Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hark The Herald Angels Sing"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 31:19 – How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. (NLT)
Both my son and my daughter left our home in California, USA, soon after high school graduation to join the navy. Eventually, my daughter settled in Ohio and my son in Virginia. Their life in California had a completely different atmosphere and lifestyle from the Midwest or East Coast (no snow, no hurricanes or tornadoes, lots of sun, and a more relaxed lifestyle), so this was a major change for them. They built their adult lives there, but always with the dream of returning to the west. They are now senior citizens and, over the last year, have gradually transitioned to being full-time Arizona residents in my 55+ recreational vehicle park. When I reach the point when I need more help, they will be there. I'm blessed to get to know them better as adults. This is a gift from God — totally unexpected and totally welcomed.
There is an even greater gift that blesses not only me, but all who choose to accept it.
Luke 2:9-11 – Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! (NLT)
Over two thousand years ago, God sent His only Son in the form of a Baby, declared by the angels to be the Messiah, the Lord. It's hard to imagine how He could agree to leave His magnificent heavenly home to come to earth and humble Himself to be born of a woman in a cave with only animals and lowly shepherds as witnesses. Even more, He knew that He would have to endure earthly difficulties and tribulations, not to mention the tortuous trial and crucifixion that were necessary as a sacrifice for our sins. But He did — out of an incomprehensible love for us.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
This is the best gift that anyone can ever receive — the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. If we accept this gift, we are released from the penalties of our sin and become adopted children of God. He brings hope, rest, and peace into our lives as we live for Him and pass on this gift to those around us.
This season, many focus on shopping — finding the perfect gift for loved ones. Instead, let's focus on spreading the news of this eternal gift from God, so that others, too, can become His children — part of the family of God.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son, for His sacrifice and willingness to come to earth to release us from our sinful condition. Help us to share this gift with others as often as we can. Amen.