Paul Harvey, the radio and television personality of years gone by did a series of stories through the years called, “The Rest Of The Story.” He would end his broadcast with the phrase, “And now you know the rest of the story.” These stories were always heart-warming, and many of them were stories of life changing proportion.
I was thinking earlier today while reading through some of the prophecies in Scripture, I was reminded that God didn’t wait until the story was over to reflect and say those famous words that Paul Harvey would use. Instead, God spoke the word to His people before each thing occurred and allowed man to experience those events as they took place.
For example, God spoke to King Ahaz through the prophet Isaiah these words. “The Lord Himself will give you a sign, Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Is. 7:14) Then in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, we see the realization of this spoken word as they reveal the events of the birth of Christ, down to the minutest detail. So everywhere in Scripture that you find a word of prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus, they have all been fulfilled. This is what makes His story, God’s story, so meaningful to a world in need of a Savior.
These statements of God’s prophecy reveal much about the God we serve. They demonstrate the extent of His love. With men having turned away from God and fallen into lives of disobedience to Him, God continues to love unconditionally. That word unconditionally really signifies that God loves us period! Because of His love for us He gave His only Son, the Child born to the Virgin Mary, to die in our place so that we might have everlasting life. Remember, Mary and Joseph were told to name Him Jesus because He would save His people from their sin.
I guess if there is a “Rest of the Story” for us concerning the Christmas story, it is that God loves and He gives still today. John recorded this truth for us in the very words of Jesus during an encounter with Nicodemus one night. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn. 3:16) The Apostle Paul after reminding us that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and expressed this, “But God demonstrates His great love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rm. 5:8)
As you and your families celebrate the Christmas season, I want to encourage you not to get so caught up in the exchange of gifts among family and friends that we miss the greatest gift of all. This gift, God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, His Son, is available to anyone who will believe and receive. Remember, Christmas begins with Christ!