Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Devotion: The Gift - Ephesians 1:7-8

Ephesians 1:7 -8         In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

Every year, I see people putting themselves under a lot of pressure trying to make everything perfect for Christmas. I watch others lavish their loved ones with precious gifts and expensive presents. I look at parents who are desperately trying to find the right gifts for their children, as well as hoping that in the last week before Christmas, their children won’t suddenly change their minds. It’s all done with a great deal of affection and it’s just part of being human, of showing our love to those nearest and dearest in our hearts.

In the midst of all this hurrying and scurrying, there’s one lavish gift that is available for each of us. It doesn’t come free, because it was paid for with the life-blood of a holy young man. It can’t be purchased in stores, because it comes straight from heaven. And it cannot be re-used or given away once it is received, because it is an everlasting gift of God’s infinite love.

The old word associated with this lavish gift is ‘Redemption,’ which doesn’t have a lot of meaning in a post-modern world. Redemption is an essential part of a process which means that those who receive this gift are brought back into God’s favor, their mistakes are deleted, and their lives are re-started. In the entire history of the world and the personal circumstances of every single human being, it’s the most important gift ever to be offered and the greatest blessing that people can ever to receive.

It comes wrapped in a manger and is built upon a cross. It comes with instructions and ends with praise. It has humble beginnings and promises a glorious end. This lavish gift is, of course, Jesus Christ, the Holy Son of God, the Savior of our souls, the Lord of all Creation, and the King of kings. There’s no greater gift in life because what He offers is a greater life than we could ever know on Earth. And He’s the Gift that keeps on giving, for every day someone somewhere in the world accepts and receives this amazing bounty of God’s blessing.

May you know this lavish gift in your life, and may all of your loved ones receive Him, too.


John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask a question about today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is John’s latest Nativity drawing. It’s called “The Outsiders.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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