Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. No matter where you live or what your background you can’t help but feel the festive change that happens in the month of December. The sound of holiday music fills the air. Children are excited as they anticipate what Santa will bring. The newly popular Elf on the Shelf reminds children to be good. Baking cookies and preparing family recipes provides familiar smells in kitchens around the world. Malls become crowded with people shopping for gifts.
Gifts are something we give to people we care about. I used to love to buy gifts throughout the year to set aside for Christmas. Searching for that special gift became a fun adventure. Wrapping the gifts and including a special note of love was a task that gave me so much pleasure. I longed to see my loved one’s reaction as they opened the gift I’d especially chosen for them.
Now that my financial situation has changed, I must be even more creative in giving gifts. With limited funds, my list has decreased significantly. And yet, I long to give gifts to my family and friends.
As I ponder this dilemma, I realize I have the best gift in the whole world. You see, it was a gift I was given. I didn’t purchase it for myself. I didn’t earn this gift. My good behavior didn’t give me the right to this gift.
That gift is Jesus. Jesus is the best gift of all. Jesus Christ is God’s gift to the entire world. He offers the gift of eternal life. He is the gift of peace with God. It doesn’t get any better than that.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
Imagine you have a gift but it remains unopened. You see the gift, you’ve heard about its contents, but you continue to set it aside. In order to truly receive a gift, you must open it for yourself.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 (NIV)
You become a child of God by receiving His gift of salvation. You must come to the place where you recognize that your good behavior can’t earn you a place in heaven. You must come to the end of yourself and realize that you’re a sinner in need of God’s grace and mercy. He offers you His life. Jesus died for your sins on the cross. He paid the price. When you come to Him and believe, He offers you peace with God.
As you enjoy this most wonderful time of the year, I pray that in the midst of the festivities you will come to the place of finally opening and receiving the best gift of all. His name is Jesus.
Debbie Petras is originally from Long Island, New York but she and her husband Greg now live in Arizona. She worked as a cardiovascular nurse for many years but currently works with preschool children. Debbie was greatly influenced by her Christian grandparents but spent many years living a life that didn’t reflect her belief in Jesus. At her grandmother’s funeral, Debbie felt the Lord speaking softly to her heart. She returned to church and began reading her Bible. Life began to change as her love for Jesus grew and began to spill over to others. Matthew 5:16 became one of her favorite Scriptures “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” She enjoys sharing her faith and writing on her blog Heart Choices as she inspires and encourages others.