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What is the Greatest Gift of All

Updated on December 9, 2012
God's Gift to You
God's Gift to You | Source

Recently on my hour-long commute home after work, I was listening to a podcast by John MacArthur about the birth of Christ at Christmas. He repeated a story that radio host Paul Harvey had told on his radio show. The story was about a family where everyone except the husband was a Christian. The husband was home alone on Christmas Eve because the rest of the family had gone to church. It was snowing and blowing outside. The husband was sitting by the fire and here this pounding on the side of the house. He thought it was at the door, but no one was there. He looked out the window and it was a flock of birds that was searching for shelter from the storm. If the birds did not find shelter they would freeze to death. The husband put on his coat and ran out to the barn and opened the door and turned the light on trying to attract the birds into the warmth of the barn. He tried to leave a trail of seed to get them to follow it into the bard, but he had no luck. He wished he could communicate with them. He wished he could become one of them to tell that they he would not hurt him. Then it struck him. God becoming one of us is what Christmas is all about.

The Gift of Jesus

The Greatest Gift of All

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Let us look more closely at why Jesus is the greatest gift ever given.

We Have Offended a Holy God

We have all offended a holy God who requires complete perfection. All of us are guilty of breaking His law. Here is a little checklist to see if you meet God’s standards:

  • Have you ever told a lie?
  • Have you eve stolen anything?
  • Have you been unjustly angry with someone?
  • Have you lusted after someone?
  • Have you coveted something that your neighbor has?
  • Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vein?
  • Have you ever dishonored your parents?

These were only seven of the Ten Commandments and if you answer honestly, you will admit to breaking at least one of these. The Bible says that we are all sinners.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

The Bible says that the penalty of sin is death (hell). Our sin eternally separates us from God and there is nothing we can do (works) to become acceptable to God.

God Loves Us

As we discussed in the last section, our sin eternally separates us from God. He could have justly decided to wipe us all out and start over. Thankfully He chose a different option. He chose to leave his throne in heaven and to live as one of His creation. He chose to feel things that He had never felt before such as cold, pain, fatigue, sickness, thirst, and hunger. Take some time to think about that for awhile. Almighty God, who created everything, was thirsty, hungry, and tired, just as we are. He was tempted and lonely, just as we are. He learned what it felt like to have one of your friends betray you. He also learned how it felt when your own family questions who you are. The biggest thing that God felt was the weight of the sin being laid upon Him while He was hanging on the cross. God the Father, turned his face away from his sin covered Son until the sacrifice was complete. Jesus lived a perfect life and gave it for you and me, that is how much He loves us.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Eternity is at Stake

The greatest gift ever given was given by God to us, that gift is salvation. It cost God his only Son. Jesus met God’s holy standard by living a life of perfection. He laid down his life and paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross and was raised again three days later. God offers to save us if we will repent of our sins, ask God to forgive us, and place our trust in Christ and Christ alone to save us.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which me must be saved.” Acts 4:12

You Must Decide Whether to Accept or Reject the Gift

There are two facts of life that we need to consider: life is short and death is certain for all of us. We need to decide to either accept or reject the gift of salvation that God is offering to us through Jesus Christ. Where we spend eternity depends upon our decision. Accept the gift of salvation and you will spend eternity in heaven, reject it and you will spend eternity in hell.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

I urge you to open the door and invite Jesus in while there is still time. None of us knows when we will die. If you want to trust Christ as your Savior, you need to:

  • Admit you are a sinner.
  • Believe that Jesus was raised from the Dead.
  • Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
  • Repent and ask for forgiveness of your sins.
  • Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

If you are ready to trust Christ as your Savior, pray a prayer like this and mean it with all of your heart:

God's Plan of Salvation

Dear Jesus,

I confess that I am a sinner. I repent of all my sins and ask you to forgive me. I believe that Jesus lived a perfect life that he was crucified for my sins and he raised again three days later. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Save me I pray. I accept your free gift of salvation. Help me to begin to grow closer to you and to live for you today.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful, beautiful hub to glorify our Lord God!!! I am glad to know of someone else who has an hour commute to and from work, and it really does give one the time to think on Him and listen to great stories such as you have described here.

