“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. ” Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
Is it just me, or am I the only person who worries if I am buying “just the right” gift? Have I spent enough? Will MY gift be as nice as THEIR gift to me?
Because let’s face it. Christmas is really about, well…… Giving, right?
WRONG! No. You see, it’s really an “all about ME” holiday. No, really! It is! Keep reading!
Shortly after the Thanksgiving meal is finished, we prepare to hit the roads, stand in line, get our coveted gifts at the best price possible. Christmas shopping has almost become a “contact” sport. And for 30 days or more, we stress out about that last-minute shopping. We worry about each person, getting the perfect gift, that “thing” they need the most, more than anything else. And if you’re anything like me (and I bet you are!), we purchase some small “just in case” gifts to exchange with the person you had NO IDEA was bringing you something! Because when you receive a gift, you simply MUST reciprocate, right?
There is that one gift, from the most generous of gift givers. He gives the gift no one else is capable of giving. He did not need to stand in line to fight over that gift for you. He didn’t even have to give YOUR gift much thought. He was the only one willing to spend that much, pay such a high price, and the only one willing to give such an enormously expensive, extravagant, wonderful, everlasting, lovely, and powerful gift. And in return, He expects…….. nothing.
You see, Christmas is truly the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, given to us by His Father in heaven. He came to this broken earthly world that is permeated with disease, sickness, death and darkness, so that He could live among us, experience all of the hurt and pain and loneliness each one of us feels at some point in our lives. That is why He truly understands us. He has “been there, done that” and then some! His name is Jesus, and His Father gave Him to us, KNOWING that He would be brutally beaten and crucified. But He did it anyways, because He loved YOU and ME sooo much, that it was the ONLY way that sin and death and an eternity in hell could be CONQUERED – ONCE and FOR ALL! No one else is capable of loving you and me that much. No one.
When I was young, I thought God wanted so much from me. I had to do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that, dress this way, go to this school, attend this church, and by doing so – MAYBE, just maybe, He might love me just enough to let me get into heaven – If I “belonged to the right place” so to speak. And when I grew older, the “knowledge” in my head FINALLY made its way into my heart one day. That’s when I finally “opened the gift.” Now, I KNOW He loves me, and I KNOW I will spend eternity in paradise, that this broken world is just a temporary place, a place where I get to point out that one last gift left under the tree that remains unopened, for so many others.
You see, it’s FREE. You don’t have to wake up at 2 a.m., clean the ice off your windshield, drive in Zero-degree weather, stand in line with hundreds of other people, to fight off elbows in the face, in order to POSSIBLY have gotten there in time to get the gift. And you don’t have to worry about how much to spend in return, or if your gift will ever, ever be good enough. It truly is all about me and you. It’s all about whether or not we choose to open the gift. And there IS no other gift like it, anywhere. No one can out-do God in the gift-giving department. No one. And the ONLY thing He wants from you and me, is for us to receive it. That’s it. It’s that simple.
It is my prayer, that after you read this, you are UNABLE to give or receive a gift again without remembering, even if only for a moment, that there remains One More Gift. I pray that with every tear of wrapping paper, you ponder the possibility that perhaps you need to respond to God, and receive His Gift to YOU!
Really, who wants to leave an un-opened gift under the tree? Won’t you please, please, open the gift today?
If you do choose to open the gift, then, pray this prayer out loud, and let your Pastor or close friend know that you have prayed this prayer and received the FREE Gift of Jesus Christ as your Savior today.
I finally understand that CHRISTmas is about the gift of Jesus Christ to me! Thank you for sending your Son to this broken world so that He could die and pay the price I could never pay for my sins! I confess with my mouth that You are the Son of God, who died on the Cross for me, and I ask you to be my Lord and Savior! Thank You for dying for me Jesus! I receive your free gift of salvation today Lord! In Jesus Name!