tiny, helpless baby---born in a stable, laid in a manger. He had humbled Himself, made Himself nothing.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The world desperately needed a Savior. We needed someone who could rescue us from the darkness of our own hearts. Our failures and mistakes, our willful disobedience to God’s laws---the Bible calls this “sin.” Since nothing impure or unholy can ever enter God’s presence, sin becomes a barrier between God and man. Ultimately it leads to death and hell---eternal separation from God.
But God had a plan. He made a way to reconcile us to Himself: “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).
Jesus set an example for us, by living a perfect and sinless life---pleasing to God in every way. And then, although He didn’t have to, He willingly laid down His life for us. He died on the cross for our sins, taking the punishment in our place, paying the penalty for us.
The Bible tells us that because of what Jesus suffered, because of His death on the cross, because of His resurrection, the power of sin has been broken. God and sinners have been reconciled. To all who receive Him, to all who believe in His name, “he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
One day Jesus will return to earth again to claim His own.
Our God, heaven cannot hold Him,
This time, He will take us with Him! We will live with Him forever in Heaven---a place so beautiful it defies description. The Bible tells us, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
What a precious, priceless gift! When we really think about what it cost Jesus---the magnitude of His sacrifice---and the depths of His love for us---we can’t help but respond in awe and wonder. Our hearts overflow with gratitude. With the poet, Christina Rossetti, we ask:
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If you’d like to give your heart to Jesus and begin a personal relationship with Him, pray something like this:
Dear Jesus, long before I knew how much I needed You, You were there for me. Thank You for loving me so much that You were willing to die on the cross for my sins. You gave everything for me. I give You all that I have: my heart, my life, my love in return. Come and live within me, that I might honor You in everything I do. Amen.
Based on the poem by Christina Rossetti
Buy What Can I Give Him? by Christin Ditchfield from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9785901009970 & 5901009975 upc: 663575727378
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