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Still Under the Tree?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16

Imagine you bought a Christmas gift for a special little girl. You shopped for the cutest, cuddliest baby doll you could find. You put it in a box, wrapped it in beautiful paper, tied it with a bow, and left it under the tree for her to open on Christmas morning.

She might take the box, open it and hold the doll in her arms. But after a few minutes, she puts it back under the Christmas tree and runs off to play.

A better scenario? She opens the box, takes the doll in her arms and carries it everywhere. Months later her mom tells you that your gift is the girl’s constant companion. The doll goes to preschool, to church, and to the grocery store and when the little girl is tucked into bed, the doll is tucked in with her. As the giver of the gift, you smile – this is exactly as you had hoped it would be.

Let’s pause in the busyness of Christmas to think about the greatest gift ever given. When God sent His Son to earth, it was his intention for Jesus to be with us. Many look into the manger at Christmas time, comment on the beauty of the scene, and go on about their business. Others actually embrace him as Savior, but tend to leave him behind as other priorities or interests draw them away.

What would make the Giver of the Jesus gift most happy? Our making him the center of our lives, being aware of his presence with us wherever we go and in whatever we are doing.

Jesus came to redeem us so he could be with us. One of the names given him was Immanuel which actually means God with us. He doesn’t want us to see him, then turn and go our way without him.

Instead, look to see who he really is and how much he loves you. He came to be with us, but he doesn’t force himself on us. He patiently waits for our response. Let’s not turn our backs on the amazing gift of relationship, guidance, blessing, and joy that he offers.

If you haven’t already accepted Jesus, the greatest of all God’s gifts, don’t leave him under the tree! Invite him into your life today – as your Savior and Lord.

· You don’t have to be “good enough”. He came for the fallen, the broken; he came to forgive you. If you know you are sinful, you are the perfect receiver of this gift.

· You don’t have to be smart and know all the key passages in the Bible or all the Christian jargon. God’s message is a simple one of love and acceptance.

· You don’t have to be a certain size or style or age or color. His gift is for you – whoever you are, whatever your background.

· You don’t have to be a certain religion either. Jesus is not about religion, he’s about relationship. You and him, forever forgiven, forever loved.

· You don’t have to be perfect. He will accept you exactly where you are, then invite you to grow up in him – you will change as you follow him, but you don’t have to change to get to him.

The greatest gift you will ever experience has already been given. Please don’t leave him under the tree!


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