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Welcome to GracePoint Church, where we are committed to helping you take your next steps toward knowing and serving a holy God of grace and truth.

I know it sounds funny to say it like this, but the message of Christmas is never complete unless it also points us forward to Easter.

By way of illustration, I recently heard the car radio playing the old 1952 Gene Autry Christmas tune, “Up on the Housetop”. I was struck by the cultural disconnect between toys of that time and our modern times. For example, one verse states that Santa is giving to a little boy “a hammer and lots of tacks, also a ball and a whip that cracks”. What parent today would think appropriate Christmas gifts to be a bag of nails and a whip? I predict lots of scolding and crying in that household if the little boy plays with those “toys”, especially since the song earlier indicates the boy has a little sister!

But then another thought occurred to me. This is not the first time that the complete message of Christmas comprises those unusual gifts. The truth surrounding the coming of Jesus to this earth also included “nails and a whip”. Jesus came to this earth to die, and Matthew 27:26 indicated that part of Jesus’ suffering included being scourged and crucified (whip and nails). 

The gift of Jesus coming into the world included not just His arrival as a gentle baby in a manger, but also includes his suffering and sacrifice for us to provide salvation.

(1 John 4:8-10): This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

The greatest gift of love came from God with truth and sacrifice.

As we get closer to the day of Christmas, how can we as believers take the next step to give of ourselves to advance the truth of God’s gift of salvation?
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