One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
One way we show our love and affection for others is to give them gifts, and many of us will be doing that this holiday season. We often put considerable thought into what we give the other person; the very act of giving is significant. God has the same love and affection for us, and we’re always on His mind. Two thousand years ago He gave us the best gift of all—His Son.
This was no ordinary gift. God gave us Jesus to defeat sin, show us what true love looks like, bring us peace, and restore the broken relationship between mankind and Himself. He knew in advance what the final outcome of Jesus’ coming to earth would be, but God gave anyway because of His great love for us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus was all of God’s best, combined into one man.
The Son was the perfect representation of the Father, who only gives us good things. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). When we don’t receive the bad that we deserve, that’s mercy; when we receive good that we don’t deserve, that’s grace. Jesus was the physical image of God’s mercy, and He demonstrated it repeatedly during His ministry. The mercy He showed to the woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-11), the woman with a bleeding disorder who broke the law by touching His garment (Matthew 9:20-22), and the tax collector who stole from everyone (Luke 19:1-9) was deliberate and intentional.
Anyone who encountered Jesus came face-to-face with grace and truth. Grace is God’s undeserved, unearned favor, and He gave it to us abundantly in the form of Jesus. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Those who knew Jesus and believed in Him knew the truth. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31, 32).
Unlike ordinary gifts, what God gives us is eternal. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He offered peace, and He also gave the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’… So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:19, 21, 22, NKJV). Supernatural peace and God’s Spirit are gifts that the world doesn’t have, and we receive them by faith in Jesus Christ.God’s gift to us is meant to be shared, not kept for ourselves. Jesus was the ultimate giver and, by giving Him to other people, we receive from Him in even greater measure. Following Jesus’ example can put us in the spirit of giving all year long.