One of the best gifts I’ve ever received was our first baby, born less than two weeks before Christmas (on my birthday). That was and is a wonderful, wonderful gift.
The best gifts we ever get are gifts of family, friends, and loved ones. It’s incredible that we sometimes lose focus on the fact that our friends and families mean the most to us, and we begin to focus on other things — and that’s too bad.
The first text I want to share is Galatians 4:4-7: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (KJV).”
When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son. What an amazing gift! We are talking about the presence of the omnipotent, omnipresent, unchangeable God! It always blows me away to contemplate why He would do it. It’s so incredible—I believe we will study the plan of redemption of the human family throughout the “ceaseless ages of eternity.”
Why would He do it? Why would He leave the beauty of heaven to come and identify with the human family? What great and unfathomable love! When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son. What a gift.
Tied in with this is Romans 8:31: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
It’s something to remember at Christmastime: the presence of Jesus in the flesh is an absolute gift to the human family. And it’s not just a gift to Seventh-day Adventists or Christians, but to the entire world and all who live in it. If God is for us, who can be against us?
I look back many years ago to attending academy. We had a little process in the boys dorm every second or third night when a few students would “break out” of “prison,” traverse the huge fields surrounding Burman University, and cross the highway to go to a convenience store.
The students would always wear coats with many pockets so they could bring back the bounty for those who had requested and paid for it.
One of the nights I made the trek, and as we entered the store, a group of miners was there. I got a little loose in the lip with one of them and he was about to re-arrange the features on my face when my buddy stepped in front of me and said, “Go ahead and try it.” My friend was very muscular and had worked on oil rigs. The guys just backed away. You know it’s always good to have someone bigger than you with you.
My friend was always that way with me. He was always at my side. As a matter of fact, he still phones me regularly to make sure I’m OK (he’s in his mid-70s now).
If God is for us, who can be against us?
The next verse, Romans 8:32, contains the most magnificent statement: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (KJV).
That’s what you call a gift! God giving Himself for us.
For me the joy of Christmas comes, of course, with the birth of a Child, but it comes primarily because I know that that Child has given all human beings a need and a reason for joy.
As we enter the Christmas season, I don’t know who’s coming and who’s going. But may God bless you through this season
If you are lonely, reach out to someone and allow them to minister to you.
I pray that God gives each of us a song in our heart, hope, and joy — that we will give God all the praise for His wondrous gift.
— Daniel R. Jackson is president of the North American Division. This article is based on a devotional talk at an NAD staff worship.