"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given." These words from Isaiah 9: 6 have been on my mind a lot during this Advent season. Notice the difference. A child was born, and we celebrate His birth during this season. But, a Son was given. Jesus didn't come into existence at the time of His birth in Bethlehem. He has existed throughout all eternity as part of the eternal Godhead. But, on the night which we celebrate as Christmas He was born into this world to live as one of us and to eventually give His life that we might experience the grace of God through which our sins could be forgiven and we could live with Him through all eternity.
As one reads the Isaiah passage the mind is immediately drawn to John 3: 16, "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." Again, we find God giving His Son so that we might have everlasting life.
During this time of the year we decorate trees, hang lights, prepare wonderful meals, and fret over purchasing just the right gift for each person on our list. Few people spend much time thinking about what this season is really about. If we did, we would realize that God has already given each of us the perfect gift of all, His own Son, and through His Son each of us can know what it means to live free from the guilt and pain of sin and know what it means to walk with God for now and forever.
So, what can we give Him in return this holiday season? There is really only one gift that God wants from us, and that's us. Our entire being. In Romans 12: 1 we read that God wants us to "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God..." He wants us to love Him and receive Him as Lord and Savior of our lives. He wants to come into our lives in such a way that our lives are totally and completely transformed.
Some of us will make New Year's resolutions to change things we don't like about ourselves. Many of us struggle with so many things in our lives that weigh us down and keeps us from being the persons we want to be. We promise ourselves that we'll do better, but we find ourselves falling back into old patterns. Some may have even given up and have decided that they are condemned to live lives of defeat and pain and shame.
No one has to live that way. God gave His Son so that none of us have to live such lives. Invite Him into your life. Receive His gift this Christmas season and find true freedom in your life. If you will do that you will have a very Merry Christmas!