Tis’ the season for giving gifts. I love receiving gifts (doesn’t everybody)? Recently I’ve been blessed with several gifts and I’ll share a few with you. A few weeks back I took my eldest daughter out to lunch, and the owner paid for our lunch. I was like wow, what a blessing. Then the other day at work, someone anomalously left me a Starbucks coffee mug with discount certificates inside (how fun and exciting is that? I love coffee). Another example is one of our amazing neighbors just delivered us a gift basket for Christmas filled with, cheeses, salami, beverages, popcorn, crackers, snacks and chocolates galore! (What’s not to LOVE about that, we have the BEST neighbors!)
For some, Christmas is ALL about the gifts. But do we ever take the time to ponder why we give gifts in the first place? What is the true meaning behind the reason we celebrate Christmas? It’s certainly not the big man in the red suit who goes around passing out presents, but rather it’s all about the man who created you for a relationship with him, Jesus Christ and his incredible free gift to you. Because of one man’s trespass (Adam), we were all made sinners, BUT because of God sending Jesus (who was born to die for our sin), we are given a free gift.
Romans 5:15-17 describes God’s incredible gift to us. God’s perfect gift. It reads as follows: But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
God’s perfect righteousness cannot tolerate sin and yet God tells us to “be ye perfect”(Matthew 5:48). That’s a pretty tall order for someone like me who sins daily. So how do we ever attain to that? We can’t, we are all sinners, deserving of death and eternal separation from God. God put on skin and humbled himself to become a man, a baby, born in a stable, who was sent to live and die for us, and to show us the way to be made right with him (which is nothing that we can do for ourselves). Romans 3:10 says, “that there is none righteous, no not one,” meaning we have nothing good in and of ourselves to offer God (Isaiah 64:6), our goodness comes from God alone.
When Christ died for us and we accept his free Gift of salvation from our sins, we are given His righteousness. God’s righteousness meaning we are made right with God. When Jesus died for us on Calvary’s cross, our sin was imputed to him and he died for our sin so that we don’t have to and not only that, his act of perfect love gave to us God’s perfect righteousness. Meaning God sees us as perfect and we can now stand before a holy and perfect God because of his perfect sacrifice (His free gift to us). What an amazing gift!!! Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Father God, I thank you for sending your son Jesus, the Perfect Gift. Thank you for loving us enough to pay the price so that we didn’t have to. As we exchange gifts this Christmas season as an act of love for what you did for us, help us to remember the exchange you made on our behalf. Help us not to make our focus the presents, but rather the presence of your son Jesus! Thank you God for Jesus, the best gift ever!