It's December and everyone’s favorite holiday season is upon us. Nearly overnight neighborhoods and city streets have turned into a wonderland of colorful lights and festive decorations. And in homes across America, individuals and families are preparing for the glorious celebration we call Christmas.
Of course, what would Christmas be without gifts? If you’re like Laurie and me, exchanging gifts with family and friends is a big deal, as each Christmas we focus on finding the perfect treasures that will communicate to those we love just how much they mean to us. There’s no greater sense of satisfaction than giving a gift that brings joy and happiness to someone you cherish.
I’m pretty sure that is what was in God’s heart when He presented the most perfect gift of all — the ultimate treasure that is at the very heart of this Christmas season. One of the most-quoted Bible verses ever, John 3:16, puts a larger-than-life exclamation point on this most extravagant gift from God to us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son....” What greater gift could there be in all the world than this? The Creator of the universe offered what was most precious to Him, His eternal Son, Jesus, so that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” That, dear friend, is God’s greatest gift to you and me: the gift of grace.
"... during this Christmas season our prayer is that you will join us in focusing our hearts on this greatest gift of God to all of humanity: His grace." - MATT CROUCH
In Ephesians 2:8, the apostle Paul expands on this lavish gift of salvation and eternal life: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God....” What that means is no amount of effort on our part can make us good enough to receive this grace God offers through His perfect love. We are undeserving of the salvation and forgiveness that comes only through His Son, but He chooses to give it to us anyway. His grace is a gift, and it is absolutely free!
It’s no secret that the world we live in shouts and demands the opposite. Anything we receive has to be gotten through our own strength. There is no place for weakness. The culture of today insists that our salvation and success come through our own efforts. But in God’s economy, our strength and future begin with acknowledging our sin, our weakness, our inability. That’s why God tells us, just like He told the apostle Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
In his powerful book on this boundless subject, entitled simply The Grace of God, our friend Pastor Andy Stanley makes it clear: “We can’t receive God’s forgiving grace while continuing to prop ourselves up through self-denial and self-effort.... Culture encourages us to compensate for our weaknesses.
Jesus encourages us to acknowledge our weaknesses and then cling to Him for the grace to function in spite of them. When you acknowledge you are weak, that is an invitation to your Savior to be strong through you.”
He goes on to say: “For years I’ve prayed and taught people to pray, Heavenly Father, I cannot, but you can. In my weakness, be strong.
This is different from promising God how much better you intend to be and how much harder you intend to try. Again, it is only when and where you are weak that He has the opportunity to be strong. Only then can His grace be sufficient for you. Only then will His power be made perfect in your weakness.”
Wow! That’s a truth we all need to embrace. In fact, for Laurie and me, during this Christmas season our prayer is that you will join us in focusing our hearts on this greatest gift of God to all of humanity: His grace.
Friend, communicating this message of God’s grace around the clock and around the world is what the broadcast outreach of TBN is all about. And it is the prayer and financial support of individuals just like you that make it happen. Your commitment to stand with us in this epic Kingdom endeavor means that millions of individuals and families across the earth are experiencing the message of God’s grace and growing in their relationship with Him through the programming and content they view from TBN.
Thank you for your partnership with us, and may God bless you and yours during this sacred Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, and take time to reflect on the boundless blessing of His grace in our lives.
We love you,
Matt and Laurie