      Thank you so much for this awesome hub. He is truly the greatest gift!!!

      Voted up+++ and sharing

      God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      This is the TRUTH! Let us show the world the love we have for each other so that they each desire the gift from God.. Love God and Make His Love known... thank you

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Yeah. God made us imperfect, then blames us for the imperfection, then allows his kid to be tortured and executed and that somehow makes up for how imperfect we are.... but not really because we can still sin and go to Hell.

      Wow.. Some gift.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      God created us with free will so that any love that we show Him is genuine. He created us in a state of perfection. We chose to violate His law and when you violate a law there are consequences. God could have wiped us all out and started over, but God loved His creation enough to become one of us and ultimately die on a cross to pay for our sins so that we can be free.

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      ercramer: That's not the point. God can do anything, and if he made us PERFECT, then we would still BE perfect. Something that is perfect doesn't become imperfect unless acted upon by an outside force, otherwise it wasn't really perfect to begin with. That's basic logic. Either God made us perfect, then willingly "broke" us or allowed us to be broken by something not "us", or we were never perfect in the first place and that's how He wanted us.

      And either way, we are imperfect through no action that we took, so blaming us for that imperfection is either vanity or cruelty.

      And if you'll remember, God DID wipe us out and started over with Noah. Apparently, all those vile people he killed were all part of some kind of plan. He said mankind had become too wicked, but he's God... He had to have known that was going to happen.

      But wait... isn't the PROPER punishment for sin to go to Hell when you die? So why did he have to kill everyone? Was that to keep them from corrupting Noah? If so, then he wiped out most of the people on the planet to preserve the beliefs of one family. Come to think of it... if God actually DOES anything that we notice, he's messing with free will, and if it's okay to do something so that people will believe, then why doesn't he do something that is so obviously him that even the skeptics among us are converted?

      So much for free will.

      It's not about Love. It's about control. God(Jesus) is a vain bastard. If we truly had free will, then he would let us fail...as a species. He wouldn't try to rescue us with a flood, or perform any sort of miracle. If he truly loved us, he wouldn't care about whether we loved him or worshipped him or even knew or cared that he existed. He'd want what's best for us, and he'd want us to survive on our own, without divine intervention and without fear of punishment for violating his law. He'd want us to figure out the universe and discover for ourselves right and wrong on the basis of what makes us a happier, healthier society, not based on what HE wants. He'd want us to care about one another more than we cared about Him, and he never would have created a Hell or a Heaven. He'd be more concerned with what happens HERE... in this world, than what happens in the next.

      Either God is just a regular critter like the rest of us, can do a lot of things but can't hold back a tsunami or a hurricane or raise people from the dead, or he's omnipotent and can do literally anything..... and he's a sick bastard.

      Neither is deserving of our worship or our fear. One deserves our pity, the other our wrath.

    • liftandsoar profile image

      Frank P. Crane 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Wow, swordsbane, you must be god! I've never come across someone so sure that he knows what God should be doing. Jesus a "vain bastard"? Don't you think that's a little over the top? Wonder what you'll have to say when you meet Him, as you surely will one day.

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      IF I meet him, I'll treat him like anyone else. No better and no worse. Someone who has power over me isn't any more deserving of respect than someone who has no power at all. What someone does with that power is what defines him. What I've seen of God and his power leads me to believe that he doesn't care one bit what goes on in this world, and he doesn't care to show himself.

      His followers talk about free will a lot, yet how can we choose when we can't make an informed decision because we don't have all the facts; like the existence of God and the rules he wants us to live by.

      And no, his existence is not obvious and neither are his rules, argued about by billions of people for centuries, each claiming that their rules are the TRUE laws and all claiming that one person wrote those rules. Nations are conquered and people are killed and tortured over this argument.

