DISTINGUISHING GIFTS FROM THE WRAPPINGS! Christmas morning with small children brings some interesting times in the family. One thing I have noticed over the years is when the gifts are opened sometimes a child to whom the gift does not belong snatches the gift away from the child to whom it does belong. Chaos can begin and tears and cries may follow. But usually things get straightened out in the end. And sometimes kids just complain because they were expecting one thing and received another. And sometimes they get angry. And sometimes the names fall off the gift and then the fun begins trying to figure out who the gift belongs to. Sometimes two people receive the same kind of gift and then the fun and remarks begin. Sometimes after all the gifts are opened things get lost in the Christmas wrappings. More than once I have had to join in the hunt through all the wrappings to find missing gifts.

Christmas is a time to remember the birth of Jesus into this world as a human being and what a great time we have looking at all the Christmas wrappings...virgin, baby, angels, shepherds, wise men, heavenly music, bright star, and God’s Word brought to past. God’s gift to us goes way beyond the Christmas wrappings and though the wrappings bring us great joy certainly the gift has eternal consequences. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (Gospel of John 10:27-30 NIV)

When you become a child of the King (sheep) through listening to the voice of Jesus (salvation experience) Jesus knows you as one of His children for all eternity because you now have a relationship with Him and follow Him. Jesus is the gift of Christmas but He is also the gift-giver of Christmas and His gift to all who are willing to take the gift and follow Him is eternal life. And when He says, “you will never perish,” He means NEVER. Unlike human Christmas gifts that might get lost in the wrappings or snatched away by an unexpected thief Jesus says “no one will snatch them out of my hand.” When Jesus says “no one” He means NO ONE; not the devil, not yourself, or anyone else. Once you have salvation in Jesus you aren’t going to lose it, not in the Christmas wrappings or the wrappings of the world or through the work of Satan. So relax this Christmas and enjoy all the wrappings of Christmas; in a godly Christ-like manner of course. Just be sure and keep Jesus, God’s great gift, as the center of the Christmas celebration

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