The Perfect Gift

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.  - James 1:16-18

I love Christmas and almost everything that comes with it this time of year. I love the intentional time spent with friends and family. I love the decorations. I love the butter cookies that come in the tin cans. I love the music, most of it anyway (Mary knew). One thing I really don’t like is shopping for gifts. I love giving gifts but I despise shopping for them and here is why. It is hard to find the perfect gift. I always wonder will the receiver like this gift? Will they use it? Does this gift express how much I really care for the one I will give it to?
Very few times have I ever thought I have found the perfect gift to give but I have discovered that over time it looses its luster and no longer holds the value that it once did. That is always the case with the worldly gifts that we give and receive. They may be great by the world’s standards but as the Bible tells us in Matthew 6, the treasures on earth are destroyed by moths and rust and can be taken by thieves. This is the case with everything in the world but God offers so much more.

The little brother of Jesus gives us such great hope of the gift that will never rust or get old and can never be taken away. He says in James 1 that every perfect gift comes from the Father of lights who does not change. What James is saying is the perfect gift comes from the perfect one and that perfect gift is Himself. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth. This is incredible to ponder that God who is all perfect and good (father of Light) would step into darkness to bring us out of the destructive darkness of our sin and rebellion and make us His beloved. He gives the only avenue to turn from our sin and trust in Him and be received as righteous.
What a gift this is because this gift is one that when we truly receive it we know that we needed it and we not only love the gift but we know and love the giver! When we truly receive this gift we use it. We are supposed to. This is what James means when he says we are to be the firstfruits of His creatures. We display this gift so that others may see and come to receive this gift of salvation that God gives. This gift that God gives also is the greatest expression of love that will ever be given to anyone. It cannot be outdone. What an incredible gift we have been given in the coming of Christ!

This Christmas, as you give and receive gifts, you can share the perfect gift from the perfect gift giver. As you sit around the tree or the dinner table with family and friends be sure and talk of who Jesus is and what He has done. Share how the gift of Jesus is the perfect gift with your kids even though they think the new toy they just opened is perfect. Give hope to that lost or lonely neighbor by sharing the joyful companionship of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us!
Merry Christmas!

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