Everyone loves gifts, especially during the Christmas season. Many people will go into debt buying gifts to give to their kids, families and friends. Often times in the hype of gift giving we forget the real purpose of this holiday. We forget that this is a day 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 seeking Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gift giving is a way to show your love to others. God showed his love toward us in giving his son as a sin offering. His gift to mankind was born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. The gift was not placed under a tree but eventually was hung on a tree for our sins. It was the greatest gift ever given to mankind.
Two of the most significant events in human history are the birth of Jesus and the Resurrection. Jesus came into this world to redeem man. He came to save sinners and deliver them from eternal damnation. The birth of Jesus is one of the greatest gifts given. Isaiah says in Chapter 9, Verse 6: “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.”
It is not a gift to be placed under a tree but to be accepted in our hearts. It is a gift that keeps on giving.
There are several things we need to understand about God’s gift. First, 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 need of salvation, he sent his Son in the world to pay the penalty for our sins. Love is action, so rather than God saying he loves us, he showed us 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 dept he did not owe 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 from 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 his 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 informed the shepherds that the news of Jesus’ birth was to bring great joy unto 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 receive Jesus Christ in our hearts, we have God’s promise of eternal life. We will be able to spend eternity with him.
I do not 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 toward us. Remember the reason for the season. Jesus came into this world to save man from his sins. The birth of Jesus Christ truly was God’s gift to mankind.
Jackson is the pastor of the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.