When I was about 12 years old, I got for Christmas what I would consider the greatest gift ever, for me. It was a basketball. You might think how in the world is a basketball such an amazing gift? The ball itself is not that amazing, it was who I got it from. Without going into great detail, it was from the man who would become my step father. It was great because he said he would teach me how to shoot and play the game, and he did. To this day as I shoot hoops with my sons I think about that gift.
What I later realized is that my Father in Heaven gave me a gift far greater than that ball. My step dads gift to me was great, the gift God gave to all people was so much better.
John 3:16 – For this is how God loved the world, He gave His one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him, will not perish but have eternal life.
This is how God loved the world. He sent His son into the world to save you. That’s right, you.
Jesus is the gift of God’s presence. John 1:14 “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. The word (Jesus) was at Creation (John 1:1-5) and offers us a life changing dynamic (Hebrews 4:12)
Jesus is the gift of God’s Passionate Commitment. Isaiah 9:7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Jesus is the greatest example of how to Love like God and Serve like God. Philippians 2:5-11 says this:
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Many people spend hours and hours looking for the perfect gift to give someone. Giving gifts is a good thing, our Father gave us the greatest gift ever. He is just waiting for you to accept the gift. But it is not a gift we hold onto for ourselves. It is the gift we have to give to others.
As we celebrate with family and friends this Christmas let us focus on the gift God gave and the Love he has for us.
Pastor Joe Rhonemus is with Resurrection Crossing, 552 Country Club Drive, Xenia www.resurrectionxenia.com and guest religion columnist.