The Greatest Gift of Christmas

Christmas is just a few short days away. I know that I’m reminded of it every day by my boys who are counting down anxiously!

As we think about Christmas, we often think about giving. I think it’s appropriate because the Christmas story is a giving story.

There are three elements that I see about giving in the story of Christmas.

First, of course, is the reason for Christmas in general, is Jesus. John 3:16 starts with God gave His son. Jesus chose to be born as a baby, to live, the life that we live and completely give up His identity as God to identify with us and be human. I’ve often thought about this when I’ve been to another place. If I were able to, would I give my life up here to be born as baby and live in the orphanage in Haiti or wherever?  If I am being honest, I would say I am glad I can’t, but that’s what Jesus did. He gave up Heaven to be human. We could never say God, you don’t understand, because he does.

He gave it up so that we would have relationship with God. We’re all sinners, and we need forgiveness. That’s a concept we don’t think about because we don’t live in a world where sacrifices for sins are common. In ancient times (and still today in other places), sacrifices were a part of life. Today, we don’t think the need for a sacrifice, we think being a good person the way we define it is good enough…  but the fact and the reality is, so we’ve all messed it. We’ve all missed the mark and without Jesus, there is no salvation, and we won’t have that connection with God.

I was recently reading with my kids about an early scientist. He was very interested in studying air. He knew that we needed air to breathe, but he couldn’t tell what was in the air that we needed. Of course, now we know we need oxygen, but at that point, they didn’t know yet what oxygen was. You can’t see oxygen; you can’t smell oxygen. However, just because they didn’t know what oxygen yet, didn’t mean the need for oxygen was any less real.

Just because we don’t think about needing to be saved because of our sins doesn’t make that need any less real. One day we’re all going to stand before God, the Bible says that every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that he’s Lord.

I encourage you this Christmas to think about the gift that Jesus gave, the reason for Christmas and if you haven’t yet accepted the gift of His salvation, ask him to forgive you and be the Lord of your life.

Next, let’s look at the wise men, they brought gifts to Jesus. They acknowledge who He was and the response was to give. They gave practical things that was needed to take care of needs.

When we look at Jesus’s life, Jesus was concerned about practical people’s practical needs too. He fed the 5000, he healed the sick, many times you will read the phrase, “he had compassion on them.”

We should be good stewards of what God gave us just like the wise men. We give to Jesus by giving to those He loves and created. He says what we do for the least of these we do for him. Your gifts can make an impact. (See below for some of my favorite giving places)

Next, I want to talk about using our time, talents and abilities as a gift.

Mary and Joseph gave up their lives and their reputation to say yes to God and raise Jesus.

One of my favorite Christmas songs okay, so not part of the Christmas story, but I still think is powerful is the Little Drummer Boy. “I’ll play my gift for you…” He used his talent as a gift.

Your life is full of experiences and wisdom that God has put in you, and He wants you to use that as a gift for others.

Focus on the Family has a couple different books out about your legacy and the power you must impact your family and your community and those around you.

Another resource I’ve advertised which I think looks awesome is Story Worth. You take time throughout the year to answer questions they send and create a book they you can share with your family,

So be wise men, seek Him and connect with Jesus nothing will ever matter more. Jesus came just for you at Christmas. He loves you. He wants to relationship with you. And I pray that you’ve accepted His free gift of salvation, and in turn are able to give gifts back to Him.

Merry Christmas!

 

World Vision Gift Catalog

International Justice Mission

Wycliff Bible Translations

Voice of the Martyrs

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