This year on Christmas Day countless families will get together in the middle of a mountain
of torn paper and castaway ribbons to celebrate. Yet on the same day thousands of others
will face the toughest 24 hours of their lives. For these people the day will serve only as a
reminder of their loneliness and loss. It will simply mark the end of another year of loss and
defeat.

What about you?     What is Christmas really going to be like for you?

If you are one of those people like I was years ago, who just wished they could start over,
then I want to tell you about one of the greatest gifts that Jesus brought to all men when He
came to earth.

Christmas means alot of different things to me, but one of the most precious things that the
gift of God's Son means to me is: The Gift Of A New Beginning; The Gift Of New Hope.
 
My text may not sound familiar as a Christmas text, but it's about a precious gift that Jesus
bought for man.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are
passed away; behold all things are become new
.

You may be passing out holiday smiles and greetings just like everyone else, but inside you
hurt, inside there is trouble. You may be disappointed. Maybe you even feel like you can't
go on.
If so, I want you to know something. All that can change for you. You can start your
life over today and make this Christmas the most joyous of your life.
Let me read you a more familiar text for this time of year.

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a
woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive
the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son
into your hearts crying, Abba, Father
.

If you have ever said to yourself, "If I could just start over I'd do it all differently", that doesn't
have to be simply an idle thought. Jesus made it possible. That's His Christmas gift to you.
He paid the price for all your sins. He paid the penalty for all your mistakes. That's the
reason He came to earth, that's the reason He was born, so you could start over.
I am not telling you all your circumstances and problems will disappear, but I am telling you,
through Jesus you can rule over your circumstances and not have your circumstances rule
over you.

Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. He was wounded
for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was
upon Him and with His stripes we are healed
.

What does that mean for you?
It means that when Jesus died on the cross, He bought your freedom from sickness, disease,
from grief, anxiety, and depression. The prison doors that held you captive are open. You
can walk through them today and leave those things behind.

Jesus says in John 14:16, I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that
He may abide with you forever
.

And in verse 26, He plainly tells us that the Comforter is the Holy Ghost.

Your circumstance may not have instantly disappeared, but now you have a Comforter, a
Helper, and you are set free from your past hurts and failures, if you will let go.

Comforter - The original word is Paraclete. It means:

Advocate
Defender
Helper
Strengthener
Comforter

You know there are going to be people that will get a lot of new things at Christmas. You can
even get yourself a new haircut and new clothes. In our day you can get a new nose, a new
face, have your body changed, but after you have done all that, the trouble is the same old
you is still trapped inside.

Jesus came and finished His mission so that you could be a new creature on the inside:
changed from the inside out.
 
Man has made great strides in science, medicine, technology, education, and life has gotten
easier, but life has not gotten better.

In our man enhanced world:

Fear is greater
Divorce is at an all time high
The family unit is in the greatest danger of extinction

We worry about not having enough. We fear being diagnosed with cancer of some kind. We
have relationship problems at school, at work, even among friends. We have more broken
families today, a growing number of suicides and more divorces today than ever. We see
more violence. We need to have anti-terrorism drills and schools are on lockdowns. Life has
not improved.

Why? Because man has fallen away from and forgotten the meaning of Christmas.

I'll tell you a story about a man and his wife. They lived on the poor side of town in a very
humble apartment.
He had been a very rough customer in his day and she had not been a
sweetheart either. Neither could read or write. He worked mopping floors, cleaning up messes,
and emptying trash cans in a small local office building.
She did sewing and embroidery. She couldn't read, but she could copy anything you gave her.
They both got saved at a local Salvation Army meeting.
Everyone saw a dramatic change in their lives. The fighting, the hopelessness, and depression
had all changed.
He was now spending alot of time doing volunteer work at that local Salvation Army Headquarters.
He came home one day depressed. He told his wife, "Everyone there has a red shirt but me."
She said, "That's no problem. I'll make you a red shirt." And she did.
So he wore his red shirt, but when he came home he told his wife, "I noticed that everyone else
has yellow writing on their shirts."
She set out to embroider some writing on his shirt, but neither knew what the writing said on the
shirts. So she copied what was on the sign in a store window next door.
When he wore his shirt, everyone loved it. It said, "Under New Management".

You may still be facing a difficult situation this Christmas. Instead of allowing that situation to send
you into depression and defeat, you can face it boldly with the peace of the Lord in your heart and
the assurance of "Victory Ahead".
Let the Comforter work and speak in your heart instead of the thief.

Jesus said in John 10:10, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am
come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly
.

Jesus came and made a way that instead of being overcome by depression and fear and guilt,
if I choose according to Ephesians 2:6, I can go and sit with Him in a heavenly place.

Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with christ, (by grace
ye are saved;)
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavely places in
Christ Jesus
.

Let me share another scripture on the great Gift of Jesus arrival that is sometimes forgotten in
the rush of Christmas.

Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are
called uncircumcision by that which is called circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth
of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the
world:
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the
blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:14 For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the
middle wall of partition between us
.

In the midst of your trial and your trouble, JESUS IS OUR PEACE. He is our opportunity for a
new start; a new beginning.
He didn't come to increase life, He came to impart life. He wants to strengthen you with peace
that flows from the inside out and create you a new creature in Christ.

Remember in John 10:10 Jesus said, I have come that they might have life and that they might
have it more abundantly
.

Let me challenge you to move your focus from the problems of Christmas to the gift of Christmas
that Jesus has given each of us: THE CHANCE FOR A NEW START.
 
You may say, "I was born again a long time ago, and over the past few years I have messed
my life up terribly by rebelling against the Lord. What should I do?"

REPENT! Run to the Lord not away from Him confess your sin, and as I John 1:9 says:
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Don't give those wasted years another thought. Just start fresh with Jesus.



CHRISTMAS

JESUS'  GIFT  TO  YOU