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How to give, receive the ‘perfect gift’

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2005

Attention, shoppers! Only eight more days until — Christ’s birthday. For some reason those words don’t seem to go together, but they should. One of the ways Jesus is represented in scripture is as “the indescribable gift,” 2 Corinthians 9:15. That means the coming of Christ is a gift so wonderful it cannot be put into words.

I would like to talk to you for a few moments about giving and receiving. In this last week before Christmas, many of us are still looking for the perfect gift.

Would you please pause with me for a minute and consider the only perfect gift that has ever been given?

In the Gospel of John we are told that “the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,” John 1:14. Think of that! God himself chose to take on a human body and live here with us.

In doing so he displayed our need for a savior and then fulfilled that need by laying down his life for each one who would receive the gift that he was, and still is, ready to freely give.

Have you ever received the gift of salvation? Doing so is easy: First recognize your need for a savior, and then realize that only Christ is qualified to grant us the only righteousness acceptable to God.

Our own righteousness could never meet the standards of a holy God. So he took the punishment for our sins and imputed his holiness to us, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

To receive this gift you must believe he did this for you and simply ask him to be your savior. It is that easy to receive the “perfect gift.”

John 1:12 says, “yet all who receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” What greater gift could there be?

If you already have trusted in Christ, have you thought about what you will give him this year? It is his birthday, you know.

Gifts are an act of worship. Often included in the Christmas story is the account of the Magi. After learning of Jesus’ birth, they went hundreds of miles to see the one born king of Jews. When they found him, they responded with joy, worship and gifts: “... On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary and bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, incense and myrrh,” Matthew 2:11.

Those who are wise still seek and worship Jesus today, not for what they can get, but for who he is. The essence of true worship is honoring Christ and being willing to give what is valuable to you.

He certainly is worthy of the best we have to give.

This may mean helping someone who is needy, so they might see Christ in your life. It may mean telling someone who has never heard or understood that they, too, can receive the greatest gift of all. Maybe you need to become faithful in an area you have let slip. Is there a part of your life you know needs to be surrendered to him, the one who gave his life for you?

Have you decided what to give Christ this Christmas season? There are only eight days left until his birthday.

Phil Reemtsma is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, at 208 Lawton Drive in Kenai. He can be reached by e-mail at cbc@gci.net or visit the Web site at www.kenaicalvary.org.



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