The Greatest Gift

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The manger scene with baby Jesus is sweet.  We see it everywhere this time of year and the image, along with the good tidings everyone is wishing each other makes us feel warm and cozy.  Like comfort food for our soul. This is great. We need it. Most of us have heard the Christmas story at least once a year, for our whole lives.  It is easy for our brains to shut off, go on auto-pilot, or similar when we start to hear the familiar words. Jesus was God’s redemptive gift to us, wrapped in the manger with angels serenading and kings as well as shepherds worshiping.  But behind the cute and cozy there is a determined and powerful plan that was in the works since before the world was called into existence.

Who was Jesus? He was with God from the beginning.  He was God. He laid the foundations of the world.  He set the boundaries for the oceans, he commanded them not to go any farther. All of heaven and everything on  earth worshiped Him.

{It was a Rescue}

It as a rescue planned since before the sun set on that first day. He knew what he would have to do before. Before  He he even created this world, He knew.  And He did it anyway.

He loves us with a love that none of us have ever experienced on this earth. A love so intense, and so completely fierce that it would compel Him to leave heaven, to be removed from the presence of the Father; to experience every human trial and temptation.  To feel hunger, and rejection, pain, and fear.  To know the effects of sin in His very core and being, even though He never knew sin.

His coming to earth was. . .


plunging into the foaming, roaring, tempest of the rapids at the edge of the waterfall when we were held under and being continually bashed against the boulders~ at the very moment we were being hurled over the edge

tramping into the deepest darkest cavern where we were hopelessly lost, to be our light


tracking an evil mob who held us captive and beating the door down to the very place of our captivity and viciously unleashing His anger on the evil, murderous, torturing band to wipe them out with His bare hands


heading into the wilderness to search every inch until He found us


traipsing through the harsh, endless, beating heat of the desert, looking for us, seeking us through the wind and vast emptiness until He found us and brought us to safety


His love is fierce, and forceful.  It cannot be stopped, even by the relentless, soul hungry, hounds of hell.




That love is ours.  That is what was in that sweet little manger.


Growing up in Church I have heard the sweet, sweet story countless times. I’m afraid there were times that I was guilty of taking it for granted. I think we become numb to the power of the Nativity. I know it is easy for me to do so. I have been guilty of feeling like it couldn’t have been so very bad for Him.  After all he knew the end result.  In the span of all eternity, what’s 33 years? He did suffer, excruciatingly, and compared to heaven, he was probably terribly uncomfortable on a daily basis. It’s like a really bad day, and then done! Like childbirth, right?  Just worse.  But He is God, He can take it. Right?

And I’m not being sacrilegious, or belittling the manger, or the cross.  I am being genuine.  As humans, it can be hard to wrap our mind around the mysteries of the Gospel!

Let’s turn our minds to the humanity of Jesus.  This  is what made it so unbearably hard.  Could YOU endure just because you knew that you’d come out the winner? I can tell you right now, you couldn’t. How do I know? . . .let me tell you.  You DO know how everything turns out and you still can’t do it.

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

Every temptation that comes to you, you know you can overcome. No excuses.  Yet you don’t (don’t worry, you aren’t alone.  I don’t either)  This is the power that has been given to us as believers.  Given to us. Yet we do not use it.  Every day we choose our flesh over God’s plan.  Jesus did not have an easier time overcoming temptation than we do.  We know that he was tempted in areas of physical needs, lust for power and influence, and pride at the very beginning.  We know that He faced temptations every day.  He went without sleep in order to meet other’s needs as well as His own need to be with the Father. He dealt with idiots every day and still maintained His cool. How? Love.  Every minute of {The Rescuewas a struggle and a desire (I’m sure) to turn back.  Why didn’t He?

I think this song just about sums it up!


He loves YOU.

Since before the beginning of time.




We tend to think of the Nativity separate from the Cross.  We also tend to think of the Cross as a moment in time. But it wasn’t. It isn’t.  It’s always been about {The Rescue}.

He loves you that much.  No matter where you’ve been in life.  No matter what you’ve done.  No matter who you are. No matter who you know.  He loves you overwhelmingly, recklessly, never-endingly. He is chasing you down. He’ll fight till your found.  You don’t deserve it.  I know.  I don’t either.  You can’t earn it. It’s a gift. . .

The Greatest Gift!



For by Grace you have been saved through Faith, and that not of yourselves: It is the Gift of God. Ephesians 2:8



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