Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, December 18, 2015

First Gift of Christmas

                Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when we teach the rising generation about the first gift of Christmas.  We cannot expect children and teenagers to understand the first gift if we do not teach the significance of it.  I suspect there are people who do not even know about the first gift so I will start at the very beginning.

                “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

                Who is the gift giver?  What is the gift?  The gift giver is God, our Father in Heaven.  The gift is His Son, Jesus Christ.  One reason the birth of Jesus Christ is such a great gift is that Jesus Christ came to earth to teach us the right way to live.  He taught us that loving and helping others will make us happy.  Heavenly Father gave His Son to the world to help us find happiness, not just at Christmastime but throughout each year and into eternity.

                Heavenly Father wanted everyone to know about His gift, and He placed a beautiful new star in the sky.  He also sent angels to the shepherds in the fields.  The angels sang hymns of praise to the new King and told the shepherds to find the new Baby.  They found Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in a stable where Jesus slept in a manager.  They might have brought lambs to present to the Lamb of the Lord.  The shepherds were the first witnesses of God’s gift to the world.

                The Wise Men knew the prophecies of the birth of Jesus and were watching for a sign that a new king had been born.  When they saw the new star in the sky, they immediately began traveling to find the King.  The scriptures say Jesus was a “young child” when the Wise Men found Him and His family was living in a house.  Tradition says there were three wise men, but no one knows how many there were.  We do know that they brought three gifts:  gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  All three gifts were very valuable and rare.  Frankincense and myrrh were sweet-smelling perfumes used in religious ceremonies, and gold has always been valuable.  The Wise Men wanted to give the new King the best gifts they could offer.  They recognized Him as the Savior, the Son of Heavenly Father, and they bowed down to Him.

                The first gift of Christmas was a Child, given to the world because Heavenly Father loves all of us.  God gave His Son to us to help us overcome the world and return to His presence.  When children and teenagers understand the first gift of Christmas, they strengthen their families, communities, and nations.

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