December 18th 2022: Gaius Douglas

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“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.”

Isaiah 55:6

Some say that this is no Christmas verse, but I tell you, every verse of the Bible is a Christmas verse. The true message of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We celebrate God’s gift to the world, God’s gift to you and me. We can never truly celebrate His birth unless we know Him as our Saviour and our Lord. He is the most wonderful gift.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16). God sent His most wonderful gift, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Are you rejoicing in Him? If so, you have something so precious, so holy! He is precious to me. This gift is so precious, more precious than any earthly gift because it is eternal.

Some people say Christians need to lighten up, to lay off and let them celebrate with family and friends, especially as we are experiencing hard times – the cost of living, heating. Tesco says they’re the joy of Christmas! Others say, ‘You Christians say God has given us freedom of choice, so we can choose whether we celebrate Jesus or not! Some say, ‘If God’s gift is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, we have 361 days to consider – leave us alone for the 4 days we celebrate Christmas. People haven’t got 361 days. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Today may be your last day on earth. Do you know Christ as your Saviour? What is important is knowing Him, receiving Him as your Saviour and Lord.

Christmas is all about love, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17). Are you saved this morning? He came to seek and save those who are lost.

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. (1 John 4:14). ‘Of the world!’ Believe that and receive it. Every man, every woman, every boy and every girl are accountable to God this morning. God left the heavens, His eternal throne, and came down into this world. He became man, He became sin for us, and He went to Calvary’s cross and there He died. He humbled Himself. He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. God now has exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every other name. At the name of Jesus, one day, every knee will bow.

Today is the accepted time. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the important day, not tomorrow. Today is the day you can receive the preciousness of the gift and receive Christ as your Saviour and Lord. Those of us who truly believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour, love Christmas. I love Christmas! I look forward to it. It’s a time of giving and remembering God’s precious gift. It is the greatest gift you’re able to receive. When we’re giving gifts to each other, we are sharing of God’s bounty, remembering the greatest gift God has given us. ‘All good gifts around us’ He has given. The gift of God is God’s gift to us; He loves us and wants us to enjoy the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

We also have the gift of life. We are all breathing. That’s God’s good gift to you and me. You’re alive this morning. Are you thankful and appreciative? He has given you breath so you can sing His praises, so you can rejoice in Him and share His gladness with others. How ungrateful we are that we don’t always give Him thanks for it. How ungrateful we will be, even on Christmas Day – God willing, if our lives are spared – we have all these wonderful things around us, and we are not willing to give Him thanks for them.

He has invited mankind to, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6). He will not always be there. God has appointed a time for each of us to receive Him as Saviour and Lord. He is coming again. There will come a time when it is too late. He calls, He pleads, He encourages us. He shares His gift with us. We celebrate Christmas after Christmas after Christmas – and we still say no to Him. We are still rejecting Him.

“Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity
.”
 (Proverbs 1:24-26a)

Christmas is a happy time but also a serious time. God is reminding us of the preciousness of His gift. He is asking you to seek Him, but if you refuse Him, The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). My dear friends, there are two sides to the story: God has given us a gift, the Lord Jesus Christ, but if you refuse this gift, you have chosen death, you have rejected His Son. “The wages of sin is death.” We were born in sin, heading for a lost eternity. God came into this world through the person of His Son. He has shared His love with us. By rejecting Him He says, the same God who came to save is the same God who will judge. He will cast those who refuse Him into the lake of fire.

He has invited us. He wants us to come to Him. This Christmas, He wants you to appreciate His kindness, His truth, His love. But if your refuse Him, He will reject you. He knows everything you are experiencing in your life. As a man He lived in Nazareth. He had a family, went to a wedding, ate with Publicans and sinners, healed people, was homeless, rejected – even by his brothers. So don’t say He doesn’t know what we’re going through.

He loves us with such an everlasting love. God sent Him as our Saviour. You can enjoy the Christ of Christmas only if the Christ of Christmas is in your heart. You can enjoy Christmas! Many people don’t enjoy the Christ of Christmas. There is an opportunity this Christmas. God wants you to enjoy it, to enjoy His Son.

You can have a Christ-centred Christmas or a self-centred Christmas. Which will it be? One of the sad things is, for many people, this is their last Christmas. But if you know Christ as your Saviour you have an eternity to live with Him. You will be with Christ, which is far better. You can either receive Him this Christmas or reject Him. “The wages of sin is death.” Being separated from God. When He conquered sin, hell and death, we read that the Lord Jesus Christ say, ‘Because I live, you will also live forever.’ My dear friends, I’m rejoicing in the fact that I will never die. If you know Christ as your Saviour, you can rejoice. It is Christmas every day of my life because He is the Christ in Christmas. He is the Christ of Christmas. Regardless of what people may say, without Christ there is no Christmas. May God bless you.