What To Do With A Christmas Gift

Written with Sherri Bergmann

When we receive a gift, we might appreciate it for its face value, its sentimental value, or decide to exchange it, return it, or store it away.
 
Now that Christmas is over, is it really?

What about the gift God gave us — Jesus?

As we face the New Year, how will we use God’s best gift to us?

PEACE AND PRESENCE

When the angels announced Christ’s birth, they highlighted two major things – God’s peace and God’s presence.

In Luke’s story about the arrival of Jesus’ birth, a multitude of angels announced to shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

Matthew 1:23 says, “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Many avoid watching the news. Headlines scream mass shootings, war and threats of wars, and riots. Each of these ratchet up our stress levels and make us feel like hiding in a cave somewhere.

Our younger generations are facing unimaginable stress—school, social media, peer pressure, gender identity confusion, homework, problems at home, and more. The suicide rates for teens continue to rise. They can’t take it anymore. Many struggle to find out how to live through another day.

Stress at work and home also can have us feeling uptight, overwhelmed, angry and burned out.

We just want peace.

Even over two thousand years ago, God knew we needed to have peace in this world, and were at a loss of how to find it and have it to cope through difficult times.

Jesus’ presence brings peace that comforts us through the New Year, and through life.

JESUS PROMISES HIS PEACE
 
Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

He’s there to help us overcome trials, depression, loneliness, and grief.

JESUS PROMISES HIS PRESENCE

“In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” ( John 14:2-3)

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

When we obey Him, we may still experience stress and problems, but his peace and presence will comfort us and enable us to navigate them more effectively.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR GIFT

Get next to Jesus. Don’t place Him on a shelf or disregard Him.  

Be like a little child getting a puppy for Christmas who can’t wait for each morning to spend the day with their new best friend and wants to take him wherever they go.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

Emmanuel – God with us.

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