Three Great Gifts

W. Terry Varner
May 5, 2013

The giving of gifts is as old as the human family. Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20). The wise men gave three gifts to the Christ child (Matt. 2:11). Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with costly ointment (John 12:3). Barnabas sold land and gave the money to the early Jerusalem church (Acts 4:36-37).

Christianity consists of gifts. The story is told of a preacher who wrote several letters to a wealthy man asking for a donation for the cause of Christ. Finally, the irate wealthy man wrote to the preacher, “All you think about is asking for money. Christianity is just giving, giving, and giving.” The preacher wrote a letter of appreciation for the excellent definition of Christianity. Christianity’s existence is dependent upon great gifts. It is continuation is dependent upon gifts. Consider three great gifts.

God’s giftHis Son. God’s gift of His Son was made because of God’s love for man whom He created in His image (Gen. 1:26-27). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).

The measure of love determines the greatness of the gift—the greater the love, the greater the gift. God’s great love for man is revealed in His action of sending His Son into the world (John 3:16). God’s gift of His Son resulted in Jesus extreme suffering and enduring the bitter pains of death on a shameful cross. God’s love for sinful man prompted Him to give the gift of His precious Son.

Christ’s gift—His precious life. Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to earth and died for man. Until we grasp the horribleness of sin, we cannot grasp the greatness of Jesus giving Himself for our sins. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Paul writes that Jesus “tasted death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). Jesus said He “came not to be ministered to [served by others], but to minister [serve others], and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Christ’s gift of giving His life for sinful man is the greatest sift He could give us. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me” (John 12:32).

Man’s gift—himself and all that he has. When we properly understand what is involved in the other gifts, God’s and Christ’s, then there is but one thing to ask—’’What is required of me?” To enjoy God’s greatest gift—His Son and Jesus’ greatest gift—His life, there are things we must do to enjoy them. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6).

Jesus requires obedience from man. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him” (Heb. 5:8-9).

Our obedience is dependent upon our love for God, Jesus, and our soul. Jesus taught clearly: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). “He that has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me: and he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). “If a man love me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23).

When we obey God, we no longer live to ourselves (2 Cor. 5:15; Gal. 2:20), we seek a pure life (1 Peter 1:13-16), we show our concern for others (Gal. 6:1-10; James 1:27), and we do our best to love others as Christ has loved us (John 13:34-35).