Unwanted Gifts: You may try to hide it, but inevitably, when you open some of your parcels, you are going to be disappointed. It's too big or too small. It's just not you! You already have one. It's not your colour. Frankly, it's hideous! It's a gimmicky gadget that you'll never use.
When the festivities are all over, the unwanted gifts will likely be tucked away to the back of the wardrobe. After a respectable time, if you are not bold enough to sell them on eBay, next stop is the charity shop! Remember, other people may be doing the same with gifts that you agonised over!
We dare not treat God's gifts like that.
- He has given the gift of ¨life, and breath, and all things¨ (The Bible: Acts 17.23). In other words, we are dependent on God for every breath we draw and everything we possess. The God who created us in the One who sustains our lives. As a human being you are special to Him. You are not just some kind of sophisticated animal. He takes an interest in your well-being. Don't ignore Him and relegate Him to the margins of you life.
- The Lord Jesus Christ is described in the Bible as God's ¨unspeakable gift¨ (2. Corinthians 9.15), unspeakable in the sense that no one could adequately describe His uniqueness, His majesty, His preciousness. But in what sense was He God's gift to a neady world? Why did He have to be given? A Bible verse summarises it. ¨For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.¨ (John 3.16) That statement highlights the danger of us perishing, that is, being punished for our sins for eternity. We have to face up to it, our lives are flawed and we have offended God. From His holy viewpoint that is a serious issue, and so we have invited His judgment. Happily, God's love motivated Him to take steps so that we can avoid that retribution; this involved Him in giving His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He became incarnate when He was born at Bethlehem, but he was not only ¨given¨ to be born. Primarily, He was given to yield His life on a cross as a sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10.26). The baby in the manger became the man on the cross who died for our sins, and ultimately the living Saviour who rose from the dead. To benefit from His sacrifice for sins, we must come to the point in life where we ¨believe¨ in Him.
- Another of God's gifts is ¨eternal life¨ (Romans 6.23). The gift of eternal life includes the forgiveness of sins, the salvation of the soul and many other spiritual benefits. It is a gift, which means that God asks fo no payment just as surely as you would never expect anyone to pay you for a gift. Eternal life is not earned by good works or religious ceremonies (Ephesians 2. 8-9). Christ has purchased it by His death; you must receive it by faith in Him.
How have you been treating God's gifts? Don't despise them like an unwanted Christmas parcel. Welcome them happily today.