Last night I sat down and picked up my Bible with the intention of reading of reading the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2. I didn’t get very far. I actually only got to verse 7. “And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” As I read it, all I could suddenly see was God giving us His best – Jesus.
I could only imagine Jesus departing Heaven and what that must have been like for all those there who knew where He was going and why. I honestly can’t imagine what it must have felt like to His Heavenly Father to send His only begotten Son into the kind of humble conditions with which He entered the earth only to await and prepare for rejection, persecution, and eventually crucifixion. I could only think about how despite all that, God would not withhold giving mankind – each one of us – His very best! He held nothing back from His pure heart of love for mankind.
I was lost in that thought when it suddenly hit me in a new and fresh way. He did not stop giving me His best with Jesus. I had received salvation but I’ve received so much more! I thought about how He gave me His best in a wife – Renee, the finest woman I know on the face of the earth – the perfect mate for me. Both of us are light years from perfect but we are perfect for each other. Then I thought about my children and how He gave me His best with my children – four of the most loving kids that a man could ever ask for. They also are not perfect but they are perfect to me. Then I thought about the precious son and daughters-in-law God gave me. All three of them are so beautiful, sweet, and precious to me. They couldn’t be better spouses for my children. Then I thought about Pastors Mac & Lynne Hammond, two of the finest leaders I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing – who I’ve had the privilege of working along side of. Then I thought about the congregation of people that we have in our church and the people I get to serve God along side of. I have never seen such sold out, dedicated, God fearing, God loving, selfless people anywhere. God had given me His best even there. Even as I am sitting writing this, I just got a call from friend whom I pray with daily from church. We stand together for God’s best in our lives. God even gave me those kinds of friendships. I was wowed. God had not held back His best in any area of my life.
At that point God reminded me of Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” These were the words, the praise, the very song of a host of angels – the heavenly choir to mankind that God has given His best!
As I was thinking about all of this, I was overwhelmed with the fact that God has given His best to me over and over and over again. He has never stopped. As Psalm 84:11 says, “For the Lord God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right.” To be honest, at that point I felt like the reciprocation of my love to Him has been woefully inadequate in light of the best He gives me. I thought about how we often say, “I’ve given it my best,” but how short in truth those words fall – at least from me.
Christmas reminds me continuously of God giving His best to us – even if the world does not understand that. Today I am filled with desire to make greater effort to give God more of the selfless and best love that He has shown me.
2 Peter 1:3 (MSG) Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved