Thursday, December 20, 2007
One of the aspects of Christmas is that of opening gifts. It might be a little odd that we get to open gifts on somebody else’s birthday (Jesus'), but this receiving of gifts is really an offshoot of the whole spirit of giving. As we give, we also receive, and thus we get to open gifts! What is it that you are wanting this Christmas? If you are like me, you get to a certain age where you really don’t need anything anymore. But what would you want if you knew the cost didn’t matter? Some might say a new car, while others might say better health. Hey, if there is no limitation, what about a jet or a trip to space? But there is a perfect gift that we can receive, and the perfect gift that can be given.
The perfect gift is more than something material. And while health for ourselves and our family would be nice, and world peace would be great, those still aren’t what would make the perfect gift….There is a Christmas card, that we received this year, that says it well, “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; if our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; if our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; if our greatest need had been pleasure, god would have sent us an entertainer; but our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a savior.”
Our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven, and for that we need a savior. This is what Christmas is all about; God coming into this world, in the form of a baby, to live among us, and show us how to live and to love. But even more, this baby, Jesus Christ, would grow up and become our savior, so that we could be forgiven and saved from our sins. Jesus said this as well in John 8:24, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”
Everybody is going to die physically, but what Jesus is talking about is dying spiritually. When we do not have Jesus as our Savior, we will go through a spiritual death. What is a spiritual death? Spiritual death is having our spirit eternally separated from God. Romans 6:23 says, “For the penalty of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”THIS IS A FREE GIFT TO US. IT IS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR US. GOD SAYS, “HERE IT IS; THIS IS FOR YOU!” Will you receive it?
But along with understanding what the perfect gift is for us to receive, we need to also know what is the perfect gift to give. It is the gift of helping people understand the Christmas story. EXAMPLE- Barna is a group that takes poll of different religious questions. Just recently they did a sample poll of over 1000 people. One of the questions they asked was whether or not people believed in the virgin birth (that Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit). In response, 66% of upscale adults, 53 % of those who don’t go to church, and 60% of those who are liberal on political and social issues said that they believed in the virgin birth. However, only 15% of those who are atheist or agnostic said they believed. NOW, even though there is a majority in many of the categories, there are still a lot of people who don’t believe.
Because there are many who don’t believe, it will take someone like you and me to help them know, understand, and believe. They need to understand that the most perfect gift that they can receive is forgiveness from their sins from Jesus, their savior. There is no greater gift than eternal life. But they won’t have it until they receive it.
Let us give thanks to God for the perfect gift He gives to us, and let us remember this gift on Christmas Day as we talk about Christmas with our families. Share the true meaning of Christmas!