Summary: The whole meaning of the Advent season prior to Christmas is this: a gift from God is on the way. The basic reason we offer Christmas gifts to each other is to honor and reflect the only perfect gift ever offered—the gift of God through a Bethlehem baby n
The Gifts Jesus Gives at Christmas
The whole meaning of the Advent season prior to Christmas is this: a gift from God is on the way. The basic reason we offer Christmas gifts to each other is to honor and reflect the only perfect gift ever offered—the gift of God through a Bethlehem baby named Jesus.
Gerald Horton Bath tells about a missionary in Africa who was teaching his students about gift giving at Christmas. On Christmas morning one of the Africans brought the missionary a seashell of lustrous beauty. When asked where he had discovered such an extraordinary shell, he said he had walked many miles to a certain bay, the only spot where such shells could be found. The teacher thanked him and said, “It was wonderful of you to travel so far to get this lovely gift for me.” The African’s eyes brightened and he responded: “Long walk, part of gift.”
So, in an effort to give the perfect gift, God did not send a general or a politician or a preacher. God sent himself. In the words of that late great preacher, Wallace Hamilton; “God came walking down the stairway of heaven with a baby in his arms.”
#When Annette (my daughter) was in elementary school I took her to a watch repair shop to get her Mickey Mouse watch repaired. The repairman looked at the watch and after close examination said he couldn’t fix the watch because it was too cheap. When Annette heard that, her lip dropped and she almost burst into tears.
On our way home I tried to cheer her up and told her to add a watch to her Christmas list. She was silent for most of the way home.
At the evening meal Annette blurted out: “I’m going to get a watch for Christmas.” I said, “Now wait a minute, I said you should add a watch to your list.” She said, “I will but I know you’ll get it for me.”
God gave us the perfect Gift of His Son. Because of who God is we have the assurance he will continue to bless us with his gifts. There are several gifts God gives us that I want to remind you about this Christmas Eve.
First, there is the gift of forgiveness.
Sin separated us from our Creator. Jesus came with the good news of salvation. Jesus provided forgiveness of sin. When you repent and confess your sin Jesus is faithful and just to forgive you and cleans you from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
A second gift offered by Christ is eternal life.
When we step out in faith and claim Jesus as Savior and Lord we don’t have to wonder where we will spend eternity. Our heavenly reservations were made that first moment when we repented of our sins and genuinely believed in Jesus as Lord. When we die and reach heaven’s gates, no one will pull our records for judgment. The mark of Christ will be visible upon us. His righteousness will cover us and therefore the gates of heaven will be wide open for us. I John 5:111-12
A third Gift Christ offers is a heart transplant.
Not the surgical variety. What we need is a spiritual heart transplant. In Christ we experience a change of values, attitudes, desires, and will. Jesus takes up residence in the depths of our subconscious and transforms us from the inside out.
An education is wonderful, but it will not necessarily touch the heart, the will, or the values of a person’s life. You can take all of the Dale Carnegie courses but still not touch the heart, the will, or your values. When Christ is enthroned as Lord of your life, he creates a fruit-basket turnover of everything in the heart, the will, and what you value. As the Bible declares, “If a person be in Christ, he is a new creation old things pass away and all has become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)
A fourth gift offered by Christ is inner peace.
Luke 2:13, 14
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
If we could give a significant gift to others it would be peace. If we could give the world a gift, it would be peace. Not just the absence of war, but personal, inner peace.
People who do not have inner peace have inner war, a war between their selfish desires and the ways of God. When a person becomes a Christian, the war ends, because self surrenders to Christ. In the wake of the surrender, Christ sends an inner tranquility that no tranquilizer on earth can touch. “My peace I give unto you,” said Jesus, “not as the world gives do I give unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)