"The wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. (Prov 11:5).  For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more. (Jer 31:34)  "
A Christmas Carol 

About twenty years ago Christ rose from the dead in my heart.  Almost immediately, although unaware, I found myself fulfilling my first Kingdom assignment.  God drew me by way of employment to leave Hayward, California and go to Houston, Texas.  An ex-girl friend whom I cared a great deal for, happened to live there at that time.  Years earlier, when we first met, she had just broken up with a boyfriend who had gotten her pregnant.  Her parents did not know what to do with her as she was suicidal at that time.  It took a year or so of dating before she told me how she (they) had committed abortion. 

Upon arriving in Houston I tried to make contact with her as I wanted to share Christ's love and forgiveness with her.  It was approaching Christmas when I made arrangements to meet with her in a local pub.  Pubs were home for us back when we dated, but Christ's shed blood and His un-deserved love had since delivered me from the soul pain of my sins, so I no longer needed this worldly kind (drugs, alcohol etc.) of medication.  If you don't have a headache, you don't need any aspirin.  But, my friend was still hiding behind these worthless fig leaves and truly hurting, although putting up a good front.  All night long, as we drank together, I sought an opportunity, but none was afforded.  Finally, I just told her how God loved her and wanted her forgiven for all of her sins and especially for killing her unborn child.  She instantly erupted on me, but I just absorbed the onslaught and kept on until, once again, we were the last customers to leave the pub.  Then I remember kneeling by her car door in the parking lot and telling her that all Jesus wanted to do with her that Christmas, was to wrap her up as a gift under the tree to His Father in Heaven... We then parted.

Early the next morning, she flew home to be with her family for Christmas.  She had not been to Church since she was about nine years old and, except for Mom, the family appeared at best, passive.  Immediately after the Christmas holiday, I got a phone call from a family friend to let me know that Carol had been killed in a car accident.  Buckets of uncontrollable tears flowed like a river at the thought of my friend in eternal damnation, until later, when I spoke to her Mom on the telephone.  Carol went to church that Christmas and, on the way out of the service, told her Mom that she intended to continue doing so.

 For, "at just the right time, God sent His Son ...to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. "(Gal 4:4)  "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. "(Jn 3:16-17) 

Jesus told us a wonderful parable in Matthew 20, whereby those who come into Christ at the last moment receive the same wages as those who came in earlier.  You see, the wages is Christ.  "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Gen 1:26 ), "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Eph 4:13)."  No half measures mentioned here. 

Carol left us with the hope that she had received forgiveness for her sins and the only true Gift of Christmas, Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord.  "For behold I come quickly and my reward is with me..."  May Christ be your reward (wages, gift) this Christmas also.

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