Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (KJV)
One Christmas in my youth, I received an artist's easel, a pad of large newsprint paper the exact size needed for the easel, and water colours, complete with brushes. This gift was likely expensive and would have given me hours of enjoyment if only I had appreciated and used the gift. Due to my own pigheadedness, I missed out on what would have been time shared with my busy artist father while he gave me watercolour lessons. Since I didn't get what I wanted, I pouted, never thinking how my reaction would disappoint my father. Maybe if I'd been a couple of years older and a whole lot wiser, I'd have realized how much I could have learned from him if only I'd appreciated what I received. If I'd been born today, my dad could have returned it on Boxing Day.
Likewise, God offered humanity a gift on the first Christmas — Jesus the Messiah — but so many people turn away. They don't appreciate God's free gift. Our Lord was born to save His people — all people of every time and place — from our penchant to mess up, causing all sorts of mayhem and disaster. But that same penchant to mess up causes us to turn away from Him. How sad!
The gift of spending eternity with those we love, the many who've gone before us, and with our friend and rescuer, Jesus, is totally priceless. Our assurance of this gift comes from none other than God the Father, who never regrets giving, and has nothing shadowy or turn-coat about Him. The old hymn, Great is Thy faithfulness by Thomas O. Chisholm states this so perfectly.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee:
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
Because He's God, He cannot step out of character. He is God, and He can only be faithful, steadfast, and compassionate forever. So we can be assured, certain that when we receive Jesus Christ, we have received God's ultimate gift to us.
If you've not done so, why not pray this prayer with us today?
Prayer: Father God, there's no way that I deserve Your compassion, faithfulness, and love, yet You've promised me just that. Forgive me for the many times in the past when I've turned away from You and rejected Your gift. Today, I accept Your free gift, Jesus Christ, as my rescuer and friend, now and for all eternity. Amen.