What's on your Christmas list this year?Clothes? A new computer? Some new kitchenware? Perhaps it's one of Apple's newest gadgets. Maybe it's a puppy!Honestly, those all sound like amazing gifts. And whatever you have on your Christmas list this year, I know there's reasons why you want each item.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the concept of gift-giving during Christmas. Where did it come from? Why do we do it?Some say that it came from Ancient Rome. They say that the Romans had a tradition of giving out presents during the end of winter solstice. Although that's possible, I don't think that's where gift giving originated from. That tradition quickly fizzled...Some people may tell you that gift giving is just apart of the good cheer and generosity of the Christmas season. They might even tell you that they're a "type of Santa". Now, I'm not bashing on people who believe in Santa Claus. I just think that there's more to the concept of gift giving then we realize.
Let's see what the Bible has to say about gift giving..."For God so loved the world, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling amoung us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits He created." (James 1:17-18)
After reading those verses, it seems pretty obvious how gift giving began! Two thousand years ago, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be born into this world. Like John 3:16 tells us, God loved the world so much that He sent His beloved Son. Think of it this way: Jesus was God's gift to the world.After the birth of the baby Jesus, three wise men followed a bright light to find this newborn King. Matthew 2:10 says that they were OVERJOYED! Once they found the child, they presented Him with gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold was a sign of kingship and royalty. Frankincense was used in worship. Myrrh was a precious oil that was used for burials (foreshadowing what was to come in Jesus' life). If you believe in the true Christmas story, you know that the reason we give gifts during Christmas is because of the wonderful present God gave the world long ago. Jesus.
In honor of the Greatest Gift of All Time, we give gifts to each other. In honor of the birth of Jesus Christ, we give gifts to friends and family to show our love. In honor of our thankfulness to God, we give gifts of all kinds as a symbol.It's easy to forget why we give gifts during Christmas. It's easy to see it as an obligation or boxes to check off our lists. Honestly, I am very guilty of this. As a sinful and flawed human, I often want to get everything on my list -- most of which is very material.But then the Lord brings me back down to earth.What is the real gift of the Christmas season? What's the ultimate gift? What is the only lasting and truly satisfying gift we will ever receive?
The answer is Jesus, plain a simple. The answer is hope. The answer is peace. The answer is love. The answer is redemption. (Ephesians 2:8)So when it comes to giving gifts to your family and friends, consider this: Give from a loving heart and soul. We have a beautiful opportunity to show God's love to the people in our lives through simple gifts. Often times, people think Christmas is very materialistic, and it can be. But, if we always remember to give whatever we can because of God's ultimate gift to us... it will always be a beautiful reflection of Jesus.I'd like to close with a few questions for you to consider... 💗
Out of every single thing in your life, is Jesus the most precious gift to you?
How can we give gifts to people with a heart and attitude of love (God's love)?
What are some practical things you can do this Christmas and this year end to center your focus on Jesus, the greatest gift of all time?
Merry Christmas, friends. Thank you for taking time out of your day and your Christmas festivities to read what the Lord has been impressing upon my heart.My prayer is that you would grasp the full measure of Jesus, God's greatest gift of all time, and let Him change your life. My prayer is that you would know that Jesus is all you will ever need or want for Christmas.