One Christmas a little boy was allowed to select a dog as his Christmas present. At the pet store he was shown a number of puppies. He looked them all over very carefully and spent time with each of them. From all the puppies he looked at, he chose one whose tail wagged wildly. When asked why he selected that particular dog, he explained, “I wanted the one with the happy ending.”
In the Gift that started it all, the Father has given us the assurance of a happy ending: eternal life with Him for those who have trusted His provision of salvation.
Most every gift we give this Christmas will be given because the recipient of that gift is near and dear to our hearts and is an important part of our lives. We buy gifts for our family and friends, as well as co-workers and neighbors, people that have touched our lives during the year.
What makes God’s gift of His own Son so special is that He gave His Son for sinners and His enemies. Paul says in Romans:
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8,10).
We were all enemies of God, sinners in rebellion against Him, yet God still gave His Son to die for us. God gave the gift of His Son, not because we were His friends, good people, because we deserved or earned it, or because He was obligated to do so. God gave His Son simply because of His great love for us. So when we look at the manger at Bethlehem this Christmas season, we must remember that Jesus Christ is a Gift of pure grace.
Christmas is all about God’s unconditional love and the unspeakable gift of His Son. No one can out-give God. He gave us the very best that possibly could be given: His only begotten Son. And He gave Him for our highest good, so that believing in Him we may be saved from hell and have everlasting life. Out of gratitude for His gift, knowing that He “gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20), it is reasonable and right to give ourselves for Him by presenting our lives as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1; 2 Cor. 5:15; 8:5).
From all of us, we wish you a blessed and merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years!