Gift giving has become very commercialized in our society today. However, I like to think that when I give a Christmas gift, I am following the example of God who first gave a gift. His gift is revealed in Romans 6:23, “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” John 3:16 explains why He gave us a gift by saying, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The first Christmas gift was Jesus when He was born in a stable in Bethlehem!
Through this gift, Jesus set the example of being born. His birth was unique because His birth was from spiritual life to human life. Jesus was not just born, He was born again into a more limited life. Physical life was a new or second nature for Jesus. In contrast, we also need to be born again but for us it is from limited physical life to eternal spiritual life. We gain a second nature when our spirit is born again allowing us to become like Christ. Through this new life we receive the gift of eternal life. In John 3:6-7 Jesus says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” In II Corinthians 5:17 Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” When Jesus came to earth as a baby born to Mary, He became a human being. Max Lucado says, “He became like us so we could become like Him!”
Jonathan Cahn says in The Harbinger Companion with Study Guide says, “Every heartbeat is a gift from God.” I like to think about this concept that every time my heart beats, it a gift I am receiving from God. This is the gift of life in its simplest form. As I listen to the sound of my heart beat, I hear Jesus repeating Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” I imagine every beat of my heart as a knock of Jesus at the door of my life. I cannot live without Him. I do not want to live without Him. He is the greatest gift I could ever receive.
In the December 2015 issue of Guideposts, Pope Francis is quoted as saying, “God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If He gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.” God gave us the gift of Jesus and now we have the choice of whether or not we receive this gift. My desire this Christmas season is to receive the gift of Jesus more fully and understand Him more deeply. Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Whether it be a gift from God or a gift I give, the person receiving the gift has the option of accepting or rejecting it. When I give a gift to someone, it is my hope that they will unwrap it, use it, and enjoy it. God has the same desire for the gift He has given.
My Reader, I pray that you will accept the gift God gives you this Christmas and that you utilize His gift every day of your life.