Well it's time to ask the most important question for this time of year! What gift were you hoping most to receive, but didn't? I love the following little story about gift giving.

A kindly 90-year-old grandmother found buying presents for family and friends a bit much last Christmas. So she wrote out checks for all of them to put in their Christmas cards.
In each card she carefully wrote, "Buy your own present" and then sent them off. After the Christmas festivities were over, she found the checks under a pile of papers on her desk!
Everyone on her gift list had received a beautiful Christmas card from her with "Buy your own present" written inside — without the check!"

There is a devotional song with words that go something like this:

He paid a debt He did not owe,
I owed a debt I could not pay.
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And now I sing a brand new song,
'Amazing Grace' the whole day long,
Christ Jesus paid a debt
that I could never pay.

Think of where we would be today!
That song puts in very simple terms the message of the Gospel. Paul writes in  Romans 5:8, But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. In  Romans 6:23, he reminds us that the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Think of where we would be today if God had decided that it was just too much trouble to save us. What if he had just never gotten around to sending his "check" to pay the debt for our sins?

The answer to that question is really very simple: we would be lost and still need to pay for debt of our own sins ourselves. Of course this is something that we could never do, so we would suffer the consequences. Paul also wrote in&nsp; Romans 5:18, Therefore as by the offense of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Isn't that the best gift for which we could ever hope? For what could we wish that is more? We have already received the greatest gift in the world! God enclosed the check to pay for the debt of our sin, now it's up to us to accept it and cash it! In  Mark 16:15-16, Jesus tells us how we do that: "Go into all the world and preach the Good News [the message about God's free gift] to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned."

May God bless us as we learn to graciously accept His gift to us.