The gift exchange that will change your life

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 25, 2010

“Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without presents,” author Louisa Mae Alcott’s character, Jo, says in her book, Little Women.

But it’s not always easy to know what presents to give the special people on our Christmas list.  That’s the reason someone has said, “More Christmas gifts are exchanged after Christmas than on Christmas Day.”

Why?  Could be the person doesn’t want that gift because it’s not the color they would’ve chosen.  Then again, it could be the wrong size.  Stores brace for this after-Christmas rush to return gifts. There’s one perfect gift I wish everyone could have at Christmas.  Just like the gifts we give each other, you must accept this gift with open arms to receive it.  Best of all, it’s a gift you can never outgrow.  It’s perfect for all ages.

When you receive this gift, it also comes with an exchange.  You exchange your old life for a new life, and this is not just any life. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

This gift will change how you live your life.   The Old Testament prophet Isaiah said Jesus would exchange beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3).

People who walk in darkness exchange their darkness for the Light of the World.

Once they were blind, but now they can see.   You and I can’t buy this gift.  It’s free to all those who believe and receive.

In fact, none of us deserve it.  What could a man, woman, or child give in exchange for his soul anyway? (Matthew 16:26)  For by grace we are saved through faith, and not of ourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).

This gift is not just for the present, you also are given a “future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Someone once said, “Who you are is God’s gift to you, who you become is your gift to God.”  You and I have been given the gift of life, there’s no greater gift that we can give than to present ourselves to God. The greatest gift mankind was ever given came wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Then, 33 years later, He was hung on a tree to die for you and me.  His followers wrapped his body in grave clothes.  Now we can be clothed in newness of life.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Christ!  Unwrap the love, peace, and joy that came from a tiny little boy born in a humble stable in Bethlehem.

A third century theologian once wrote that Christ “became human that we might become divine; he revealed himself in a body that we might understand the unseen Father.”

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).