For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16, ESV)
As the Christmas season draws near, we look forward to giving. Some of you, no doubt, have already completed some, if not all, of your Christmas shopping. It seems as though stores begin promotions and sales for the holiday season earlier and earlier every year! Children wait impatiently for the early morning hours of Dec 25th, when they will rush with excitement out of their bedrooms to the Christmas tree to see what Santa Claus has given to them. Christmas is all about giving. Although Christmas can at times become too focused on material things, at its heart we must admit that the spirit behind Christmas giving is actually the Spirit of Christ. What spirit then should characterize our giving this Christmas?
Giving as an Act of Selfless Love:
When God the Father gave the wonderful gift of His Son, Jesus, it was the most magnificent display of selfless, self-giving love that the world has ever known. God would have us to be unselfish in our giving. He would have us to take our eyes off of ourselves and to fully care for the person that will be receiving our gift. While it is exciting to receive a material gift, may we never forget that the most wonderful gifts that we can give to others are the gift of Jesus Christ and the sharing of our lives with them.
Giving Expects No Payment:
When Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, I don’t believe he was thinking at all about what was in it for Him. What could we possibly give to Jesus, in return for what He did for us, that would add anything to His magnificent beauty and glory? The first coming of God’s one and only Son, was a GIFT. No repayment is necessary, nor is it possible. Salvation is a free gift, that is received by grace through faith. Yet, there are some things that we can give back to Jesus. Would we return to Jesus our love, devotion, worship, and obedience as a gift to Him, all resulting from the wonderful gift of salvation first given to us?
Giving Focused on What a Person Needs:
We needed to be forgiven. We needed hope both for this life and a better life to come when we leave this earth. Jesus met our needs perfectly by coming to earth, living a perfect life, and dying an atoning death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus perfectly fulfills any and every need that a human can or ever will have. Earthly things will never fulfill our deepest longings and needs, but Jesus Christ can!
Giving Focused on Blessing Others:
We have been blessed in order to be a blessing. God never intended for His rivers of blessings to be blocked, but instead to flow freely through our lives to a world that needs the hope and blessings of Jesus Christ. In all of our giving, would we seek to bless the recipients. The biggest blessing that we can ever pass along to others is when we introduce them to the Christ child who is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Prince of Peace.
May the peace of Jesus be yours this holiday season. Jesus gave himself for you, would you give your life to him? Would you pass the gift of salvation in Jesus along to others as well?
Be blessed and be safe this holiday season,