The Best Gift
By Greg and Christina Owen
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Christmas is finally here! This day will most certainly involve gifts. The gift a child opens that he has been longing for; the gift of family time with those you love; the gift of rest from the normal work pattern. Surely gifts will abound. But today is a celebration for the best gift: the birth of Christ. The Word made flesh. The One who made all things stepped down to be a light in this dark world. The image of the invisible God.
Even greater than his coming is that he invites us into a relationship with him. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1:12) That means that through Jesus, we now have an amazing Father, one who never makes mistakes and one who always gives good gifts. While we give our family gifts at Christmas, think of what Jesus says in Matthew 7:11, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” We can surely name good gifts the Father has given us. Most of us have all the physical things we need: a home, a bed, a warm coat, food each day, etc. Even greater than this are eternal things like salvation, forgiveness, and hope. But of all the things God gives, one stands out … the Holy Spirit. This is our helper, our advocate, the part of the Trinity that is with us always. Jesus says in John 16:7, “…it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”
As we are surrounded today by worldly gifts, I pray that we can pull aside and meditate on these verses in John 1 about the best gift. Jesus, the one who was with God in the beginning. Jesus, the Son of God, who came to show us the Father, full of grace and truth. Jesus, the one who makes our sonship possible. Jesus, the one in closest relationship with the Father. Jesus, the one who made the way for the Holy Spirit. May we know him as our greatest gift.
God, help me to understand the greatness of your gift in Jesus. May I walk in the power of the Holy Spirit so that I may show others your character as Jesus did.