James: Faith That Works HBBy: R. Kent Hughes
Too often Christmas gets swallowed up in the busyness of shopping and sending cards and wrapping presents. As we rush around, we often miss the wonder of what Christmas is all about. Christmas began with a gift given to the human race two thousand years ago. It was a child, born in a Bethlehem stable and laid in a manger. His birth was announced by wise men guided from the East by a very special star. It was the gift we needed most: a Savior, the Holy Son of God. This is the good news proclaimed by the angel: "Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11). Why was God's gift of a Savior so important? There are three reasons: The greatness of the need. The future of the human race was at stake. Sin made havoc of God's creation and brought estrangement from its Creator. The greatness of the gift. Not only was the need great, but the gift was also great! "This is My beloved Son," God said, "in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). The greatness of the cost. Read the inspired portraits of the suffering of Christ in Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, and Psalm 69. The cross was only part of the price He gladly paid. Jesus Christ did not die for His own sins or because He was a victim of circumstances. He came, as God's supreme gift to you and me. The Bible pointedly asks: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3). Have you overlooked the really important gift of Christmas? Is God prompting you to look through the odds and ends of Christmas? God's gift for you is waiting. Don't miss it. Right now, wherever you are, you can receive the costliest gift, Jesus Christ the Savior. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).