The world offers many shiny, glittering, eye-catching “gifts” that look so good and enticing. Too often, when we accept what the world offers and tear away the pretty wrappings, our excited expectations are replaced by feelings of emptiness and sometimes even guilt. All these empty emphases will not bring the joy or the peace of the season, or good will toward others. Joy, peace and good will only come from placing our eyes on the greatest gift of all time –Jesus!
Presents are like that – material things cannot satisfy the longing in our heart for something spiritual, for purpose in life, for focus, or contentment in life.
Jesus – on the other hand, unlike material gifts, is the greatest gift you could give to someone else. His gift of life is not empty- not hollow, but it is exhilarating –it is life giving. It won’t break, rot, rust, or wear out. It will never lose its power. It is a gift that will last for eternity.
Actually, you cannot give it. The only thing you can do is offer this greatest gift of all. Some people have bought into the idea that all I have to do is live my life and that will be enough.
But that is not what God’s Word tells us. Trying to live a good life and go to church is not enough. When Christ is truly Lord and Savior of a person’s life, he/she will want to share and live doing the things that God desires – things that may otherwise seem uncomfortable.
It is ours to be obedient and share what God has given us – the greatest gift of all, Jesus. Let’s look at three important principles of any gift from the recipient’s perspective.
First, you must accept the gift. It is not your gift if you do not accept it. Once you accept a gift you must unwrap and open it, correct? If you do not open it, you have not fully accepted the gift. Perhaps you have accepted the offer, but not the gift. True acceptance comes only after you unwrap the gift.
Jesus is the greatest gift of all. What have you done to unwrap God’s greatest gift to you?
Second, you must believe in the gift. When you unwrap the gift you want to believe it is what it says. If it is a sweater, you want to believe it will keep you warm. Unfortunately, many people never do anything with this greatest gift of all. Therefore, we must ask, have I truly accepted God’s greatest gift, Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior? How is He Lord and Savior of my life?
The third step is to put the gift to proper use and enjoy the benefits of the gift. When anyone gives you a gift, you put it to use. You wear a sweater so everyone can see it. You not only wear it. You make sure all your friends see it and you share with others of the one who gave you the gift.
Accepting God’s free and greatest gift is truly greater than any gift you will receive this Christmas. Do you wear it like a diamond ring? Do you tell everyone you meet about it, praising the one who gave it to you – the God of all creation? Let’s put into practice this greatest gift God has offered to each one.