This whole thing about gift-giving gets me so tangled up.
I love to give gifts. And yes, I enjoy receiving them too. But the Christmas rush can feel overwhelming. If left unattended, it can rob us of the joy found in the giving and receiving of gifts.
I ponder my own Christmas shopping list, looking over my scribblings of gifts already purchased. Considering ideas for gifts not yet bought. Wondering whether I’ve done enough. Will the gifts I’ve chosen be good gifts for the people I love?
I’m reminded of a passage where Jesus addresses this issue of gift giving.
“You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:9-11
Friend, our heavenly Father loves us and desires to give us good gifts! Gifts far better than any “perfect” gift we could ever hope to find on our own.
I know this, but sometimes I need to be reminded.
This year I’m taking part in a Bible study, Counting Up to Christmas (written by my friend, Jennifer Elwood – http://www.jenniferelwood.com). This beautiful book encourages me to unwrap a gift from the Gospel of Luke each morning. In doing so, I’m reminded of the best gift ever given – the gift of Jesus himself.
Jesus. The babe lying in the manger. The toddler visited by the wise men. The child teaching in the temple. The man walking among crowds of people – teaching, healing, loving. The blameless man treated as a hardened criminal. Arrested. Beaten. Humiliated. Hung on a cross, sacrificing His very life. Rising again, defeating death and creating a means of escape for all mankind.
This Jesus, the Son of God, came down from heaven as a baby, intent on giving His life as a ransom for our sins. He became our Savior. The One who conquered death, returning to heaven to prepare a special place for us – a place void of all sorrow and pain. The One who will come again and carry us home.
Friend, that’s grace. God’s grace. A gift we don’t deserve. A gift that secures us a beautiful, peaceful eternity spent with Him. An eternity surrounded by all our loved ones who’ve also experienced this good gift.
I can’t imagine a more perfect gift.
It’s not a gift that brings joy today and does little for us tomorrow. No, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Every day of our lives and every day after, throughout all eternity.
Friend, have you accepted this gift?
It’s not a gift you want to miss.
So, please – Don’t Miss It.
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13 (ESV)
Take hold of it.
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (ESV)
Enjoy the Absolute Best Gift Ever.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV)