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The greatest gift
December 21, 2009
by Pastor Rick Messer, Howard Lake Christian Church

James, the brother of Jesus, writes in the book of James 1:17 (NIV), “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Think about that verse for just a minute. Let it sink in and allow it to marinate your mind. Every good and perfect gift. Not just some, but all. And not just from anywhere, but from the Father above.

All of us are in the season of giving and receiving gifts. You have made your lists, you have probably checked them twice, and maybe you were one of those brave souls who ventured out into the wild, early on what has become known as, “Black Friday” in the hope of finding that perfect gift for that special someone in your life.

You took the risk and gave up some shut-eye to venture out into the early morning hours, braving the crowds and the cold, because you loved someone enough that you felt it was worth it.

And as odd as it may seem, I believe we can find a parallel in what happened long ago in the town of Bethlehem, when our Heavenly Father gave us the greatest gift the world has ever known.

God took the risk. He braved leaving the glory of heaven to enter into a world that had become cold and dark because of sin. And He did it because your name was on His Christmas list.

God esteemed you so much that He took the risk and purchased your freedom with His greatest treasure. It was a perfect gift – a gift without defect or blemish. And God gave that gift to you.

Even though God knew you might disregard His gift and reject it, He still chose to give it. And what is truly amazing is that He is still giving gifts to you and me today, despite our failures, despite our predisposition to sin. It started with giving His own Son, but it has not stopped.

God is still in the business of giving gifts to His children, even those who reject Him. Things like life, love, homes, transportation, food, even friendship.

Even though we don’t deserve these things, God still gives the gift. Why? Because He loves you. He doesn’t change like shifting shadows. He doesn’t give His gifts on a whim. He gives because He makes a conscious choice to love you.

This Christmas season, I pray that we will all remember that every good and perfect gift comes from God, and it began with His Son, Jesus, the greatest gift of all.