Wednesday December 19, 2008
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2B
"The First Gift of Christmas"

A little over 2,000 years ago, Jesus arrived in a manger. Being the first gift of Christmas, He came to die for your sins. His sacrifice provides you a pathway to forgiveness and opened the door to "everlasting life;" John 3:16 KJV tells you that:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
This pathway to freedom was paid for by the blood of Christ, and Deut 6:5 KJV tells you how to accept the first gift of Christmas.
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and
The first gift of Christmas
December 19, 2008 • Friday
With "everlasting life" in sight, you should know that it begins with you being preserved by God; complying with His new commandments requires accepting the first gift of Christmas. Those not accepting are not preserved...They are lost! Psalm 145:20 KJV explains:
"The Lord preserveth all them that love Him: but all the wicked will He destroy."
Yes, God preserveth and God destroys! "Life everlasting" is waiting for you to accept the first gift of Christmas.
Do you feel the comfort that only the first gift of Christmas provides?
with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
For emphasis, these instructions are repeated in Mark 12:30 KJV:
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the
first commandment." Returning His love shows that you accept
the first gift of Christmas and Mark 12:31 KJV describes the love that God seeks:
"And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself. The is none
other commandment greater than this."
Loving your neighbor is the nucleus of loving God and demonstrating this love is placed above the importance of all commandments. John 13:34 KJV tells you what this new commandment requires:
"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
Do you love your neighbor the way God loves you? His instructions are plain, and when it comes to understanding love, He wants your views synchronized with His.
Does God's definition of love coinside with yours?
Do you accept this gift?


Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at or viewed online at