I was under the weather a few days this week but feel much better. It doesn’t take a lot of activity to feel winded and after teaching Sunday School this morning I was not able to preach without breaking down into fits of coughing. Instead of upload the sermon audio I’m going to write out a long form blog post. Just like the good old days (circa 2015).
A gift is something of value. If I were to clean out the contents of my car, such as empty snack wrappers and 20 oz. drink bottles, and bag all of that up and offer it to you “free of charge” that wouldn’t make it a gift. Just because there is no charge doesn’t mean that anyone wants my garbage. A gift has to be something that a person wants or could use. Some things have intrinsic value, other things have sentimental value associated with them and some gifts would only mean something to the person getting it. Sometimes the rarity of an item makes it more valuable. Even if it’s the thought the counts, a gift has some type of value to someone.
A gift blesses the recipient. Even if an item costs a lot of money it is worthless to someone that can’t use it or doesn’t want it. A complete set of golf clubs in a bag could run hundreds of dollars, possibly thousands if you got carried away, but I would have no use for one. The thought of peanut butter fudge might start your mouth to drooling but if your best friend has a peanut allergy or your is diabetic then that would not be a good gift idea. A thoughtful gift involves knowing something about a person’s interests, hobbies, passions, likes and dislikes.
A gift honors the giver. Maybe you have something given to you ages ago by a parent or grandparent. You might honor that person’s memory as you continue to cherish an old pocket knife or a piece of heirloom jewelry. Likewise a grandparent may be proud of a small child’s handmade gift or watercolor picture. As it hangs on the refrigerator and ages over the years, the child grows up knowing how proud you are. All of these characteristics may exhibit in small ways but a thoughtful gift, big or small, will possess these qualities.
We are just coming out of the Christmas gift-giving season. With these thought in mind, take a look at John 3:16. You probably know it.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Jesus is of great value. Consider the Colossians 1 text we read last week and preeminence of Christ in all creation. Being the only begotten Son speaks to his rarity. He is truly and uniquely one of a kind. Jesus blesses those who receive him. He will be rejected by most even when offered freely. Jesus honors God the Father. Everything that he says and does brings honor and glory to his Father in heaven. he does not speak or act of his own accord but only according to the Father’s will.
The gift that is Jesus brings mercy, grace and salvation. Eternal joy. Peace that surpasses understanding. Sharing this gift does nothing to decrease your own blessings. Freely you have received, freely give.