Summary: At times it’s the kind of person that we say, “Oh, my goodness we’ve got to get a gift because they gave me a gift. And I hope this is about the same cost.” Kind of a tit for a tat. And so when we think of God, we think of grace and we say, “There’s no wa
Opening illustration: Play the Jesus Gift video
Introduction: Long before we took our first breath, our Creator showed Himself to be a great giver of everything a man or woman could ask for. Today, He still wants to give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37 (quickview) : 4). As the Father of heaven, He is behind “every good gift and every perfect gift” (James 1 (quickview) : 17). When we say that “the best things in life are free,” it’s a way of acknowledging that when God gives life, and friendship, and laughter, He is showing that no one can give a better gift than He can. Yet His best offer is so priceless and so perfectly suited to our needs and happiness, many think it’s too good to be true.
1. What gifts did the Father give to us?
God packaged His perfect gift in thousands of years of fulfilled predictions, widely observed miracles, and breathtaking rescues. Then after centuries of anticipation, the Lord of heaven visited a young Jewish woman named Mary and, in the greatest of all miracles, wrapped Himself in her womb. In the years that followed, He surrounded the gift in the irony of obscurity, the affection of unlikely followers, the envy of religious leaders, and the crushing disappointment of death. When all seemed lost, God wrapped His gift in the excited reports of witnesses who announced an unexpected resurrection from the dead. For a final touch, the Creator gave His gift of salvation a colorful bow of diversity - people from every nation on earth whose hearts and lives have been changed by His love (Revelation 5 (quickview) : 9).
Immanuel - God with us; God dwelling among us, in our nature, John 1 (quickview) : 14. God and man meeting in one person, and being a mediator between God and men. For the design of these words is not so much to relate the name by which Christ should commonly he called, as to describe his nature and office. The name is designed to denote that God would be with the nation as its protector, and the birth of this child would be a sign or pledge of it.
In most areas of life we work hard to earn respect and the right to be trusted and promoted. But God’s perfect gift of salvation is different. It comes not by merit but by mercy, not by trying but by trusting, and not by working but by resting. In the words of the apostle Paul, “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2 (quickview) : 8-9). In another of his New Testament letters, Paul added, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3 (quickview) : 5).
It is as of one saved out of a general wreck, when all things else have been lost: so of the elect saved out of the multitude of the los. The fact of God’s “appointment” of His grace “through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1 (quickview) : 5), takes away the notion of our being able to “acquire” salvation of ourselves. Christ “acquired (so the Greek for ‘purchased’) the Church (and its salvation) with His own blood” (Acts 20 (quickview) : 28); each member is said to be appointed by God to the “acquiring of salvation.” In the primary sense, God does the work and it is His undeserving gift to man.