The sacred Gift we celebrate at Christmas is God’s love embodied in His selfless sacrifice — and when we love like He does, we truly understand the gift of Christmas.
When we give a gift and expect something in return, we are cheating ourselves out of the divine experience God intends for us.
When God offers our spirit life through the gift of salvation, He is offering a gift that cost Him dearly and He knows we can’t pay for it.
The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
When our heart welcomes Him in and accepts His gift of salvation, He gives us the ability to give like He does.
But do we do it?
It’s a struggle for sure.
Because the concept of giving and loving has been so marred by the darkness of the world.
We are nearly incapable of giving for a completely selfless reason.
For example, even the most altruistic givers, who don’t expect anything from the recipient, often give because it makes them feel better about themselves or it garners approval or praise.
I know. I’ve been there.
To understand God’s way of giving, we must understand love.
Love is a gift that cannot be demanded.
And the only way we possess it is to give it the way God gives it to us.
So many relationships fail because we expect others to show their love for us by sacrificing for us — because we fail to really know God and understand the greatest sacrifice for love has already been made.
Christ, born as a helpless child, lived in poverty, and paid the ultimate sacrifice; He showed us how to live in love.
The Bible says: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves … Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:3, 5-8).
The gift of God’s love enables us to give love others without expecting anything in return.
When we fall in love with God, we find He has already met our greatest need for love.
The most precious gifts we give are those borne from the same love God gives us.