The Perfect Gift

December 15, 2017 0 Comments

One nice thing about having preached Christmas messages every December (for 44 years) is that I had the challenge, and the opportunity, of looking at the Incarnation of Christ from just about every viewpoint imaginable. "4 Angelic Announcements That Changed the World"; "4 Names for Jesus in Isa. 9:6"; "4 Reasons Why I Love Christmas"; "4 Emotional Responses to the Birth of Christ"; "4 Prophecies of Bethlehem"; "4 Lessons on Worship from the Wise Men"--you get the picture.
One year I took the verse, James 1:17, as the basis for a series of Bible Studies on THE PERFECT GIFT. "Every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation, neither shadow of turning". And so I thought to myself: what is it that makes a perfect gift?
People run from store to store, spending a great deal of effort, time, and money (and driving themselves nuts!) trying to achieve that illusive goal--to find just the right gifts! According to the Word of God, Jesus is God's love gift to the world, a truth that is sadly neglected by many in our society today during the Christmas season. It's all about Him. It's not about "things". He is the Perfect Gift, and let me suggest 4 reasons why:
FIRST, He is a PERSON. Not a "thing", but a Person who loves you, a Person who desires to have a relationship with you. Some of you will be sad this Christmas because you have lost a family member who was very dear to you. You know that all the money in the world cannot replace the loss of a loved one. That is why Jesus is the perfect gift--He is a Person who will always be with you.
SECOND, He is PRACTICAL. That is, He meets your deepest need. A good gift is one that meets a real need, and when God sent His Son to earth, Jesus met mankind's greatest need--for salvation from sin! We all have received gifts from time to time that weren't very practical, very useful. By leaving heaven and coming to earth, God knew exactly what I needed. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).
THIRD, He is PRECIOUS. We have a habit of measuring the importance of a gift by it's price--how much it cost the giver. Christ is the perfect gift of God because He is so precious (I Pet. 2:7). He gave His very life for you. He shed His blood to save you and give you eternal life. "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!" (II Cor. 9:15) Yes, this Gift is precious. It is not earned or deserved. It can't be bought. "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
FOURTH, He is PERMANENT. Toys break. Clothes wear out (or don't fit anymore!). Gems lose their luster. Chocolate candy gets hard and stale. Technical devises don't work because we don't know how to work them. The Grinch makes a good point--all your gifts eventually end up in the garbage. But think of it--the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE. All that will matter a thousand years from now is whether you have eternal life or not. The songwriter expressed it well: "When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun--we've no less days to sing His praise than when we'd first begun".
Take time this Christmas to thank God for His Perfect Gift, His only begotten Son.

Richard Seefried
Harrisonburg, VA
Richard Seefried has a Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry, and is licensed & certified by the NCCA as a clinical pastoral counselor.