Unwrapping the Ultimate Gift (Part 3): The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Jesus.

He’s either the Ultimate Gift…or just a pretty box.

So, what difference does opening the gift of Jesus make?

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Jesus Himself said that He came so that we “may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10) (NIV)

He came so that we “can have real and eternal life, more and better life than we’ve ever dreamed of.”  (The Message)

When we open the gift of Jesus, He gives us life and hope and peace and meaning.

He gives us the stuff in life that we can’t buy or earn.

The stuff that everyone in this world is looking for regardless of what color they are, how much money they have, or where they live.

Deep down inside every person is a desire for something greater than themselves.

A desire for a life that’s not messed up with broken relationships.

A desire for a hope that there’s more to life than lost jobs and a bad economy.

A desire for a peace that brings comfort when natural disasters strike or when someone you care about dies from cancer.

A desire for meaning-that I’m here on this earth for a reason-something to live for and get me out of bed every day.

When we open the gift of Jesus, He comes into our lives and He gives us all that and more.

Jesus is the Ultimate Gift because He is a gift that really does keep on giving.

His promises to us don’t expire or break or “go bad.”

He is eternal and His promises to us are eternal.

When we open up the gift of Jesus, we open up His promises to us.

Not just promises for life and hope and peace and meaning, but promises like…

God will forgive you (I John 1:9).

God will guide you (Proverbs 3:5-6).

God will provide for you (Philippians 4:19).

God will fight for you and be with you in hard times (Psalm 46:1-3).

God will give you strength (Isaiah 41:10). 

So, what are you going to do with the gift of Jesus?

Carry the gift around and wonder if it’s really worth it?

Or, unwrap the gift and open your life up to the only One who can truly promise you real and eternal life?

“Dear God, I want to unwrap the Ultimate Gift of Jesus.  I understand that I am a sinner and that I need your forgiveness.  Please forgive me.  I understand that you are the only One who can truly give me real and eternal life.  Please come into my life and guide me.  Thank you for your promises and most of all, thank you for the Ultimate Gift of Jesus.  Amen.”

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Unwrapping the Ultimate Gift (Part 2): Ultimate Gift or Pretty Box?

Jesus.

I think a lot of people know who Jesus is…they’ve just never really opened up their life to Him.

Kind of like knowing what the gift is underneath the wrapping paper, but deciding not to open it…

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So, instead of really experiencing what it’s like to have a personal relationship with God, a lot of people carry around their pretty Jesus box.

We go to church…with our pretty Jesus box.

We get in a tough spot and need help…we go look for that box.

We go out and have a few too many drinks with our buddies…and leave the box at home.

Here’s the problem…

God did not give us the ultimate gift of Jesus for us to leave the gift unopened.

When we leave the gift unopened, we never truly experience what it’s like to have it.

When we leave it unopened, we soon begin to wonder if having a personal relationship with Jesus is really worth it.

Jesus becomes a burden we carry…kind of like carrying around an unopened gift.

So, what is Jesus to you?

Ultimate gift or pretty box?

There’s a big difference between believing Jesus exists and accepting Him as the ultimate gift from God.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”  (John 3:16-17)  (NLT)

Next week: Unwrapping the Ultimate Gift (Part 3)

“The Gift that Keeps on Giving”

Unwrapping the Ultimate Gift (Part 1): The Millennium Falcon

Christmas memories.

As a kid, one of my favorite Christmas memories was checking out the presents under the tree every year…the shape and size of each gift.

The number of gifts with my name on them…

One of my favorite Christmas gifts as a kid was the Millennium Falcon ship from the Star Wars movies.  I had hours of fun with that toy and with the little plastic Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO figures that came with it.

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Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if I had never opened that gift…if I had just left it wrapped underneath the tree.

I guess I would never have really experienced what it was like to have it.  And, I’d probably wonder if it was really as fun or as cool as I thought it would be.

Have you ever thought about Jesus like a Christmas gift?

Think about it…He’s really the Ultimate Gift.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…”

But, let’s imagine for a second that Jesus is like a wrapped gift underneath your Christmas tree.  And, opening that gift represents accepting the opportunity that God has given to each one of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

What would it be like to know that God has given you this Ultimate Gift for you to open, and never open it?

It’s one thing to know who Jesus is and believe that He exists.

But, that’s like me knowing there’s this thing called the Millennium Falcon and believing the toy exists.

It doesn’t mean much to me personally until I open the gift and experience it for myself.

Kind of like opening up the gift of Jesus…

Next week… Unwrapping the Ultimate Gift (Part 2)

Ultimate Gift or Pretty Box?