The Greatest Gift

Gift: Webster’s dictionary defines a gift as
1 a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present: a Christmas gift | [ as modifier ] : a gift shop.
• an act of giving something as a present: his mother’s gift of a pen.
• informal a very easy task or unmissable opportunity: that touchdown was an absolute gift.
2 a natural ability or talent: he has a gift for comedy.

Here we are now at the largest gift giving time of the year, Christmas. Untold amounts of money will be spent buying gifts for our family, friends and loved ones. Some thought and care goes into selecting the gift based on the person who will receive the gift.

I would imagine most of us at one time or another in our lives have been pleasantly surprised by a gift from someone for no apparent reason. Meaning that the other person was clearly thinking of you in such as way to provoke them to take action and show their love for you with the kindness of a gift.

Think back a moment to the time you received a surprise gift. What did it feel like? Was there joy, deep appreciation and gratitude? Most likely. How did it make you feel about the person who gave the gift? Were you awed by their generosity, kindness and unspoken thoughtfulness toward you? Probably.

When we receive something special like that, most of us are compelled to speak of the loving kindness of the one who gave the gift. Imagine the woman who recalls the surprise tiny box with something shiny in it from her boyfriend or husband! Not long after, the phone is in her hand and she is calling her girlfriend, to tell her what a wonderful man he is! Or in the case of the modern social media types, she takes a photo of the shiny thing and uploads it to face book!

I have heard countless expressions of happiness from people who have received earthly gifts from ordinary people. The excitement cannot be easily contained and we want to share both the gift and the gift giver with others. And that is why for me at this special time of the year, I get overjoyed at telling people about the greatest gift ever given and the one who gave it.

The gift and the giver is summed up in the following familiar verse: NIV John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only
Son, [Or his only begotten Son] that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The gift is eternal and priceless, Jesus Christ. The giver is God. Receiving the gift, ‘whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” is in itself an eternal reward.

The entire sum total of all the gifts that has ever been given to people will not compare in value to the one solitary gift that was given to us from God. God thought of you and I, and prepared the only gift that we need for our lives. The gift is complete and flawless and all we have to do is be willing to receive it, and be ever grateful to the giver. Have you ever had the experience of making a great effort or sacrifice to get or make a special gift for someone, and upon giving it to them, they seem put off by it or even worse reject it? How did it make you feel to know that the person you cared so deeply for showed little or no gratitude and thankfulness?

So this season while you exclaim utter surprise and joy from the gifts you receive from your loved ones, do take the time to thank the giver and give praise to him for the priceless gift that he has given to all of us freely. One way we can show our gratitude is to freely open our hearts and receive the gift. Do not neglect such a great gift that has eternal value to you.

Eugene Coghill