December 13, 2011

Gifts from God

During this Christmas Season of gift giving, we need to remember that our God is the greatest gift giver of all.  Matthew 7:11, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Our Heavenly Father loves to give gifts to us just as much as we love giving gifts to our loved ones.  James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”  The great thing about God’s gifts is they are always perfect and we never have to take them back.

As we study God’s Word, we can find many references to gifts and blessings the Lord bestows upon us.  I want to take some time to look at two very special gifts.  Every person on earth should receive these two very special gifts from our Heavenly Father.

The first gift we should receive from God is found in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  In a world of sin and darkness, God has provided for us the gift of eternal life.  As Christmas day approaches, we must remember what this day is truly about.  John 3:16, 17 says, 16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  Thank God for His wonderful gift of salvation and redemption to every person on earth.  Salvation and eternal life are the greatest gifts given to us, and the most expensive.  The gift of eternal life cost God the life of His Son and because of this, we should cherish and respect our walk with God above everything else.

Always remember that salvation is a gift from God.  We cannot earn it or purchase it.  Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  By God’s grace, we receive the gift of eternal life.  We receive by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I John 5:11, 12 says, 11And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  By accepting Jesus Christ into our heart we receive God’s great gift of eternal life.

I also want to take a look at the second gift from God that all people should receive.  This gift is found in Acts 2:38, 39 38Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”  Once we make Jesus our Lord, our Heavenly Father has another gift for us.  This gift is the baptism or infilling of the Holy Spirit.  Every believer should put the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on their Christmas list.  In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells us why we should receive this gift, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  The Holy Spirit empowers us to be the witness God wants us to be.

In Luke 11:13, Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”  It is our Heavenly Father’s desire to give us the Holy Spirit, but notice that He will not force it upon us.  The Lord Jesus said we must ask for it.  In fact, every gift from God must be asked for.  God will never force His gifts on anybody but He always makes them available for everybody.

This Christmas let us all come to God with the faith of a child and ask Him for these wonderful gifts.  At the mall, we see children sitting on the lap of Santa telling him the things they want for Christmas.  With that same child-like faith, let us go into the Heavenly Holy of Holies and ask our Father to give us His gracious and wonderful gifts that only He can give.  You can be sure that He will not turn you away.