Christmas - a Time for a Gift Exchange
MERRY CHRISTMAS! This Christmas we all need to ask ourselves, “what is the greatest gift ever?” The answer is found in another question, “Who is the greatest Gift-giver ever?” There is no debate as to the answers of those most important questions. To the spiritually minded Christian, all the gifts that we may receive don’t even come close to the greatest gift ever, namely the gift of eternal life through the precious gift of faith that the Lord has freely bestowed upon us by his grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is Peter who tells us all about that marvelous gift with its all inclusive preciousness. He writes “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). God’s gift of salvation, based on His righteous, sacrificial blood shed, is the most precious gift, the greatest gift ever, all through faith. Peter tells us that faith is “obtained” (v. 1); namely, that precious faith is: “divinely allotted to us” - gifted to us by the grace of God. That’s why your faith is called precious, meaning full of honor and esteem. Please think about those two words, and God’s honorable and esteemed faith given: as is the gift, so is the Gift-giver. The gift tells us much about the Giver. With the Giver in mind, we rejoice in that we possess something most precious found in him and from him, based on who he is by nature. You see, we are “partakers (co-participants) of the divine nature” - his nature (v. 4). We possess his nature, and that is why our faith is most precious, honorable and esteemed. Now, with the quality of the divine nature invested into our faith, Peter tells us that God is continually gifting us: “according to his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (v. 3). Here’s the challenge: continually gift your faith-life back to God, by “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity” (v. 5-7). May this Christmas be the time that we experience a most meaningful GIFT EXCHANGE: the gift of our faith with all its spiritual additions, alive in Him, lived for Him, gifted to Him all because he already has gifted us first with his life alive in us. Christmas time gives us this wonderful opportunity for us all to have a gift exchange with the Greatest Gift-giver ever. Merry Christmas!