Share the Gift – His Death and Resurrection

Each of our lives has a purpose. God did not create us and send us to earth just to eat, sleep, and work. There is a great plan outlined for us to follow. We were sent here to learn who were are as children of God, and what his purposes are for us. The central focus of this great plan is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This Christmas the theme is Share the Gift. This post represents the climax of each of my relevant posts. His death and subsequent resurrection are the ultimate and greatest gifts ever presented to man. There is nothing that even begins to compare.

Jesus knew who he was. He also knew his purpose. He came to earth to fulfill his Father’s will by offering himself as the great and last sacrifice for the sins of the world, to satisfy the demands of justice, and to free all man from the consequences of the Fall of Adam.

His death was most agonizing. The pain was so intense that he sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane. He hung on the cross in the manner of crucifixion, some there believing they had finally killed him and that he would no longer interfere with their lives, others, most especially the Savior himself, knowing differently, so much as to ask for their forgiveness because He knew they didn’t understand what they were doing.

Jesus’ death brings life. His resurrection is the gift of all gifts. His death frees us from the consequences of sin. His resurrection is the gift of eternal life in a perfect body, free of sickness and death. This is a completely free gift given to all men regardless of belief and deed.

This Christmas, share the gift. Give the gift. Please, don’t force the gift.

The gift of Christ is what Christ-mas is all about. Forget the presents, the food, the parades, the movies. Remember Christ. Believe in Christ. Allow Christ to return to your Christmas tradition as the primary focus of the season.

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Whenever you see lights on the tree or around the neighborhood, remember that He is the Light of the world. Whenever you see the food on the table, remember that He is the Bread of Life. And when you open your presents on Christmas morning, remember the One who is the true Gift.

I wish all of you and your families a Christmas season full of wonder, joy, and happiness.

Share the Gift – His Life and Example

The life of Jesus is one that has been examined, studied, preached, and taught for centuries. Millions of people the world over have dedicated their lives to His service sacrificing time, talents, and financial means to do so.

As a follower of the Savior, I look at His life and ministry as the foundation for the way I strive to live my life. He lived in constant thought of others. He gave, he taught, and he cared. Even though his followers were by far the minority, he taught them to love and even pray for their enemies.

The Sermon on the Mount Carl Bloch, 1890

He didn’t let any go unnoticed. Countless times he would pause to help people who were struggling while his disciples questioned why. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and raised the dead.

The life of Jesus is an example to the world. Few believed him then, hundreds of millions, myself included, believe in him today as the Son of God, the Savior of the world. I love him. He is my friend. How grateful I am for such an example to pattern my life after.

As we reflect on his birth and life this Christmas season, may we strive to treat others the way He would, and live our lives in the manner that He so poetically lived. Let us give a little more, love a little more, and care a little more. As we strive to live as He did, our efforts will not go unnoticed.

Share the Gift – His Birth

The Church has started a new campaign to promote the life and gift of the Savior. As a member of the Church, and possessing a deep belief and love for Jesus the Christ, I thought I would share my feelings in a series of posts about different aspects of the Savior’s life that I feel are gifts that have made a significant impact to my life.

For thousands of years, prophets both in the Middle East and on the Ancient American continent, foretold the coming of a Savior, a Messiah.

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14 (Old Testament)

“And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.” -Alma 7:10 (Book of Mormon)

Jesus-Christ-Birth-Mormon

His birth was within the most humblest of circumstances. Because of the influx of travelers to Jerusalem due to the tax (census) ordered by the king, there was no room in the inn for the mother of the Son of God.

The result was simple, but nonetheless, holy. In the quiet surroundings of a stable, Jesus was born, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. The angels could not be restrained as they burst through the veil singing praises to God.

His birth is the gift of life. His life is the greatest of gifts to all of us. To comprehend the majesty of it all takes more than a lifetime. Unlike the inn, we can always open ourselves up and make room for the Savior.

His influence is everything to me. It is my rock, my foundation. I will thank God all my days for the gift of His Son.

For more information about the Church’s #ShareTheGift campaign, click here.

Black Thursday

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Time for people to start singing those particular words, time for the holiday season to kick off.

As I have anticipated a special Thanksgiving this year, with my parents coming to visit from out of town, and my father meeting my son for the first time, I’ve noticed a new trend in the television commercials that doesn’t sit right.

Stores are opening for “Black Friday” on Thursday night. Early Thursday night. Even though these companies are advertising deals and savings, that’s not what crossed my mind.

I think of all the employees that have to leave their families dinner table early to get to work. I think of the crazy shoppers who think that getting a deal is more important than spending time with their families.

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Don’t let a company’s greed for your business take you away from what matters most.

This Thanksgiving I’m most grateful for family. As previously stated, this will be a Thanksgiving where special memories are made. Door busters and deals will not be in the picture.

You Can Always Call Home

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everything. Whenever I have questions about literally anything, I call home and talk to my mom and dad. My entire life they have offered advice about what they would do in my situation, and I’ve always found it helpful. I wouldn’t be who I am today without my parents.

No matter what, we can always call home. Prayer is an option that is always available. It doesn’t matter what religion you belong to. God is the same. He is our Father, your Father. He loves you and wants to be a part of your life. You can ask Him for anything. He will help you.

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No matter how far away we are, communication is always possible in today’s technological world. I can call my wife, my parents, anyone, from thousands of miles away. Just the same, there are no limitations when it comes to communing with God.

Having a Father in Heaven who is all knowing is a resource that blesses my life every day. I am who I am because of God. I was created in His image. He influences my life because I pray to him. There is no greater feeling than seeing Him work in my life, and knowing that He has heard my prayers.

 

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