The First Christmas Gift

The First Christmas Gift

Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, please forgive us or we will not survive, for Israel is so small.” So the Lord relented from this plan. “I will not do it,” he said. (Amos 7:2,3)

Read: Amos 7:1-9:15, Revelation 3:7-22, Psalm 131:1-3, Proverbs 29:23

Relate: How do you display mercy without compromising justice? This is the problem Amos was confronted with in the Old Testament. God told Amos, “Israel has sinned and this is what I am going to do about it…” Amos cried out, “Please, no. God, Israel cannot survive Your justice.” So God relented. He said, “I will do this instead…” Again, Amos begged. “God, please spare us. We are too small (weak) to survive Your judgment.” Finally, God said, “Instead of judging the nation, I will judge each individual. I will hang a line to determine the upright. All who are not will face judgment.”

In the Old Testament, this is where the story ends. In heaven, it continued. God looked down and saw that not a single person measured up. There were clearly some people that were living better than others, but not a single person was living upright. No matter how hard they tried, each and every individual fell far too short all too often. The people, all of us, were in desperate need of God’s mercy, but how could it be displayed without God’s justice being compromised.

React: There was a solution, but it did not come in Amos’ time. About seven hundred fifty years would pass before the answer to this quandary would be revealed. The reason for this was because God’s answer was not just for the people of Israel but for the whole world. That answer was God Himself. He laid aside the majesty of heaven and clothed Himself in humanity. He became human to take on Himself the punishment of all humanity so that a God sized wrath could be averted. Jesus was the very first Christmas gift and now all we have to do is unwrap it. Will you do so today?

Respond: 

God, I am so thankful that You have not left me to my own devices. Just as my nation is evil and cannot bear up under the weight of Your justice, neither can I. Just as my culture has so much in conflict with Your truth, so does my heart and mind. No matter how much I might try, I will never measure up to the plumb line of righteousness by which I must be measured. Thank You for taking on Yourself my sin and clothing me with Your righteousness. This if a gift I do not deserve. God, I am so grateful for what You did in coming as that first Christmas gift.

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8 thoughts on “The First Christmas Gift

  1. Romans 1 – 8 are really good chapters to read when talking about the justice of the Lord and the sinful ways of man. I just read through them. I totally agree with you I am undeserving of many things but it is only by grace and mercy that I am still here. I am so grateful for the Lord and all he does. Thanks for sharing your post!! 🙂

  2. Pingback: The First Christmas Gift | Moven ngwenya's Blog

  3. I love this! Mercy not compromising God’s justice–beautifully shown from humble beginnings to humiliating end–to glorious victory. I don’t think often enough of that paradigm–the juxtaposition of mercy and justice. And the wonderful picture of God’s redemptive answer. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: From The Vine | Week 3 ~ Immanuel: A Gift For All | Emerge Beautiful

  5. “Jesus was the very first gift of christmas to all of us…”really blessed by the blog..and it has made me to think about Jesus birth and the purpose of God’s will.

  6. Reblogged this on emalineachieng -HUMOURITA and commented:
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREAT JESUS CHRIST.
    LAWYER
    FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD
    JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS
    JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
    BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED
    GUY OF MANY PARABLES
    A SERVANT AND GREAT TEACHER TO HIS DISCIPLES
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY THE LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS
    THAT AT THE MENTION OF HIS NAME EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD

  7. The celebration of the incarnation day (Christmas) in the USA has come and gone. This year I was especially struck with the idea that though we each are so unworthy and fall so short, for a small period of time, the God of the Universe, the creator, relocated to earth, took on human flesh and chose to come as a powerless infant.

    Incontinent and in need of nurture that could only be expressed in cries for help. He chose to become dependent upon His very creation – which had betrayed Him in Genesis 3. He became fully human yet retained all his Godly attributes. At any time he could have commanded, he could have conquered, he could have exercised judgement on the earth, but instead he humbly became obedient to his earthly mother, and step father, and to His true Abba Father – obedient to death – even on a cross.

    It strikes me to my core to realize Jesus Christ did this for me. Me. He chose me so I could chose Him. He laid down His life so the righteousness and holiness of God the Father was satisfied. That was a very costly solution. I’m incredibly grateful. He became human and lived with humans. He became like us. He experienced hunger, and dirty nappies, and potty training. He experienced sibling rivalry. He experienced temptation. He experienced rejection and grief and loss. He knows what we experience – but more – He knew perfect communion with God the Father and on the cross He experienced TOTAL separation from God the Father. I am truly in AWE to realize that Jesus the King could have come in so many other ways, and in a worthy of God King way – but He didn’t. Jesus the Messiah needed to save His people – ALL his people first. This is likely the reason so many of my favorite Bible verses contain the words “But God….”

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