As we are going into this Christmas season I wanted to stop and reflect on what a gift is. I’m sure most people’s Christmases have always been like mine, in that gifts were given from parents or grandparents every year. The gifts I received were never based on my performance at school, my behavior, or how well I did my chores. Gifts were always given without partiality.
We used to sing about how Santa is making a list and checking it twice, and that those on the naughty list will not receive anything good from the North Pole. But the truth is that gifts are given whether we are naughty or nice. Once a present becomes based on performance it is no longer a gift but a reward.
With that definition of a gift in mind consider that Paul taught that salvation is a gift. In Ephesians 2:8-9 we see that salvation is not something that is earned, but it is a gift that the Lord offers purely out of unconditional love for us.
But a gift must be received. If you wake up on Christmas morning to a beautiful package under your tree, you can believe it is there, and even be thankful for it, but if you never receive it and use it then it is not fulfilling the purpose for which it was given.
In the same way we need to receive the gift that God offers to us. We receive it by calling out to the Lord (Romans 10:13) in faith and repentance. If you have never received God’s gift of salvation, then don’t wait for Christmas; unwrap it today.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”