My wife and I started dating when we were teenagers. On our first Christmas, she bought me a Bible with my name on it…and I lost it the same day. I looked everywhere for it. I assume I placed it on top of my car, and as I drove away thinking about how gorgeous and godly she was, it fell off. I had hoped someone would have returned it as it had my name on the front, but no such luck. The next Sunday, I showed up to church without my new Bible with hope she wouldn’t notice. Again, no such luck. I apologized and told her what I thought happened to it, and she said something like, “Don’t worry about it. I hope whoever found it reads it.” I thought she would have been upset, but she did something amazing…she forgave and extended grace just like the Bible teaches. She’s been extending those same gifts of grace and forgiveness to me for over 25 years now. Even though I had lost the Bible she gave me for Christmas, she didn’t lose the contents of it – Christlikeness. A bible lived out is better than one just owned any day.
Jesus isn’t just a good moral historical figure we should imitate. He’s the perfect sinless One sent from God Who alone can take away our sins. The story of Christmas isn’t just so we can have decorative nativity scenes on our lawn and coffee tables. Jesus came to save us! I’m so glad I repented and asked Jesus to save me 35 years ago. How ironic is it that even though I lost that first gift I could never lose Jesus’ gift of salvation. He “saves to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25). While I didn’t have that Christmas Bible in my hand anymore, Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.” I’ve received more Bibles from Haley over the years and I’m proud to say I’ve never lost anymore of them. While Haley’s gift of the word was great, God’s gift of Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:14) is the greatest one of all.
Question: Have you received God’s greatest gift of Jesus as your Savior? Have you thanked Him for His forgiveness and grace?
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.