Now you have gifts from family or friends. They took you into consideration so that they bought that one thing that is what you need or what they think you would like. You are in a position that you own it. What do you do with it? In some cases, you put it away thinking someday you will use it or want it. Possibly you asked the giver for a receipt so you could return it.
Best of all, hopefully you received this gift with a grateful heart knowing that it was given with good intentions. Perhaps it will match the rest of your wardrobe. It could be that you were given a tool that is missing from your toolbox. There might be a creative use for your new gift.
In this scenario, we have the giver, we have the receiver, and we have the gift. Why did the giver give you the gift? Was it out of love, consideration, to fill a need that you have, or to respond to a sense of obligation? Why did you receive the gift? It might be that there is something about you the other person likes or loves. It might be that you are a relative which means that it is appropriate to give something to you. Why did the giver give to you that particular gift? It could be that it was the only thing they could think to give. It could be that somebody else told them that particular gift was a good idea. It could be that the gift was something that you really needed.
Let us apply this to you and God. He is the giver; you are the receiver. Jesus is the gift. God had only one reason to give you Jesus. It is because that he is the embodiment of love that extends directly to you individually. God had no obligation to give you Jesus. But God did know you needed Jesus. The gift of Jesus was not because you deserved it or there was something special about you. God gave his only son to you personally without any merit on your part. He gave the gift of Jesus to fill the greatest void you have. People go all through their lives searching for something that they do not know what it is. They just know that there is a part of them that needs something more.
How do they know? Because they do not have peace. They do not have joy in life. They have an emptiness, a lack of purpose. For what they are searching is right before them, Jesus.
The person without Jesus is left to their own devices. They make up their own rules of life. They make up their own philosophy of life. They make up their own definitions about life. They label those around them and even God with certain assumptions. What is God really like? Why even be concerned about God?
The problem is that if each person creates their own rules, philosophy, definitions and invents labels, life becomes very confusing because millions and millions of people are doing the exact same thing. There is no standard. There is no definitive answer. Without realizing it such people may have a sense of insecurity throughout each day.
Back to the gift of Jesus to you and me; none of us deserve this gift, but we all need him. By receiving him into our lives, Jesus is our healer and comfort and friend. He is the means by which wrongs are forgiven. Jesus provides a way to happiness for this life regardless of the circumstances under which we are living. Most important, Jesus is the way to eternal life. My understanding about God is that he gave us Jesus out of his own love without any stipulations other than the invitation to accept him.
Some people doubt the idea of an eternal life in heaven with Jesus. They dreamed up this or that notion or it was told to them by someone else. It could be not so much the idea of eternal; it might be more of a question of eternal life in heaven. A look at the Old Testament shows us that when a person’s soul left his body, he went to a certain destination determined by the relationship he had with God.
Over and over the Old Testament says that a righteous person went to be with his father who had preceded him in death. Righteous persons exercise faith in God to live their lives so that the natural result is that God honored them with an eternal resting place for their souls.
As we conclude the Christmas season, let us not forget that Jesus was God’s gift to mankind so that by accepting him as Savior we can have our sins forgiven and know that our soul will go to a special place prepared by God. The soul is a unique thing because it is the real “us” that resides in a physical body. The soul has self-awareness, ambition, can plan with certain characteristics that cause us to be recognized by others, not just our physical appearance.
What did you do with the gift given to you this Christmas? Did you keep it, give it away, return it to the store, or find some use for it? The gift that God gave us in Jesus can only be received, even though we do not deserve it, as the greatest gift of all. It is a divine fellowship with a caring, loving friend. The gift is available to everyone, but like that gift you got that was wrapped in paper, you can turn him away or accept the opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus. Those are your choices. Receive him or reject him. Only eternity will tell if you made the right decision.