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Matthew 1:23

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,”

What’s the most extravagant gift you can imagine? I guarantee it isn’t found online or in a catalog. It certainly can’t be bought or wrapped and it isn’t limited to a certain season or offered to a select few. What it is though, is the most wonderful gift ever offered! Listen to how it’s described: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23) The babe that was born in Bethlehem was the ultimate gift to mankind – God’s very presence, Jesus Christ. God Himself came in the form of a man, a human just like us, and by doing so, He represented both God and man that He might bring us the gift of love and salvation through His mercy and grace.

At Christmas time, we expend a lot of energy and often great expense in selecting just the right present for the people we love with the hope that they will love it too. However, even the richest among us has finite resources and finite time, but not so with our heavenly Father. His resources and time are infinite. His gift went beyond what anyone could imagine and was so incalculably precious, that even the angelic host broke out in thanksgiving and praise! With the offering of Himself, He gave the greatest gift ever given, His only Son. Every gift comes at some expense, whether it is time or money, so what would compel such a magnificent offering? One reason only – extravagant, costly love. “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.” (John 3:16)

I find it fitting that even though two millennia have passed since the birth of Christ, our season of giving first begins with a season of thanksgiving. The Apostle Paul’s words are truly relevant for every day of every season, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

– Pastor Jack

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