December: A Word from the Pastor

present-givingChristmas is about giving – and giving is all about God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Christmas is the story of the birth of Christ. God gave His Son.

This greatest act of giving comes from the heart of God. Giving is not about the worthiness of sinners. It is not about the love of sinners for God. It is not about sinners deserving the love of God because of anything they might do. God’s love motivates His actions because He is perfect love.

And, Scripture reminds us that our love for God is derived from His love for us.

“We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

The love of God, expressed so perfectly in the sending of His Son, is then expressed by the Son in giving Himself to save guilty sinners.

“… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

The love of the Father is first displayed in Bethlehem by the giving of His Son. The love of the Son is revealed by His death upon the cross. This is perfect love – undeserved by man, flowing from God, bringing great blessing to all who believe in Christ.

At this Christmas season, the world celebrates the season for many different reasons.

As Christians, we should rejoice in the love of God that has given so much to us. Our sinful condition was once hopeless, but now we have found great hope in the love of God. And the wonderful connection between God’s love and God’s giving is further joined to God’s life.

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him” (John 3:36).

God gives all believers the life that forever resides in Him – eternal life. This life never ends. As we celebrate the Christmas season, let us remember to rejoice in the God of love who gave Himself for us that we might live forever in Him. Truly God’s gift to all who are believing in His Son is the gift that keeps on giving. We shall praise God forever for His love that gave all that is required for us to live forever in His glorious presence.

-Gary W. Custis