Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: LOVE is the Heart of Christmas! (LISTEN HERE)
What makes a great gift?
Now we are down to 5 days before Christmas. Do you feel the pressure still to get that “perfect gift”?
On our quest for the perfect gift, how appropriate to reflect on THE perfect gift that God gave us in his Son Jesus Christ. Ironically, when we look at God’s gift to us in Jesus…it practically gives insights on giving other types of gifts to people in our lives as well!
Sometimes we feel the “perfect gift” is one that costs a lot. Yet, sometimes the gifts that we remember and treasure the most are ones that someone sacrificed their personal time, energy and effort to create, make, or bring to us. A hand drawn card from a grandchild stays on the refrigerator for years. A blanket that grandma quilted stays on your bed for years and then is stored away in a cedar chest. A surprise visit by a family member or relative creates a life-long memory.
Sure some of these things cost money, but it was the personal investment in you that makes the gift so perfect, memorable and long-lasting.
God could have just taken a portion of the wealth of the world and “paid off” Satan for the sins of the world. He could have made a financial transaction to compensate for the debt of sin. But he didn’t.
1 Peter 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
What makes God’s gift to us so perfect is he completely invested himself in the gift of forgiveness. He spent his own sweat, blood and life to give us the gift of forgiveness and assurance of life with him forever.
His gift of love was a true sacrifice of himself
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Jesus was “all in” to give his gift of love for us. In this way his gift was priceless because no amount of money would ever claim the same impact and effect in our lives.
What’s difficult is to receive this gift. On the one hand this gift of tremendous value is placed in our laps and we are told, “It’s for you. Believe it. Use it. Enjoy it.”
Yet we can sometimes think we have to earn or make ourselves worthy of the gift. Somehow our sinful nature resists the priceless gift of God’s love and desires to produce a level of effort, works, and sacrifice on our own side to merit God’s gift of love.
That like receiving a gift on Christmas and asking, “What can I do to pay you for this?” The gift giver of course would say, “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s a gift. You don’t have to pay anything for it!”
How much greater does God desire for us to give up trying to earn his favor and simply receive the gift of his love as just that…a gift. On the one hand, there is no payment we can give that would ever come close to compensating the value; on the other hand, God says, “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s a gift. I paid for it. You don’t have to. SImply enjoy it. It’s my gift to you.”
That’s priceless! Thank you, Jesus!
Apply: Why does God’s gift of love lose it’s impact when we try to earn it instead of simply receive it as it is, a gift?
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for your overwhelming willingness to give fully of yourself that we might enjoy fully a relationship with you. AMEN.