Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear"1 (Lyrics)
I can remember as if it were just yesterday the anticipation of the arrival of the Sears Wish Book. Growing up, we lived in the country, so trips into the larger city were few, especially in the winter. This, I believe, added to the anticipation of the Sears Wish Book that would be delivered to the house. My brother and I would soon have the pages of the toy section worn and dog-eared as we turned them over and over. As we got older, my brother, who was five years younger, would circle not only what he wanted but also what he wanted to get for us. We chuckled as we saw the big blue circles around those items. Many of these items were unattainable for various reasons, but this didn't stop us from wishing, and doing it year after year.
The giving of gifts has been happening since the book of Genesis:
Genesis 24:53 – Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewellery and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. (NIV)
The wise men did not shop from a catalogue or store, but they brought from their storehouses:
Matthew 2:11 – And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (NKJV)
But God has offered us the greatest gift of all: eternal life through the sinless birth, sacrificial death, and miraculous resurrection of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (NIV)
It seems that any gift that we could give to another at Christmastime pales by comparison. How much we appreciate a gift totally depends on the value that we place on the gift.
Luke 7:47 – I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. (NIV 2011)
How much do we value the gift of God's forgiveness?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we are so grateful that You came as a Saviour for the world, and for each of us. You truly are the greatest gift that the world could ever receive. Help us to recognize the value of Your forgiveness so that we can be better motivated to bring people to You. In Your name, we pray. Amen.