December 20, 2015
Three gifts. Immediately our minds think of the wisemen’s gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gifts marking the kingship, divinity, and atonement of the precious Messiah Jesus Christ.
However, this Christmas I want to consider three gifts the Messiah brings us. His salvation from eternal damnation in hell would have been more than we could ever hope to receive. And yet there is more—the gifts of grace, peace, and joy.
GRACE: God providing forgiveness of and power over sin.
Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any many should boast. For we are his workmanship in Christ Jesus created unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
We often use the acronym “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. How short this definition falls! No words can describe God’s graciousness in our lives.
Grace saves both our souls and our lives. It settles our eternal destiny and provides empowerment to shine as lights in this present evil world.
PEACE: God protecting our minds and hearts from worry.
Isaiah 26:12 “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.”
Stress, anxiety, and even panic are common results of our present era known as the “information age”. The more we know, the more we have to worry about. In complexity, let us remember the simple saying: “Know Jesus. Know peace. No Jesus. No peace.”
Knowing that God is in control and orchestrating our lives will allow God’s ordained peace to inject calm into the midst of even the most tumultuous storm.
JOY: God promising His presence today and always.
Psalm 16:11 “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
All the music, food, festivities, and gifts can never bring true joy to our lives. Worshipping the creature more than the Creator is the first step down and away from God. Joy comes from being in the presence of Christ.
God does have all the “things” we need or want. They are ready at His right hand. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” But, He wants us to want Him before anything else.
Wisemen still seek Him. And He gives them Grace, Peace, and Joy.