The Gifts of Christmas

“The giving of gifts is a natural response to Jesus’ stupendous act of self-giving, when he laid aside his glory and was born into the human race.”[1]

“At the heart of it all should be the reminder that Jesus came to earth as God’s ultimate gift—our Redeemer and Savior. We have the opportunity to have a relationship with a perfect, loving Father who calls us His children. James 1:17 reminds us, ‘Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.’”[2]

For many people giving and receiving gifts is a huge part of the Christmas celebration. Whether or not you got what you wanted can make or break the season for many. But as I was thinking about the two quotes above, I couldn’t help but be reminded that many of us don’t spend time at Christmas thinking about all the gifts God has given us as result of the birth of His Son. 

Just stop briefly and think about what would be absent from your life if Jesus had not been born, lived a sinless life, died to pay the sin debt we all owe, risen again to conquer death, and ascended to His present position where He is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. It’s not a pretty picture absent those facts, is it?

So, I’m encouraging you to spend some time thinking about God’s great gifts to you. Salvation and eternal life are fundamental, of course, but the letter to the Ephesians lists a number of what Paul calls “spiritual blessings” (Ephesians 1:3) we receive as Christ-followers. 

This is far from an exhaustive list, but should be a good start for you to think about, and to thank God for, as you remember the gift of His Son, who came to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). (All references are from Ephesians.)

  • 1:4 – chosen in Him before the creation of the world;
  • 1:5 – adopted as sons (and daughters);
  • 1:7 – redeemed through His blood; forgiveness of sins;
  • 1:10 – chosen, predestined according to His will;
  • 1:13 – included in Christ; sealed with the Holy Spirit;
  • 1:17 – received the Spirit of wisdom and revelation – to know Him better;
  • 1:18 – know hope and the riches of His glorious inheritance;
  • 2:5 – made alive with Christ; saved by grace;
  • 2:6 – raised with Christ; 
  • 2:7 – recipients of God’s kindness through Christ Jesus;
  • 2:8 – gifted with faith;
  • 2:10 – we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus;
  • 2:13 – brought near by blood of Christ;
  • 2:18 – access to the Father by the Spirit;
  • 2:19 – members of the household of God
  • 2:22 – built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.

Now, isn’t that something worth celebrating any time of the year? No doubt you could add many, many more to that list, and I encourage you to do so each time you read your Bible.

But for now, I encourage you to keep in mind that Christmas celebrates the birth of the One “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

  1. Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ (Penguin Publishing Group, Kindle Edition), p. 2.
  2. Tony Evans, The Power of God’s Names (Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition), p. 76.

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