December 12, 2022
By David VanEpps
While I love all of the festivities of the Christmas season, I have to admit, gifts are my favorite. I think back to Christmas as a kid, where the anticipation of Christmas was so exciting for what seemed like months. Finally, after the excitement had built up to Christmas Day, it was time to open presents. Ripping apart the paper, beaming with enthusiasm, and looking to see what was inside the wrapping paper. There was nothing like it. Now, as a parent, there’s nothing more exciting than giving gifts and seeing my loved ones, especially my children, exude that same type of anticipation and enthusiasm.
Gifts for You
While I’ve always felt like a giver of awesome gifts, I pale in comparison to the gifts God gives. As the perfect Father, He knows not only what we want but also what we need. As the perfect Father, God gives these gifts lovingly, freely, with no strings attached, and He does so with the same anticipation and excitement of any parent giving gifts to their kids.
If you’re like me, you’ve spent most (or all) of your life believing that you aren’t good enough to deserve God’s gifts. Maybe you think that people only deserve gifts from God after they clean up their lives. Or perhaps you think that there’s some standard one must obtain before God offers His gifts. That couldn’t be any further from the truth! God is a loving Father, and He wants you to accept His gifts regardless of how you’ve lived your life, regardless of where you feel you stand, and regardless of how far you feel from God. He wants to meet you right where you are!
What Gifts Does He Have for Me?
God has some pretty incredible gifts for you, and like any true gift, all you have to do is receive it.
- Jesus – “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). Let’s unpack this. God loved the world – not just the perfect people in the world, He loved the world. Therefore, he gave. God is such an incredible giver that He gave His son to the world as a sacrifice for our sins. Whoever believes that Jesus died for all of mankind’s sins will have eternal life. As a parent, I’d never sacrifice my child for anyone else. Thankfully, God is the ultimate giver – He loved and He gave.
- Mercy – Matthew 9:13 (NIV) shares the words of Jesus, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus isn’t seeking those who believe they are perfect and not in need of a savior; He seeks the lost, the broken, and those who recognize their imperfections, and He wants to meet us in our brokenness. Jesus wants to give us mercy. Because of our sins, we deserve eternity in hell, but Jesus wants to forgive us of our sins and give us everlasting life. It’s a gift we simply need to receive.
- Grace – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV). Grace is when God gives you something you don’t deserve. Heaven is not earned, and His gifts are not earned. They’re free – they’re not a result of work or deeds or living your life a certain way.
- Eternal Life – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV). Sin is like a broken window. Whether the window has a tiny hole in it or the whole window was repeatedly smashed to pieces, it’s still broken. You and I are also broken, no matter how well or how poorly we’ve lived our lives. The payment for this sin is death. However, God offers you this free gift of eternal life simply through faith in Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas! Receive these gifts and celebrate this season!
Photo Credit: Kira auf der Heide