Weekly message from Cypress Church: The gift of Jesus

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 
I grew up in an interesting environment. Though a son of two highly educated individuals; one a nurse and the other a university professor, life for me was more about survival. My dad had a drinking problem, though he never admitted it. His drunken rages were terrifying. He got violent, smashing things in the house. He sometimes vented his anger on my mom. I would just hide under the bed with my dog; we both felt we were next. More than once he got out his guns and shot off a few rounds in the house or made threats. Home was not a safe place nor much of a nurturing environment. You would have thought two intelligent people who understood cause and effect could figure it out, but we just survived. For me, there was not much joy, peace, hope or love. Sure, I had moments and have some good memories as well as instances where I was happy. But growing up, when you are trying to survive, other desires and needs don’t much enter your mind. But something happened that changed everything.
 
My folks had split up and we moved down to California where we started a new life. We eventually moved into a lower income area, where I met guy my age who told me about Jesus. That was the farthest thing from my mind and not something of real substance according to my father. Regardless, I began to learn more and even went to church. What I learned is that Jesus is God’s gift to us to connect us to God, activate our real self, and secure a place in heaven. Jesus is a gift that brings real, hope, joy, peace, and love. And it’s true!!! I have experienced it. But, like receiving a gift at Christmas, we need to receive Jesus though faith, open the gift in wanting to know who He is and what He has done for us, and interact with the gift by living life with Him.
 
Jesus is the gift of hope. When we receive the gift of Jesus, by believing in who He is and what he has done, there is hope.
 
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
 
Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
 
1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
 
Jesus is the gift of joy. When we understand that God is for us and revel in that reality, we have a plan and purpose and there is joy.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
 
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
 
Jesus is the gift of peace. Jesus came to give us peace with God and the peace of God. The peace with God is to be that atoning sacrifice for our sin 1 John 4:9-10. Jesus brings us God’s peace as we experience God’s lovingkindness (see https://www.gotquestions.org/lovingkindness.html).
 
John 14:27 Peace I (Jesus) leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
 
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
 
Jesus is the gift of love.
 
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;He will rejoice over you with gladness;He will quiet you by His love;He will exult over you with loud singing.
 
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
This gift is available to all who would reach out and receive it, open it, and interact with it. Will you? It can change your life. It did mine.
 
Church is a great place to learn of God and how to experience life with Him. If you don’t have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches. Every Sunday we have great times learning from the Bible and taking time to know God. We would love for you to join us. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net. You can even attend one of our live-streaming services (see http://live.cypresschurch.net/).