From the time you’re a child, there’s something special about receiving gifts. The anticipation of Christmas was sometimes overwhelming as you waited to open the gifts. I remember wanting to peek to see if I got what I really wanted. Some years I did, and other years I got what I needed. While gifts are always for the receiver, the giver gets something special out of it too. As an adult, there’s nothing better than to see my child’s reaction when he gets just the right gift. The excitement. The smile. The raised voice. The desire to take it out of the box even when there’s more under the tree. The right gift at the right time is priceless.
Christmas is the time we celebrate how some 2,000 years ago God gave us the perfect gift at just the right time. The sky was lit up by a special star. The gift was wrapped in a stable and placed in a manger. The angels announced a His birth. The right time had come to give the world the greatest treasure it would ever know. With the birth of the baby Jesus, God gave us the gift of a right relationship with a Him. There was (and is) nothing we could ever give Him that is so great a gift, but what we can give Him is our heart and life in return with gratitude for giving us His Son.
Romans 8:32 says, “For God has proved his love by giving us his greatest treasure, the gift of his Son. And since God freely offered him up as the sacrifice for us all, he certainly won’t withhold from us anything else he has to give” (TPT). God loved you and I so much that He gave everything He had to restore a relationship we never could. As you open gifts and spend time with those you love this Christmas, don’t forget why we celebrate. You’ve been given a greater gift than you can ever purchase or receive. The gift you have received from Him though is one that can be shared with others. It is the true gift of Christmas.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
I can’t believe Christmas is almost here. Every day, when I drive by the mall, I can’t help but notice how many people are there. Other retail stores are packed as well. Everyone is looking for gifts, but they want a good deal. They want to give a good gift, but they don’t want it to cost them a lot. I understand being frugal and wanting to get a good deal, but as I thought about it, the gift God gave cost Him everything. It wasn’t cheap though we often treat it that way. He gave us the gift of Emmanuel.
The most famous scripture, John 3:16, says, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son.” He loved us so much that He gave us His most prized possession. He sent His Son here to be God wrapped in flesh, to feel our pain, to breathe our air, to walk our paths, to know our feelings and to understand our ways. He wanted to show us love by giving us the gift that cost Him everything. At just the right time, He humbled Himself and was born as a human. Philippians 2 says that “He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human.”
Not only did it cost Him the privileges of His deity, it later cost Him His life. He laid down His life so that we could have life. His sacrifice opened the door for you and I to find forgiveness for our sins. It made a way for us to get to Heaven. When I think about that gift and what it cost Him, there’s no gift that I can give that would ever compare. The only thing I can do to show my gratitude for such a gift is to offer my life to Him. I’ve got to be mindful every day of the sacrifice He made for me. It can’t just be at Christmas when I think about the gift of His Son. It’s got to be an every day thing.
I heard a quote years ago and I can’t find who said it, but it’s powerful. It says, “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” That’s how I want to be all throughout the year and my life. I want to always remember what God did for you and me. I want to be so grateful that I never forget what it cost Him to show me love. I don’t want Him to have to constantly remind me of the price He paid. I’d rather be the one who constantly says to Him, “Look at what you did for me. I’ll never forget it.” I believe a life of gratitude will never take gifts for granted.
Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash
Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.