The Gift of Promise
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David,
fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile,
and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah. – Matthew 1:16-17 New Living Translation
It’s Christmas morning and my oldest child walks into my room as she has done so many times before asking, “Are you ready to open your Christmas presents?” However, words aren’t exactly as they were when she was younger. A younger version of herself would ask, “Can we open our presents now!” The urgency of her getting to the gifts promised to her that sat under the tree would be too much to bear. The moment was finally here for all the kids to see once again if their mom and dad would come through on their promises. No more conversations ending with, “You’re just gonna have to wait and see.” It was go time, could their parents deliver.
As I have shared gifts with my children over the years I have come to realize that the actual item is only half of the gift. The other half of the experience is a bit more abstract. I am also giving my children the opportunity to trust me. I am showing them that I am able to do what I said I would by keeping my promises. Our Christmas tradition mimics the first Christmas more than you may realize in this regard.
First, God gives us the most precious gift of all. The gift of Himself.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’” – Matthew 1:23 New Living Translation
Secondly, Jesus’ birth was an exercise in God letting us know He can be trusted. He sent Prophets for thousands of years prior to Jesus birth to promise humanity that Jesus was coming, and His birth brought it all to pass. The Scriptures teach that Jesus would be born of a woman (Gen. 3:15); of the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18); through the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10), and of the family of David (2 Sam. 7:12-13;16).
This Christmas I want to challenge you to think about how trustworthy God is because He made a promise and He kept it.
1.) If God is trustworthy, what type of impact should that truth have on your life?
2.) How should knowing that God gave His son impact the way that you think about and treat others?