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Summary: The Christ of Christmas has a gift for you. Come and learn more about his gift of grace. It’s what you or maybe those around you are really longing for.

INTRODUCTION

“I sat in my car in front of the Delaware Memorial Bridge,” writes Joseph Pfister. “Rain was coming down, the wind was blowing, and I was sick of my life. I had just driven from a three-day gambling binge in Atlantic City where I lost more than $5,000 and maxed out all my credit cards trying to recoup my loses that now had surpassed $300,000 in more than five years. I was an addict. My past flashed before me while I got up enough nerve to climb the bridge’s walkway and jump the 500 feet into the Delaware River. I once was, I thought a decent sort, until my marriage broke up and I began womanizing, drinking and betting on anything, anywhere. I am a retired Chief master Sergeant of the Air Force. I had previously won numerous awards including Citizen of the Year in Delaware, Sergeant of the Year in the Air Force and shared the National freedom Foundation’s highest award.

Back then I had a purpose in life. Now I was an addicted sleaze whose every walking thought was consumed with evil deeds and thoughts.

I took a swig of the highball I had carried out of the Resorts Hotel and Casino, opened the car door and walked toward the bridge. A state trooper came by at that moment and yelled, ‘Car trouble?’ I said, ‘No, just getting some air.’ I climbed back into my car and drove over the bridge into Delaware and to my condominium where I spent a lot of lonely hours contemplating all my failures. It was 4 a.m. on a Sunday more than 11 years ago and I drank more booze to help me sleep. About 3 p.m. the phone rang. It was Jim, and old friend who always wanted me to go to church with him. He would say the same thing,

‘I prayed for you this morning, Joe.’ He invited me to go to church with him that night. This time I consented. To make a long story short, that day I began my walk in Christ’s path.”

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Experiencing God’s amazing grace, Pfister’s life took a dramatic and miraculous turn for the better.

Joseph Pfister came to the point in his life wherein he repented of his sins and turned to the Lord for forgiveness. He was forgiven; the slate of his life was wiped clean. He was empowered to overcome the drinking and gambling addictions that had ruined his life. His life took on a new meaning and a deep inner peace overcame him. And he was given the promise of eternal life in heaven. He received from God things he certainly didn’t deserve. But he received them anyway.

He received them because of God’s grace. God’s grace is His unmerited favor, His blessings in our lives. Through the Christ of Christmas God offers you grace.

Christmas is all about God’s grace. We need look no further than our Savior’s genealogy which precedes Matthew’s account of His birth.“Everybody knows that the genealogies are the biggest yawn in the Bible.

‘REHOBOAM BEGAT ABIJAH, AND ABIJAH BEGAT ASA, ASA BEGAT JEHOSHAPHAT….’and on and on it goes.

(Vic Pentz) It warms your heart and stirs your soul as much as reading a phone book.” It is, therefore customary to skip over the genealogies. Nobody wants to get bogged down in those strange and hard to pronounce names. Yet, 2 Timothy 3:16 declares that

“ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD AND IS PROFITABLE FOR TEACHING AND REPROOF…” That certainly is true of the genealogy of Christ. It teaches us about the

amazing grace of God.

THE GRACE OF GOD

The grace of God is no where more evident than in the genealogy of our Savior. In the group of names mentioned in the lineage of our Lord there are some notable and godly people like Abraham. Isaac and Joseph.That is not surprising; it is just what we would expect. But there are also some very infamous and sinful people mentioned like Judah, Tamar,Rahab and Bathsheba.That is surprising; it is something we don’t expect! Tamar had an incestuous relationship with her father-in-law, Rahab was a woman of ill repute and everyone knows Bathsheba’s sin. Somehow in this genealogy, the Spirit of God has purposely placed the names of some individuals we’d rather forget.They seem to be an embarrassment.

Why are these questionable characters included in the family line of Christ? For one reason: to show us God’s grace.

The genealogy of Christ shows us that God’s grace is extended, through the Savior, to all who believe. It is extended to questionable people. It is extended to bad people. It is extended to those who have skeletons in their closets and failures in their past. God’s grace is available to anybody and everybody. It reaches out to you and to me, irrespective of our

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