I received an early Christmas gift from our five-year-old grandson Max. Though he didn’t realize it at the time, his gift will never wear out or lose its value.
Intentionally nurturing our grandchildren’s faith in Christ is my greatest passion and joy. That’s why this exceptional gift from Max blessed me so deeply.
After reading Advent stories and making a craft, I set my grandkids in front of our television to watch the Christmas DVD, The Crippled Lamb (by Max Lucado). The older children fondly remembered the story from past Christmases and our grandson Jack proudly announced he’d read the book the night before.
As my daughter and I warmed ourselves under blankets, we observed the children’s attentiveness to the story.
At the conclusion, I seized the opportunity to discuss the movie’s theme. I told my grandchildren that God has purpose for everyone’s life, including people with disabilities. Initially, the crippled lamb felt useless and left out. Then on the night of Christ’s birth, the little lamb realized his purpose as he laid next to baby Jesus, warming the Savior of the world’s tiny frail body.
During our conversation, Max stated, “Yes, just like Leo who can’t hear.” Leo is our ten-year-old neighbor who was born deaf. I said, “Exactly, God has a purpose for Leo’s life just like He does for everyone.” Then Max pronounced, “I think we need to all make a circle, hold hands, and pray!” So we did, but before I had time to ask Max what he wanted to pray about, he simply spoke to God, asking him to heal Leo “so she could hear better.”
The gift Max gave to me was one of eternal value. One that came wrapped with love, compassion, and sincerity.
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)
Dear Heavenly Father, please keep our hearts tender toward the Gift of your Son, Jesus, at Christmas and each day throughout the year.
Be sure to keep watch for the everlasting gifts of Christmas.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:8-14)
The early Christmas gift from Max will remain in my heart forever.
This Christmas, may you know that your life has purpose, and is of great value, just because…
God created you…to have fellowship with Him and to share in His love through Christ with others. (Genesis 1:27, 1 John 1:3)
Our ultimate purpose is to give our Creator all the glory that is due Him. Like the little crippled lamb in the story, we may feel useless and left out from time to time, but please remember, God does have a plan and purpose for everyone, including you.
God’s plan is for everyone to receive salvation (from and sin and death) through His Son. If you have never accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, please take this moment to consider praying right now and asking Jesus to come into your heart.
The Bible clearly states that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). And the Bible also tells us, God provided a way for us to have our sins forgiven and to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Salvation is a free (but costly) gift offered to all who will receive it. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Receive the greatest gift this Christmas, the gift of eternal life.
Pray to receive Jesus as your personal Savior: (Pray in your own words and from the sincerity of your heart.) The simplest prayer (like my grandson Max’s) will be heard and answered by the Creator of the World.
I’ve tried to live my life without you, but this has left me feeling empty, lonely, and sad. I know that my sins have separated me from you. Please, God, forgive me for living a life of pride. I have committed many sins against you, and I have also hurt others. I am so sorry, God.
I now want to ask Jesus into my heart, so I can live for you, God, and spend eternity with you and all my loved ones who put their trust in you.
I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that He was raised on the third day from the grave, and is now in Heaven preparing a place for me.
So, dear Jesus, please come into my heart and give me new life.
Thank you, Father, for loving me and giving me purpose. With the help of Your Holy Spirit, I will do my best to live a life that honors and pleases you.
The Bible says: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
The Bible also says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Wow! You are now a new person in Christ, and that means you are a child of God.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).
To help you grow in your new faith in Christ, I encourage you to locate and start attending a good Bible-teaching/preaching church. I recommend checking out The Church of the Nazarene. There are other good churches as well; I only recommend the Nazarene Church because I’ve been a member of the Church of the Nazarene since 1985 and have grown deeper in love with Jesus through the teachings of the Bible through the Nazarene Church.
I also encourage you to begin reading the Bible, starting with the Gospel of John.
Other Recommended Reading:
The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren
The Crippled Lamb DVD & Book, Max Lucado