As we travel about this time of year, it is clear to see that the holiday season is upon us. Decorations everywhere, stores busy with shoppers looking for that gift for a special someone. Even when we sit to relax at the close of our day, we see the advertisements on the television and the Christmas shows that are in full swing (my favorite is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”). Although it can easily be lost in the chaos of things, this time of year is about the giving of gifts; more importantly, it is about the giving of the most precious gift of all.
For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…
God’s saving grace! What an amazing gift! As we have been reminded in our Sunday morning bible class, the offering of this gift was planned “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). God first spoke of this gift of Christ in Genesis 3:15, after the fall of mankind. The prophet Isaiah spoke of His virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) and how this gift would be called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Isaiah also said His name would be, Immanuel (Isiah 7:14), “which is translated, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:23). The purpose of this gift is simple, “[T]he Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). It is by this gift of grace that salvation is possible.
In the business of this holiday season, as our attention is directed to the giving and receiving of gifts, let us be reminded of what started it all. It was the plan of God, before time began, to give the most precious gift of all time; that is, Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no greater gift one could receive!