Take a moment to think back to past Christmases. Share with one another your favorite gifts over the years. You may be surprised how few gifts you can actually remember from each Christmas. This passage reminds us of the greatest gift we have to receive, the gift of God’s Holy Son. God’s gift of His Son is a lot like our gifts around the tree. The gifts are not based on merit or performance, but simply given to us out of love. We did not pay for the gifts we receive at Christmas, but instead somebody else paid for them. So it is with the gift of salvation. Jesus paid a very dear and precious price: Giving up His home in heaven and then giving up His life here on earth. In giving up His own life, He purchased new life—in order to free us from the penalty of death, which is eternal separation from God in Hell for the punishment of our sins. Not only did Jesus pay a price for this gift, but He also became the price, as it is His blood that purchased our place in Heaven with Him for all eternity! What a gracious and humble God to give up everything to gain us back!
We must also remember that just like the gifts under our tree, the gift of salvation that Jesus paid so dearly for will go to waste if we don’t first receive this precious gift and then put it to use in our daily lives. Think of all the gifts you may have received that were really just a waste of someone else’s hard earned money! You never took the time to use it or you may have just unwrapped it and then simply put it away somewhere, thinking you would get to it someday. If we are not careful, we can be like that with the gift of salvation as well. Receiving and accepting the gift given in love is really quite simple. First, just like receiving a Christmas gift, we must receive it humbly. We must understand that we have done nothing to earn or deserve it, but because of His love for us, we can accept it. Then, in order to actually benefit from its usefulness and in order to truly get any enjoyment out of it, we must begin to put it to use in our daily lives. If we don’t, we run the risk of forgetting about the gift altogether! What a horrible thought to forget about or not to access the new life Jesus has purchased for us. He died trying to give us eternity in Heaven with Him, and an abundant life here and now! Let us not grieve His heart; but rather, let us bring pleasure to our Redeemer who has gone to such lengths to purchase us back for Himself, as His most treasured gift!