In just a matter of days, there will be lots of gifts given and received across Kentucky. Some will welcome gifts that excite them like an engagement ring, a bicycle or a favorite doll. Many will receive gifts that they could probably live without — such as a Chia Pet, a Snuggie or the next “As Seen On TV” item being advertised this season. Some will open gifts they need but do not necessarily want including socks and T-shirts.
One mother posted on social media recently an item entitled, “Moms in November,” which includes a conversation of a child saying, “I need more toothpaste” and the mom responding, “Okay, but it will have to count toward your Christmas.”
Romans 6:23 in the Bible describes the greatest gift that one can receive. Paul the Apostle, in writing to the Romans, states, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Here are three thoughts, about the gift God gives, from this verse that can be shared with others as a gospel presentation.
First is the need for God’s gift. The need for the gift offered by God is seen in the reality of sin, the separation caused by sin and the sentence earned by unrepentant sinners. Our sin has earned us separation from God. If one dies in that separated state, then hell will be his permanent abode. There are lots of gifts that we do not need, but each person stands in need of conviction of sin and forgiveness of the same.
Next is the nature of God’s gift. On Christmas day 1992, I gave my wife Connie — at that time girlfriend — an engagement ring for Christmas. That was a life-changing gift for both of us. God has a way of changing us through the gift of marriage (all married Christians can insert a hearty “Amen!” at this point). The gift God gives — eternal life — changes everything.
One recent and well-known convert to the Christian faith was asked by a talk show interviewer, “Would you consider yourself to be a Christian music artist now?” The new believer answered, “I’m just a Christian everything.” That is the nature of God’s gift — it changes everything.
Finally, in this verse is implied the response to God’s gift. A gift must be received or rejected. John 3:16, one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, reads: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The gift God gives must also be received. If anyone reading this article has not yet received Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord, then I encourage you at this moment to bow your head and pray to God — acknowledging personal sin, placing faith in Jesus and surrendering your life to Christ.
Everything changes when one receives Christ.
If you are a believer reading this article, then would you consider sharing that greatest gift imaginable with someone this Christmas who does not know Jesus?
There is no gift you can offer that is comparable to Christ.
Todd Gray is executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.