Everyone loves gifts and during the Christmas season, many of them are exchanged. People will go into debt to buy gifts for their children, families and friends. Often, caught up in the hype of gift-giving, we forget the real purpose of this holiday. We forget that this is a day that we have set aside to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God’s gift to the world.
I do not have a problem with gift-giving. If you recall, the Magi came to Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gift-giving is a way to show your love to others. God showed his love to us when he gave us his son. His gift to mankind was born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. It was not placed under a tree, but eventually was hung on a cross for our sins. It was the greatest gift ever given.
Two of the most significant events in human history are the birth and resurrection of Jesus. He came into this world to redeem man. He came to save sinners and to deliver them from eternal damnation. The birth of Jesus is one of the greatest gifts given.
Chapter 9, verse 6 in the Book of Isaiah says, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Jesus is a gift we must accept into our hearts. Accepting Him is a gift that keeps on giving.
There are several things we need to understand about God’s gift. First of all, God’s gift to mankind was — and still is — a gift of love. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. In response to our salvation needs, He sent His son into the world to pay the penalty for our sins. Love is action and rather than just telling us He loves us, God demonstrated His love by giving His son as a ransom for man’s sins. We owed a debt that we could not pay, but He paid a debt He did not owe just because He loved us.
God’s gift to mankind is universal. It is to all men. All man has to do is accept this gift of God. Man has to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. One has to believe that He was born of the Virgin Mary and that He died on Calvary for our sins. You have to accept the fact that we are sinners in need of salvation. The Bible says all man’s righteousness is like filthy rags. We cannot save ourselves. We must accept the gift of God, which is extended to all men of every nation. The angels told the shepherds that Jesus’ birth was to bring great joy to all men.
Finally, we can say that God’s gift to mankind is eternal. Many of the gifts that we give during Christmas will wear out and get old or outdated. However, God’s gift to mankind will last forever. It is eternal. If we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, we have God’s promise of eternal life. We will be able to spend eternity with Him.
I don’t know about you, but I have received this gift and it has blessed me tremendously. It has given me joy in my times of sorrow and it has given me hope for tomorrow. If you have not received the gift of God’s son Jesus Christ in your life, it’s time to do so. Revelations 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
As we celebrate Christmas, remember how much God loves us and what He has done to show His love to us. Remember the reason for the season. Jesus came into this world to save man from sin. The birth of Jesus Christ was truly God’s gift to mankind.
Jackson is the pastor of the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.