December 17, 2008
Four Special Gifts
“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.” John 3:16 (NIV)
I love everything about the holiday season, and Christmas morning is no exception. As I watch my family members excitedly unwrap their gifts, I find myself truly understanding the meaning of the phrase, “It is better to give than to receive.”
As much as I love giving gifts, I admit that I love receiving them too! I can’t help but be excited about a pretty box with a big bow with my name scribbled on the tag. Recently I began thinking about all the gifts that God gives me throughout the year, and then realized that I often forget to thank Him for those gifts.
Our key verse today really wraps up the true meaning of Christmas. In this one little verse we are given four amazing gifts. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we got as excited about the gifts of God, as we do the gifts under our tree?
The first of these gifts is love. God loves us more than we can imagine - more than we can love our children, our spouses, or our family. He loves us with a measure of love we cannot understand. For some, the holidays are a difficult time. They may bring feelings of loneliness and being unloved more than any other time of the year. Through this verse, we learn the magnitude of God’s love.
The second gift is His son; His only begotten son Jesus Christ. God not only gave Jesus in birth to live as man, but to die as man as well. He gave the gift of Jesus’ life as our example, and the gift of payment for our sins through His death. He paid the ultimate penalty so that our slates are wiped clean in heaven.
The third is the gift of faith. We can believe in Him – for life, for love, and for the power to overcome. Power to overcome even death. This gift requires trust, and helps us get through every day, every circumstance, and every period of trouble. It is a gift that offers a holy hand to hold and a holy shoulder to cry on. A gift that holds the answers of hope and joy.
The fourth and most precious gift is the gift of eternal life. This gift promises a secure future: a life after death, free of pain and suffering. It is a gift we do not deserve, can never repay, and will not fully understand or appreciate until we are face to face with Jesus for eternity.
If you handpicked a special gift for someone and they pushed it aside or discarded it, I imagine your feelings would be hurt, as would mine. I wonder how God feels when He gives mankind these four priceless gifts and so many choose not to accept them?
As we celebrate the holidays, we’ll get excited about presents, even though eventually most of those gifts will be forgotten, broken, or discarded. But God’s gifts never expire, never spoil, never break, and never perish. The gifts of heavenly love, a Savior, faith and abundant eternal life are given to each one of us. We have the choice to unwrap and enjoy them or push them aside.
God has four special gifts for you this holiday, and on the tag your name is written in red. Will you remember to unwrap these gifts this season?
Dear Lord, Forgive me for taking for granted the amazing gifts that You have blessed me with in life, and for eternity. I praise You for who You are, and for being so willing to pour Your gifts into my life when I humbly reach out to You. Help me remember that You truly are the reason for this season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
His Princess, Love Letters from Your King by Sherri Rose Shepherd
Unwrapping His Christmas Presence message on CD or DVD by Renee Swope
For more holiday encouragement, visit Tracie’s blog
Wrap four empty boxes in red, and on the gift tags write “From God.” Put them under your tree to help you remember the most special gifts this Christmas.
If you never have accepted Jesus as your Savior, click here to find out how you can open and accept His special gifts today?
Am I more concerned with about sharing gifts from the store, or sharing the gifts of God?
Romans 5:6-8, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)
Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 17 December 2008.