Click here to read Part One of “What God Wants to Give Us for Christmas.“
I was so excited this past Christmas about the gift I selected for my husband! It was something he needed, never expected, and actually never considered. His home office chair was made up of bits and pieces from an 8-year-old chair and parts found at a thrift store. It worked and he was excited about his creation.
Yet I noticed that as he spent time in the chair, he slowly lowered. The hydraulics no longer worked. And at 6’2”, you need a chair’s hydraulics to work. Otherwise, you look like a giant sitting in a child’s chair—his knees creeping close to his ears.
So, his present was a leather desk chair. Of course, it came unassembled in a box—a very large, heavy box! And when you are trying to surprise a person, a large, heavy box is an obstacle. The store clerk loaded it into my car, it was unloaded at a friend’s house to wrap, reloaded by the same friends, and then I made my way home. Once there, I had this large wrapped present and no way to get in the house.
Standing at the tailgate of my car contemplating my challenge, my husband stepped out of the house. He asked, “Do you need help?” I reluctantly responded “yes,” but added, “Don’t shake it”—as if he could shake this thing.
We got it through the doorway, rested it on the floor near the Christmas tree, and stood back to take in the enormity of the box. My husband turned to me and with his boyish smile asked, “What is it? Is it for me?”
I responded, “You’ll have to wait for Christmas day, and yes, it is for you.”
For the next few days, he made statements about his present, speculated about its contents, and commented about the size and weight. I would catch him standing and staring at the box and then…
Christmas morning arrived.
He opened the big box last, still no clue about what was inside. His anticipation and excitement broke as he ripped open the wrapping paper to reveal his new office chair.
He was surprised. It was a practical gift; something needed, and it quickly became his “best” Christmas gift.
We Have Access to the Most Perfect Gift
We are always looking for the best gift. The one that tells the recipient you are special. As I slow my pace and consider the focus of the holiday, I am reminded that God in His goodness gave us His very best gift. One we could never have anticipated or even realized we needed but the ultimate gift, one He alone gives.
He created us in His image, in His likeness—the gift of life. And even when we disobeyed Him, wandered aimlessly through a desert wilderness, He was sovereign. He sent His Son that Christmas morning making a way to reconcile us with God—the gift of new life.
You must understand that from the day God created us, He knew we would reject Him. He was never taken by surprise, never stunned by our actions. He has always known our disobedience would lead to the ultimate gift, the life of His Son, through whom we can receive eternal life.
Hundreds of years before Jesus crucifixion, Isaiah prophesied:
(5) “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
(6) “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all…”
(12) “Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:5-12, (NIV)
Take a minute to allow that to sink in. God never had a plan B; He has always known that Christmas would lead to crucifixion, a sacrifice that led to the best gift: the gift of eternal life.
(6) “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (7) Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.”
(8) “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us… (21) so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The greatest gift: Our sins are forgiven, and we have eternal life with our Father.
As we close this year, I encourage you to remember God’s great love for you, from the creation of the world and throughout history.
A Prayer for Eternal Life
If you’ve never received Jesus as your personal Savior, it’s a simple heart-felt prayer away (a conversation with Jesus). You can pray something like this:
“Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. Please forgive my sins. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I want to leave my old life and cling to you. Please come into my heart and direct my life. I trust you as my Lord and Savior. Amen”
Realizing God’s love for us makes life brighter! Here’s some advice for centering Him as we enjoy all parts of our busy lives: A Well Loved Grit and Grace Life With Heather Brown – 151