BY REV. ERIC HOLDERMAN — SPIRIT LAKE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH
One of my favorite scriptures in all the Bible is found in the book of John chapter 3 verse 16 that says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
What a wonderful thought!
I love getting gifts – gifts for Christmas, gifts for birthdays. It’s the anticipation I guess is what I get excited about; that somebody went out of their way to purchase something for me. That person thought of me personally and exclusively!
Well God feels the same way. Notice first of all that God had you on his mind personally and exclusively too. In the phrase “For God so loved the world,” you mean the world to God! He is referring to you, it’s not the planet, it’s not a place, it’s YOU he is referring to. It’s you he thought about, it’s you he went out and planned for. It’s you he went out and made a specific purchase for. That specific purchase was the most valuable gift ever purchased, the most thoughtful gift ever given to each person who will receive it.
How many of you reading this today would ever say to your wife, to your child, to a family member or friend that went out of their way to go out to purchase a gift, that took the time to wrap the gift, took the time to come to your specific event and personally handed you your gift, and said "well, no thanks I will pass." You would be upset. You would be hurt. You would feel terrible, maybe even rejected.
So now think in terms of our heavenly Father's view point as the gift-giver. He went out of his way. His thought was exclusively on you and your greatest need or want was on his mind. He searched the world over and made the purchase; came to your event in your life when you most needed him and personally handed you a gift. If you receive the gift, if you open the gift, you get the joy that comes along with that gift. The thought, the time and resources spent on you; it now belongs to you. You now get to enjoy that gift.
The gift was his son, the greatest gift given to all of mankind.
Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and found lying in a manger and, yes, it was Christmas gift. The purchase was made for you by the Father God 33 years later at a place called Calvary on a cross. He gave you his very best; his Son Jesus Christ. The gift that was purchased was eternal life, through his shed blood, to fulfill our greatest need called sin. To all who receive this gift, it will never perish in time. It is a gift that promises a hope and eternal future, a gift that keeps on giving every single day until our last breath. But the gift does not stop there. It promises a future beyond death – a new life that can never perish. God is now handing you this gift. Will you receive it or will you reject it?