The Gift
Friday, December 10, 2010

 

“Man shall not live by bread alone.” -- Jesus, the Christ

 

                That man shall not live by bread alone, may seem to be a strange passage for a Christmas message.  However, I would challenge that it may indeed be one of the greatest Christmas messages of all times.  I have stated in the past two letters to you that peace on earth and in the human spirit can only come with a radical change of heart.  And the real gift of Christmas is that God gave us His Only Begotten Son to do that very thing for us.

 

                As I look around, everywhere I see human despair.  Sure there are intermittent joys, but into every life must come loss of loved ones, accidents, illnesses, financial stress, and threats against our way of life.  Each day, one who looks carefully can see the devastation of life, robbing of dignity, stripping of personhood, and hopelessness from disease, hunger, terrorism, natural disasters, and evil.  Innocent little girls are kidnapped to feed the greedy sexual appetites of rich, soulless men.  People are dying in Mexico, South America, and Central America because of the wanton use of drugs in the USA.  And the list goes on ad infinitum.  Rays of sunshine seem to be clouded by the cauldron of human misery.

 

                In recent years the Christian message of salvation and eternal life has become politically incorrect.  How dare we say that Christ is the only way?    What about the other religions, science, and philosophy?  Our culture rejects as exclusivism and bigotry the thought that Jesus could have any claims on life more stringent than other right (or wrong) thinking individuals, past or present.  He, according to culture, was only a good teacher, whom followers made into a religious icon.  And as a result the human plight continues its downward spiral.

 

                This is not unlike the condition of the world that first Christmas morning.  There were gods, politicians, tyrants, disasters, and abundant greed that night when the shepherds watched their flocks, the star shone in the heavens, and the angels descended singing their beautiful songs of hope.  God sees our plight and gives us a Gift to change it all.  But this Gift was not a gift which would destroy famine, floods, and disease.  It was a Gift of peace on earth to radically change our hearts.

 

                You see, God knew that human beings needed far more than bread to sustain them.  Bread only gives sustenance to the outer person – the part we can see.  But there is an unseen part of every human being that is not seen.  And what God knew is that “what is seen is only temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:31)  Bread only has the capacity to feed what is seen, and thus has no lasting value.  Certainly bread can sustain physical life, but Jesus reminds us that we cannot live physically without our spirits being fed as well.  So God sent us His Son that we might have bread that feeds our eternal soul – that part of us which will never die.

 

                Yes, this has salvation implications which modern culture rejects, but the Gift of God is for right now.  He has given us a gift which can shape us in love, goodness, peace, joy, kindness, patience, and a fruitful life.  He has given us a Gift that can sustain us in the midst of human tragedy, illness, death of loved ones, and financial hardships.  The Gift is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Spring of Living Water, and the Good Shepherd of our souls.  But like any gift, we must receive it.  We must open it and make it ours.  On Christmas morning, most of us will receive a variety of gadgets.  These gadgets have no purpose unless we use them.  Can openers cannot open cans unless we use them.  Computers cannot give us abundant information unless we turn them on.  How much more does the Gift of God need to be opened, to become part of us, and to be daily used to renew our hearts?

                 This Christmas, let us be reminded that God gave us all a Gift, that when used will grant us a “peace which surpasses all understanding”; a Gift that gives us food that will not pass away or build up on our waste lines; a Gift that will radically transform our hearts and bring peace on earth.  We, each in our own way need to receive this Gift.  He wants to be your joy this Christmas.  He wants to give you peace as you struggle with love losses and heartache.  He wants to talk with you each morning and demonstrate the extraordinary love of God to you.  He wants to shine light in the dark corners that have been shaped by the world or His enemy.  He wants to walk with you every day.  Open the Gift of God and cherish that which will never pass away.  “Man shall not live by bread alone.”  So please don’t try.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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