After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary his mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 (NASB)
Do you sometimes find it odd that it’s Jesus’ birthday but we give each other the presents? I do. But what could we give to Jesus anyway? (Please click on the above link. You will be blessed.) God gave the first perfect Christmas gift to us in His Son, Jesus. But as the Little Drummer Boy song says, “I have no gift to bring that’s fit to give a king.” Yes, I know that song has no biblical basis, but it does have a lesson for us to learn. All we can give Him is ourselves in humility and love.
And how do we do that? Well, the first step is salvation. God wants nothing from us until He first has our heart. We can’t work our way to salvation no matter how hard we try. It’s His gift to us. (Romans 6:23) But just like any Christmas gift, it isn’t ours until we reach out and receive it, open it up, and claim it for our own. It’s as easy as ABC. Admit we’re sinners. Believe that Jesus is God’s Son Who came to earth to live a perfect life, die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins and be resurrected on the third day to conquer sin and death. And Confess Him as our Savior and our Lord. That’s the hard part. Most everybody wants someone to save them from death and hell, but they don’t really want anyone but themselves to be Lord of their life. But you can’t really have one without the other.
But then what? As my former pastor, J. Michael Palmer is so fond of saying, “The way you get in is the way you go on.” God’s gifts to us only start with our salvation. He has so much more waiting for us if we trust Him. The Holy Spirit gifts us with many more unexpected gifts and fruits, and if we develop and use those, He’ll even multiply them. As His children, God delights in giving us gifts just as much as we delight in seeing our own children open up that special present on a Christmas morning.
But how do we give back? Let’s not forget our tithe and the Lottie Moon Christmas or other missions offerings, but let’s also remember that 1 John teaches they will know we are Christians by our love for the brethren. That’s one another. And it’s not just those in our local church, but all who are true followers of Christ. Just like the little drummer boy. we show love by using those gifts He gave us to bless and be blessed by others. Am I the only one who has a hard time being on the receiving end of gifts when I don’t have one of equal value to give back? I am by nature a giver. As Gary Chapman would say, it’s one of my love languages. Jesus did say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) but for every act of giving, there is somewhere a recipient. It’s just pride that would deprive others of the blessing of giving.
Gifts don’t have to be materialistic. If we have Jesus, we have the greatest gift we can give to someone. Sharing Jesus with them. Not cramming Him down their throat, or hitting them over the head with a guilt trip, but simply showing His love. Time is sometime the best gift we can give. An act of kindness may not cost much of anything, but we may never realize how much impact it had. A listening ear or a shoulder to cry on may be just what the doctor ordered. So as you share your gifts this Christmas season, just remember Jesus gave His All. He is the reason we give and the act of giving of ourselves is an act that molds us into His image as we give it. God bless.