Welcome to my Chronicles, Journey, Thoughts, and Insights. In this blog I write primarily, but not limited to spirituality and ministry! My name is Greg. I am a follower of Christ, telling and teaching others to be Christ's followers. I first stood behind the pulpit at age 12. At age 17, following my conversion, I preached my first evangelistic sermon. I became a pastor at age 25 and became a missionary at age 32.
One of the emphases
of Christmas is the giving and receiving of gifts. Like many of you, I like
receiving gifts because gifts are given freely. Gift is always free, and gift
will never be considered gift if you have to pay to get it. How would you feel
if your friend come up to you and says, “I have a gift for you, a very special one,
but you must pay me $500.”Although a gift cost the giver,
to the receiver it cost nothing.
I want to share with
you what I believe to be the GREATEST GIFT OF ALL based on a single passage of
the Bible. The best gift of all is found in this one verse but most people do
not have it, many have not heard about it, and others have rejected it. The
good news is, everyone can receive this gift but the choice is not mine to
make. You probably figured out that what I am talking about here is not a thing
but a person. This gift is both intangible and invisible, yet it’s possible to
have it by a simple faith. Even if we cannot see with our naked eye and cannot
touch with our hands, we can experience within our hearts.
Let's turn to John
3: 16. This verse has been called the heart of the Bible and is the most
popular verse in the entire Word of God. This is so because it describes the
love of God to humankind and it sums up God’s plan for our eternal destiny. The
positive message this verse brings to the world is redemption and life eternal.
It brings hope to the hopeless, healing to the wounded, life to the lifeless,
and inspiration to the depressed. The greatest and the best gift in the entire
world is no other than Jesus Christ Himself. He is the greatest gift of all.
The following points highlight why this Gift is the greatest one of all!
SPIRITUAL GIFT “for
God so loved the world”
means a divine one-a gift that came down to earth from heaven for the salvation
of the humankind. This gift came from God, yet He is God himself. Trying to
comprehend why Jesus would come into this world to take the form of a human is
sometimes baffling and incomprehensible to many. The simplest answer, however,
was because of God’s love to the world. Love is the ultimate motivation for
this gift. There is no better news for anyone this Christmas than to know that
a divine gift came down to earth from heaven to provide salvation to all.
Although He is God, He left the portal of glory, came down to our world and
became human like us. The reason Christians celebrate Christmas every year is
to commemorate Jesus coming into the world. The baby Jesus Christians often portray
in December is only to remember Jesus birth; He is no longer a baby.
He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and one day He will return to
judge the world.
A SACRIFICIAL GIFT “That He gave His only Son”.
Very few people
give away something they treasured most, and not many of us are willing give
away something very precious to us and the things we valued the most. Our human
nature tells us not to give our most valuable and precious possessions. Some
people give gift based on their excess in life. They give gift out of their
extra money and surplus. Some people give something they do not like anymore.
God, however, was willing to give the best-His only begotten Son-so that you
and I will have everlasting life. This is the reason Jesus is a sacrificial
gift. The Apostle Paul writes, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” He
came to save us from sin, deliver us from the evil one and give us hope of life
eternal. For God’s son to come down to earth, become human, and then later died
in the cruelest and the most shameful way of punishment-crucifixion, is a
sacrifice indeed. God gave His most precious Son as a gift to the entire human
race. Every Christmas we emphasize the Birth of Jesus Christ and we forget that
Jesus was born to die. He was born to die for the sins of the world. The good
news is, even if Jesus died on the cross, He rose from the grave on the third,
and then later ascended into heaven and sited at the right hand of the Father
A UNIVERSAL GIFT “that whosoever”
Wherever you are in
the planet earth, this gift is available to you.The gift is universal in the sense that it is
offered to all people everywhere. The gift is universal because it is
unlimited. All people can receive it if they only will. No human being can
afford to give gift to every people in the world. Even the richest person in
the world cannot afford to give gift to everyone, and no one has ever claimed
that title. All gifts are given to limited people, but the Gift God gave us is
available to all peoples, nations, tribes, and tongues. No matter what language
you speak, no matter what country you are from, and regardless of the color of
your skin this gift is for you. The gift is not only limitless but also
timeless. The gift is available everywhere, not only during Christmas, but
available at all times since the first Christmas in Bethlehem down to the ages.
This gift is not
only universal, also eternal; it does not change and it does not get old. The
gift is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. All gifts given by human get old
and wear out, but the gift given by God does not change. This is the only gift
that remains brand new at all times. The universality, availability, and
immutability of this gift is incomparable indeed. Jesus Christ, the best gift
of all can be found anywhere where a heart is willing to receive Him.
A CONDITIONAL GIFT “believes”
God’s gift is free, why is it conditional? This GIFT is conditional because God
does not force one to receive it. Like most gift, the receiver must receive the
gift.The phrase “Whosoever believes”
does not only shows the universality of this gift but also the condition of the
gift. The only condition found in John 3:16 is to believe. You got to believe
that Jesus is the Son of God and is the only Savior. Believe that He died for
your sins and arose from the dead. If you acknowledge your need of a Savior,
you wouldn’t hesitate to put your trust in Him. Yet, the "whosoever
believes" separates those who believe and those who do not.God gives everyone the choice to RECEIVE or
A TRANSFORMATIONAL GIFT “shall not perish”
verb “Perish” is a direct contrast with the adjective “everlasting”. Everyone
is destined to eternal separation from God, BUT you can have life everlasting through
Jesus, the Son of God. That’s the reason I call this transformational gift
because the gift of God can transform your life and can change your eternal
destiny. Only Jesus has the power to save you from sin; only HE can give you
everlasting life. This is the reason Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage
of sin and from the power of Satan. Jesus came to earth not only to deliver us
from sin but that you and I will have everlasting life. This gift is so
powerful that it can transform our lives and change our destiny. Nevertheless,
being saved does not simply mean going heaven, but that we become agents of
change in the world as well. God wants to transform us so that we will
transform our community for Him.
AN INSPIRATIONAL GIFT “but have everlasting life”
inspiration we have is to know that we have everlasting life. God’s gift of
eternal life is found only in Jesus Christ. Thus, if you have Jesus in your
life, you already never have eternal life. The life at the end of our struggle
on earth is just a part of the life we already have in Christ. The Bible tells
us that there is heaven to gain and hell to shun-eternity is real.
To conclude this
reflection, let me remind you that there are only two result of my message
today, you will either receive it or reject it.Receiving Christ as gift means you have to believe in Him. Christ will
be the greatest gift you will ever receive this Christmas. Jesus is the
greatest gift of all but you must open your heart to Him by faith. Forsake sin
and let Him be the Lord of your life.