Christmas Devotional | 2020 - Day 1
One and Only
By Kevin Batista
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”John 3:16
December is finally upon us. Can you believe it? I know some of us are ready to wave 2020 a speedy goodbye and welcome a new year ASAP. But for Christians, despite what is happening in our world, this month marks the celebration of the greatest gift ever given. For a moment, allow you heart to be reminded why this Christmas season is so special.
I have received some pretty great Christmas gifts over the years. Toys, gadgets, clothes, stuff, stuff, and more stuff. As I look back, it’s funny how I forget what I have received year after year as a kid, or even as an adult. It doesn’t mean that the gifts were not special or thoughtful, but stuff is stuff. None of it was what I would say “life-changing.”
But there is one Christmas that will always stand out to me, the one that forever changed me as a person. Just a few days before Christmas day, I became a father for the first time. My poor wife, Kim, was in labor overnight in what I can only describe as a long night I know we’ll never forget, and just like his personality, my son was on his own time.
When I finally saw him, heard him, and got to hold him in my arms, my heart was overwhelmed. There was so much love, hope, and gratitude inside me, along with the familiar “oh man…what do I do now” feeling every first-time dad has. As I looked upon his face, I knew my life had forever changed.
Suddenly, John 3:16 took on a whole new meaning for me. For the first time, I understood God from a father’s perspective. Holding my son, I realized how selfish I was. Because of my instant love for him, I knew I would not sacrifice my son for anyone. ANYONE! Much less murderers, thieves, liars, and cheats. If your life depended on my willingness to lay my one and only son on the line for you, you’d be out of luck! You’re gonna die.
Yet God is not like me. God saw your condition and mine. The Bible says we were dead in our sins and worthy of any and all punishment including death. Because of God’s great love for the world, His great love for you and me, He was willing to send His ONE AND ONLY Son. He didn’t have a spare son, another one to replace Jesus. He was unique and willing to pay the debts of every sinner with His own life, death, and resurrection.
Both Father and Son sacrificed so much in order to give us the greatest gift in all of history: forgiveness and the hope of eternal life in heaven.
It would be easy to think it was no big deal for God to send His One and Only. Many people do. But Christians must stop and remember the great sacrifice. Salvation, though free, was bought at a great price, the Son’s life for yours and mine. What a gift. The greatest one we’ll ever know as Christians.
Kevin’s parents were church planters overseas, and from an early age, he saw the life-changing impact that the Church has worldwide. He believes that the Church can help people discover and use their unique gifts to impact eternity. Outside of work, Kevin loves hanging out with family and friends at the movies, games, or concerts. He is also a frustrated guitar player. He and his wife, Kim, have three great kids.