      I don't claim to know what God is thinking. I only claim that he should be judged the same way we judge ourselves, by his actions. When there is some kind of natural disaster and people die, no matter how you want to rationalize it there are ONLY two possibilities: God can't save anyone, or he doesn't WANT to. One means he's not omnipotent, one means he's cruel. If he can DO anything, then he can save anyone he wants AND avoid any negative consequences for his actions that might affect him or us. You just can't be omnipotent AND have your powers limited. That is a paradox.

      Now you can say "Oh we can't know the mind of God" or "There's a plan" or whatever, but that's a fancy way of saying "He could, but he chose not to." When we see mere mortals doing that, we revile them. We call them cowards for not helping, or we pity them because they are afraid to act. It is something we aspire NOT to be.... Yet we worship God for doing the same thing.

      Why?

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Once the sinner's prayer is said we need to step out for Jesus..we need to obey His commands and do what pleases Him.. We need to obey His Commands! Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.... it is up to us to testify and take the consequences of being a Christian...like the evangelist said to us can you imagine Paul saying you mean to tell me all I had to do was go in front of a Church and say this little prayer, no stoning, no wiping, no dudgeon time..step out for Jesus! Leave it all at the foot of the cross.

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      "We need to obey His Commands!"

      Why? He died for us on the cross? I didn't ask him to. God created us? You don't deserve worship just because you create something. He created the universe? That's nice. So what?

      The bottom line is that something given unasked does not incur debt. If I ASK God to do something and he does it, THEN I'm in his debt, and I am glad to pay it back.

      Someone who comes along after the fact and says "Yeah.. I helped you out 2000 years ago... You don't remember because you weren't born then, but it's time to reciprocate." I'm going to tell him to please go away, and so would anyone. The only reason God doesn't get that treatment is because he's God. Sorry. Not good enough. He needs to come out of the shadows and participate, or he needs to give up the megalomania. Like I said; if he truly loved us and wants us to be happy, he wouldn't WANT us to worship him. He'd want us to get on with our lives and do the best we can. This means no churches, no priests and no Bible, except in the form of a handbook with some handy insight into life, not a monolithic tome full of highly vague rules that we get punished if we don't follow.

      God is a poor parent, a poor friend, and a very unimpressive motivational speaker.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      We need to obey his commands because we are the creation, He is the Creator. You cannot judge God by man's standards and with man's wisdom. If you could, He would cease to be God. Rather, He is so much bigger than we can comprehend. He died on the cross to demonstrate his love for us, when he could have wiped the earth clean and started over. We all must choose whether to accept or reject him. He will not force us to love him.

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      "You cannot judge God by man's standards and with man's wisdom."

      We have only man's standards to judge him, and we do judge him. By choosing to accept or reject him, we are judging him. The fact that he is God doesn't make a difference. It is an arbitrary label that has been assigned to him purely for the purpose of setting him apart from our understanding. Under those circumstances, if you ask me whether I accept him or reject him, I am forced to say "I don't have enough information. There are important issues that are hidden from me, and since I cannot receive a clear answer from God, I have to trust his fallible human followers, many of whom have their own agenda, some who actively use the religion for their own ends."

      Of course the standard answer is that God DOES provide clear answers, but then those clear answers would have to be unambiguous in both their content and their authorship, and from history we know that this is NEVER the case. One persons divine revelation is another's psychological study.

      So we are left with human judgement over the divine as other humans present it, with our immortal soul in the balance.

      For my own part, any being who asks for me to obey him because of who or what he is rather than by what he does will not get my loyalty. The word we use for humans who exhibit this behavior is called "tyrant" If the moniker of "God" washes that judgement completely away, then we are left completely in the dark as to the motives behind this God, and if we have that little understanding about God, then the Bible, the book we use as a guide for our souls must therefore be suspect. Anything else is unwarranted.

      This is why it's called "faith" Trying to argue for the acceptance of God on any sort of logical or rational basis is foolish, at best.

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