Wednesday, December 19

John 3:16-18

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 

Christmas is synonymous with the spirit of giving.  When you say “Christmas”, many children think presents!  When you say “Christmas”, many parents think shopping, traffic, wrapping and delivering! It wouldn’t be Christmas without gifts. Gift giving is at the heart of Christmas. In fact gift giving was at the heart of the very first Christmas.

For God so loved the world that He gave….

Many of us have considered the fact that Jesus laid aside the glories of heaven, including equality with God, to become born as a man.  We are grateful that He would humble himself to join our plight in humanity, to live as one of us and die for us.* But have we ever considered the sacrifice that our heavenly Father made to give us His son?

We get at least three glimpses into the heart of the Father in the Gospels.  At the baptism of Christ, it was like He just couldn’t keep silent, He was bursting with love and fatherly pride in His son.  A voice from heaven spoke these words, “This is my Son whom I love, with Him I am well pleased.” At the Transfiguration a couple of years later, again He broke His silence and said, “This is My Son whom I love, with Him I am well pleased, listen to Him.” You can just hear his heart of love for His son.  And then at the cross you can only imagine how it broke his big father’s heart when every vile unspeakable sin was laid upon the Lord Jesus and God the Father poured out his wrath on the sins of the world that His son was bearing. 

Before the foundation of the world, our heavenly Father knew the plan of redemption for mankind.**  He must have known that the fulfillment of that plan would break His heart.  He knew it would be a sacrifice on the part of Jesus, but also He knew it that He, too, would be making a sacrifice.  Yet He gave.  He gave because of His love for you and me. God gave His son, He didn’t hold back.  With great strength and grace, He gave out of His so great love for you and me.  God gave; therefore we give.

This year when you are planning, shopping, wrapping and delivering, give your gifts with great joy. May each one be a token, a reminder of your heavenly Father’s great love for you.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  II Corinthians 9:15

- Kathy Phillips


1) Why do you think we give gifts at Christmas?

2) What attitude will you have this year as you give?

* Philippians 2:5-11

** I Peter 1:19-20

-What have you had to do in your life that was really difficult but really good?  Maybe it was something you didn’t realize would be good until you were finished.  What God did by sending his Son, was impossibly difficult, but, unlike us, he knew exactly why he needed to do this and the immense good that would come from it.  Because of Jesus’ life and death we have been reunited with God forever. 

--Father, you are our creator, our redeemer, and the ruler of all.  It is amazing to consider how you have intervened in our lives to bring us closer to you, the pain you’ve endured for our sake.  Help us to not forget your goodness and your work in our lives, especially in this season of joy and anticipation.  Amen.