To prepare my own heart for Christmas and to put together a series for College and Careers, I've been spending quite a bit of time contemplating Christmas. One thing that has struck me this year is the vast amount of gifts we received (and still are receiving) in Christ.
You see I've known and believed that Jesus came to die for my sins. And while that is true, there are also quite a few other reasons why He came. Here are some verses I've come across in my studies:
"For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day." (John 6:38-39)
"I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. " (John 12:46)
"Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose." (Matthew 5:17)
"Jesus responded, 'You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.'" (John 18:37)
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)
"But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. " (1 John 3:8)
I had read most of these verses many times before, but I never really realized how often Jesus said the words "I came" and proceeded to tell us reasons why He came into our earth on that very first Christmas morning.
As if the forgiveness of sins and redemption of mankind wasn't enough! He also came into the world to: give us abundant life, bring us light in the darkness, provide Truth that casts out lies, fulfil the law, the list goes on and on and on.
It's one thing to imagine how horrible it would be if there was no hope of the afterlife following the here and now. But this Christmas I'm also mindful of the fact that our lives here and now could be much different without the gifts that Christ gives us. I don't know about you, but without peace or hope or the light of Christ, my life would be very different than it is. And the only reason I have these things is because God made the choose to send His Son into our world. What a truly amazing gift that is!