Friday, December 6, 2013

He Gave His One and Only Son | Forward in Christ

"'And what do you want for Christmas, little boy?' the mall Santa asked the seven-year old.

The boy answered, 'I would like two footballs, two remote control cars, and two video game systems.'

'Well,' replied Santa, 'that certainly is a tall order to fill. Do you mind telling me why you want two of everything?'

The little boy answered without hesitation, 'So I can share.'

Before we get halfway through our 'Awww,' it dawns on us that this little guy's response is not heartwarming. He wants two of everything so that it will be easy for him to share, so that his giving won't have to involve painful sacrifice.


Are you congratulating yourself on your holiday generosity? Before you get too far, it might be good to ask, 'Is my giving not just now but all year round--whether it is giving money, help, time, attention, or support? Or is it too often limited to what is easy, reasonable, and convenient?

Does God get all of me--all my love, devotion, and trust? Or have I acted like there are two of me so I can cater to myself and still congratulate myself for giving God a part of me now and then?'

We uncover a fundamental failure. We think if we give some of ourselves away to others or God, we deserve God's praise. But the truth is that we don't deserve his praise for our love. We deserve his punishment for our failure to love him and others as we should, and we desperately need him to rescue us...


That is what we are celebrating this season: that God loved us and came to our rescue.

But this is what makes us catch our breath: He didn't have two sons to give for oursalvation--he only had one. He only had one Son to send from his side in heaven to earth. One Son to make vulnerable to weakness and pain in a human body. One Son to run through the gamut of trials and temptations that is life on earth. One Son to give to beating, scourging, and the nails of the cross. One Son to crush under his wrath.

He had only one Son to give for you.

And yet, entirely without compulsion or obligation, in full knowledge of how costly and painful the sacrifice would be and even how often you and I would return such wondrous love with such shallow love, 'God so loved the world [he so loved you] that he gave his one and only Son...'

... Can you think of anything better to do with your one life than to give it cheerfully and entirely to your God and to others in love for him who sent his one and only Son to be your Savior?"

--- Pastor Norman F. Burger, Lansing, MI

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