I remember waking up on Christmas morning when I was a child, anxious to open presents. I don't know if the same is true for you, but it was an exciting time for my family. We would open the gifts and thank everyone for giving them to us. I look back now and think about the amazing gifts that God has given us. In this article, I want to share some that have come to mind. I also want these gifts to be an encouragement in your life. Let us begin.
Perhaps the most profound gift that God has given to us is the gift of His only begotten Son (John 3:16). If Jesus had not come in the flesh, then we would have no hope of salvation. The Hebrews writer makes this point clear.
"Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brothers in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to help those who are tempted" (Hebrews 2:14-18, LSB).
Without Jesus, man's hope for eternal life is impossible! I am so thankful that God loves us so much that He was willing to send the second person of the Godhead (John 1:1) to take on human flesh (John 1:14) in order to redeem the souls of man! Let us ponder this. God made a sacrifice for us. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8, LSB). When we are at our weakest, Christ died for us! How amazing is that? How could God love someone like me in this way? My sins nailed Him on the cross! The answer to the question is simple. It is God's nature. His love is that much! May we be thankful for this Awesome gift!
Another great gift that God has given us is the gift of a family. "And the Lord was adding to their number daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47a, LSB). When we are washed in the blood of Jesus, God adds us to His family. What a gift! We don't have to go through this life alone. We have each other to help us. We have the family of God who cares. We have a family who has the same goal. That goal is to inherit eternal life. Christ paid for this family. Notice what the writer of Acts wrote: "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28, LSB). Christ purchased us, not by gold or silver, but with His very lifeblood. We are His. We are His family. I want you to do something. I want you to call someone in God's family. I want you to let them know how much they mean to you and to the Lord. I am so thankful for God's gift of a family to help us in this journey of life!
Another gift that God has given us is the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23)! What more could man ask for than this? John wrote, "And the witness is this, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (1 John 5:11, LSB). We can know that we have this eternal life. How? The Word of God tells us so. "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13, LSB). I am not a citizen of this earth. I am a citizen of Heaven. Paul wrote,
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by His working through which He is able to even subject all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21, LSB)
I am so glad this world is not my home. My treasure is in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). This life is filled with turmoil. Our world is filled with heartache. Heaven will not be like that. We look for a new one filled with righteousness. Peter wrote, "But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13, LSB). I am looking forward to this. Are you? Let us be thankful for God's gift of eternal life in Christ!
As we open our presents this Christmas, let us remember the gifts that God has given us! Our lives should reflect this thankfulness. It should be a profound example to others. Others need these gifts in their lives. This is something that you can do. Share this hope! Share the gifts! Give it to those who desperately need it. I hope and pray that this year's holiday will encourage you and bring hope to those who so desperately need it. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!