Presents! December 8, 2023

Christmas is so awesome! I love seeing all the homes decorated with millions of lights and decorations. Who could argue Christmas has the greatest movies of all time? Home Alone, Elf, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Have you noticed, Christmas is the only time of year you can be walking through Old Navy and hear, Mary Did You Know, O Come All Ye Faithful, and Silent night? What about all the food everywhere you go? Dips, chips, cookies, pies, and of course peppermint flavored everything!

By the way, did you know Christmas Carbs don’t count as real carbs? Well, they don’t at our house. We have a rule at our house, that all carbs given and received in the month of December DO NOT count as real carbs. Now, if you make the mistake of stepping on a scale, you’ll see they probably will count, but we’re excusing them this month. 

I haven’t even mentioned all the gifts! I don’t know about you, but I love to give gifts. I love receiving gifts as well. When my son was smaller I loved to see his reactions to the gifts we gave to him. He was always so appreciative of each one, and so excited to open them all. One year I remember waiting for him by the tree with my coffee, and watching him run towards the tree yelling, “PRESENTS!” I said, “Yes sir, good morning.” He smiled, and said, “Oops. Sorry. Good morning, Dad!” Things have changed a little now that he’s a teenager, but I still love giving him gifts, even though they’re a bit more expensive than the ever famous Hot Wheels cars from the past.

From the beginning to the end, the Bible has a constant theme. I believe it shouts it loud and clear. I believe the entire theme of the Bible can be wrapped up in one word, and that word is giving. God is the one telling His story of giving throughout all of history in His book. God gives life. God gives order. God gives commands. God gives man a gift in the form of a woman. God gives judgement. God gives laws. God gives social structure. God gives warnings. Then there’s a great shift that takes place in the history of all mankind. It’s such a major shift that God is silent for over 400 years, and then the silence is broken by the announcement of Angels to shepherds. 

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:10-14 NKJV)

Did you notice it? Not only did God give a gift to all people, but He even wrapped Him up in swaddling cloths. How beautiful is that? The greatest gift ever given was the gift from God Himself, of His one and only son Jesus The Christ. The greatest present of all time was God’s presence with us. Immanuel, God is with us. The greatest gift we could ever receive, is to receive the gift of God’s gift of salvation. There was never a gift given like this before, and there will never be another given like this gift, given by God Himself on that starry night. This gift given by God to all mankind was a one time gift.

We find the great significance of this gift spoken by Jesus Himself as He spoke later in His life to a man named Nicodemus. It’s the most popular verse of all time, and it’s recorded in John 3:16. Jesus says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (NKJV)  Did you catch that? God loved the world so much that He did what??? He gave! God gave each of us a gift. God gave all the world a gift. To you. From God. 

Let’s consider God’s gift to us. The gift is Jesus Christ, but what is contained in that gift for us is filled with awe and wonder. The gift of God is a gift filled with love. Christmas is a beautiful reminder of God’s incredible love for us. This Christmas season may each and every one of us reflect on the immense love that led to the birth of Jesus, who came to bring salvation and everlasting love to all.

Not only is God’s gift filled with love, but it is a gift filled with hope as well. The Biblical Christmas story brings hope to a weary world. In Isaiah 9:6, it is prophesied, “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.” (NKJV) God’s gift is filled with eternal hope. Jesus is our hope, bringing light into darkness and offering hope for all who believe.

God’s gift to all mankind is filled with love, it’s filled with hope, and if that isn’t exciting enough for us all there’s even more. God’s gift is filled with joy. The birth of Jesus brings joy to our hearts. In Luke 1:46-47 we find Mary, the woman who gave birth to the son of God Himself, the woman who carried the Messiah in her human body, joyfully proclaiming, “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” (NKJV) What a gift has been given to all the world. Joy has come to a sad world. Joy has filled the hearts of all mankind. The Savior has been born!

If you have never really accepted God’s gift of salvation through His one and only Son Jesus Christ, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. Don’t wait till 2024. Don’t wait until next Christmas. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer right now, say, “Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus is God’s gift given to me. I believe He lived, I believe He died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. God fill me with love, hope, and joy! I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, for saving me. In Jesus Name.”

If you prayed that prayer, would you let me know? Send me an email to… 

I would love to celebrate with all of Heaven that you have accepted God’s gift of salvation. This Christmas I pray that the love, hope, and joy of the gift of God will fill your heart as you celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Thank you for reading, Merry Christmas! 

About Jim R. Copenhaver
Pastor Jim Copenhaver has over 20 years of ministry experience and he's just as excited about what God has in store for the future. His passion to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and equip others to do so, is the driving force behind his ministry. Jim is a District Licensed Minister in the Church of The Nazarene. He published his first book in 2022 titled, Miracles In Between. Jim received his Biblical Studies certificate from Liberty University, and is also the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Divinity. He and his wife Angela, and their son Hutson live in Wooster, Ohio. You can read more about the author here.

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