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Unwrapped Gift at Advent

Who has ever heard of someone not unwrapping their gifts at Christmas? I remember a woman telling me the story of growing up very poor during the depression and drawing the number for the most beautiful gift under the tree in her school classroom gift exchange. She told me how she thought it was so extraordinary that she didn’t even unwrap it when the other children were tearing their gifts open. She protected it from the snow on her walk home and put it by her bed so she could continue admiring the splendor of her gift. By January, she finally unwrapped it.

The whole world has been given a gift to unwrap. It is the greatest, most valuablegift that will ever be given. Its wrapping is multifaceted, with images of atiny baby surrounded by admiring adults and animals, a crucified Savior, a prayerfulteacher, a ruling majesty, a Divine incomprehensible figure to behold. The giftof course is Jesus Christ. God gave Him to the world (John 3:16). Unfortunately,this gift has simply been refused by the majority of the inhabitants of thisworld.

It’s more than a shame, really; it breaks the heart of God. God has workedhard to offer this gift; it has been given with the greatest of personal sacrifice.It should be the most precious gift anyone has ever received.

Though God continues to offer the gift of His Son, the majority of the worldstill rejects His great favor. Jesus’ very own hometown rejected the giftof Christmas. Luke 4:14-30 records the Sabbath when Jesus was asked to read theday’s Scripture which opened to Isaiah 61:1-2. He read, The Spiritof the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight forthe blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’sfavor (Luke 4:18-19). Then He sat down and told them that today this scripturewas fulfilled before them (Luke 4:21). And they were at first amazed, then angryenough to drive him out of town.

The people of Nazareth are a microcosm of the world at large. We have been offeredthis amazing gift. We have been told about the year of the Lord’s favor.What we believe about this information will define our eternal destiny. The giftis given for the taking. The offer is free and unlimited. There are no linesin which to wait in or post office boxes in which to pick it up. It is simplythe most glorious gift offered by the ultimate Giver. It is simply up to us toreceive the gift of the Lord’s favor. It is very important to keep in mindthat if you refuse the gift of the Lord’s favor you will not be able toavoid the day of vengeance of our God (Isaiah 61:2).

I pray that you have received your gift of salvation and that you are discoveringhow incomparable this gift is to all other gifts you have ever received.



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