As we give and receive Christmas gifts each year, do we take time to truly consider and appreciate God’s greatest gift? You might say, Just what exactly is that? Well, being very happily married, I might be tempted to say “My wife”, but I know there is something even greater than that.
That gift is the love of God. It is the most important, most needed gift ever. It always fits, it’s always the right color, and we don’t already have ten of them. Unfortunately, that gift is probably refused more often than any other gift you could name. Though I can’t imagine why anyone would want to refuse the gift of God’s love, people do it every day.
But I find that it is often “God’s people” who turn people away from God by trying to shove “religion” down their throats. Sometimes, people’s zeal to share Jesus actually runs them away from Him. I have personally met people who try to argue others into the Kingdom of God, rather than love them in. As the old saying goes, you can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. And while we should surely have an answer for those who would ask of us why we believe a certain way, we have to be real careful, knowing that God has entrusted us with the greatest gift ever given to man. We want to make sure His gift is received, not rejected. We have a real responsibility to not only “speak” the Gospel to others, but to “live” the Gospel, as well. It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. People need to be “shown” the love of God “through us”. His believers are His representatives, His ambassadors, in this world. We’re it, folks. If the world is going to know Jesus, it’s up to us to introduce them to Him.
As you probably know by reading my teachings, I believe God isn’t interested in religion. Rather, He is interested in a living, vital, one-on-one relationship with us. God made the first move in reconciling man to Himself. Before the earth was already formed, God knew He would create a man, and that man (Adam) would turn from Him and sin. So it is written in Revelation 13:8,
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Even before the earth was even created, the love of God, the gift of God was already in place, ready to be offered up at the right time for our salvation. And when do we need it? Right now! If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. It is written in Romans 5:6-8,

Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. *Look in the mirror…..that was YOU…B.C….before Christ
Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Why would God do that? What motivates Him, anyway? What’s in it for Him? Most of the times, when we give gifts, we expect something back, even though we don’t come right out and say so. Yet God, who gave the greatest gift of all, gave it absolutely unselfishly, with no strings attached. He wants a relationship with us so intently, that He paid the price for our selfishness, sin and rebellion, even though He didn’t owe it.

Those of you who are parents, probably would pay off your children’s mortgages, if it were in your power to do so. And that would be such a gift of love, that it is almost unfathomable. But would you give your life to ransom a career criminal, a murderer, a rapist, a gangster, a drug dealer? Or would you offer up your only child? Not too likely. I can’t truly say my love is so intense for my fellow man that I would do so. So I’m not really so different from everyone else, when it comes down to it. I need that gift just as much as you do.

Why am I reminding us so strongly of God’s gift? So we can consider, first and foremost, the immense cost of this gift, so we don’t take it for granted. Secondly, that we reflect that Gift to others in our daily lives. Notice I said “WE”. It also includes “ME”. I imagine when God said “we” should love each other, He looked down at us from heaven and saw the “W” from His point of view, and it became an “M”. So He determined, “If love’s to be, it starts with Me.”

And so, He set the example for us to follow. He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, for the payment for our sins. Why? So we could live with Him forever. Why? Well, according to Ephesians 2:7,

Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Now that, my friend, is a gift that keeps on giving, forever and ever! Does that sound like something you would like to have? And does it sound like something you would like to share with others? I thought so.

No matter how many times I think of this, I’m still in awe of how God could love us so much. The greatest gift? Without a doubt, God’s love! And we can give it and receive it every day of the year, not just at Christmas. So let’s forget the “religion” stuff, and concentrate on what we can do to give others a “relationship” with Jesus!