My true love gave to me…the greatest gift of all

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If asked you what the best gift you received 10 years ago was, what would you say? For a few of you, the image of that perfect gift popped into your mind right away. But I would guess it is taking most you a while to recall. That special gift from long ago might have been a bicycle or set of golf clubs you longed for, a puppy, Lakers tickets, a beautiful sweater, or a thoughtful trinket. Or, it may have been a relative coming home from the military or college just in time for Christmas, or being blessed with a new job or a baby, or a family heirloom or keepsake passed down to you.

Now I ask, is that special gift still in your possession? If so, is it being enjoyed or collecting dust and rust in a closet, the attic, or garage? You see, with each new holiday season, trends and fads come and go. You buy your child the Xbox 360 this year, only to have it be succeeded by the Xbox 370 next year! This year’s fashions become next year’s hand-me-downs. Parents, spouses, and friends scour the city in search of that “perfect gift,” but today’s gimmicks and gadgets become antiquated tomorrow. So, how can we keep up? What on earth can we give our loved ones that truly has meaning and longevity?

Time is a precious gift. We sometimes take it for granted or forget it is something to be shared. Your children, parents, grandparents, and friends need your time and attention. The holidays can be the most difficult time for so many people. Trials and tribulations affect every household at some time or another. There are those who are grieving because they have lost a family member. Some men and women are fighting to save their marriages or their families; some are battling disease or illness; some financial hardship. Sadly, this is real life in the San Fernando Valley and all over the world. Therefore, giving your time, compassion, listening ear, or helping hand to establish special relationships with others are a few of the greatest gifts you can give.

So often we get swept up in the commercialism and busyness of the season, and it’s over before we know it. After all the presents have been unwrapped and the decorations taken down, we are left exhausted by another holiday we allowed to eat up our time and stress us out with all the rushing and driving, shopping, baking, preparing, cooking, and cleaning. But that is definitely not what Christmas is all about.

So, let’s get back to basics. The beautiful side of Christmas is its true meaning and humble beginning, and many of you may have never heard the real story. It’s about one very special gift—a baby born in a stable, a present from God to you and me. If you are a parent, you know how amazing children are. But there was something indeed special and unique about this particular child. “The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2: 10-11)

You see, this baby was God’s Son—a king. But it pleased God to have Him come to the world humbly. Not in pomp and royalty to rule an earthly kingdom, but as a man without sin who would show us how to love, to serve, to give of ourselves, and to have a relationship with the Father. Wonderfully moreover, it pleased God to send His Son, this baby Jesus, to give His life for us and take away our sins, if only we invite Him into our hearts, so that we could have an eternal relationship with the Father. Why would God do such a thing? Because He loves us! Now, that is the greatest gift of all. This gospel, this “Good News,” is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and share with others; it is one that can never be stolen or outdated, rust or fade away. Have you accepted this gift?

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”( Isaiah 9:2 & 6)

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