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What is the best gift you received this Christmas? Well, it might surprise you – but I already know! The best Christmas gift any mortal man could ever receive is the one we’ve obtained in “Immanuel”, which means, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). “God with us” is precisely what we lost in the fall. Adam’s sin forced him, and all his descendants, from the Garden of Eden, the paradise of God’s presence. Ever since, mankind has struggled in the weary wilderness of life “without hope and without God” (Ephesians 2:12). To live apart from God is the definition of “lost”. To do so eternally is the definition of hell. There is no greater loss, no greater deprivation, no great calamity in time or eternity than to be “without God”.

Children can feel like a real problem, can’t they? They are often hungry and remind us to feed them. They’re dangerous to themselves and others, and have to be continually protected and trained. When they’re very small, they can do almost nothing on their own. If you think about it, their bathroom, transportation, and food are taken care of completely by others. Total dependence.

I’ve had a new experience this past month. A first for me. Three men I know, all close to my age, passed away unexpectedly – all within three weeks. They were all believers in Christ. They each left behind heartbroken yet hopeful family and loved ones. Their life in this world is done. And, in some ways, it feels unfinished.