For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
- John 3:17
When you're a child, Christmas is all about receiving gifts. In December, your head is swimming with nothing but images of your favorite toys.
But the true message of Christmas is not the presents we give to one another. The true meaning is the gift that God gave to us, His Son Jesus Christ.
During the next two days, I want to point out to you three things about the gift God gave to us in that tiny manger in Bethlehem.
The first thing we want to realize about God's gift to us is that it came in simple wrapping. Some people will go to great lengths to wrap presents beautifully. But God's gift came to us not in beautiful, ornate wrapping, but in a dirty manger found in a cold cave in a little-known town called Bethlehem.
That's the beauty of the Christmas event. Jesus took His place in a manger so that we might have a home in heaven. The Savior was not wrapped in satin sheets, but in common rags. There in a manger rested the greatest gift in the plainest of wrapping.
The second thing I want to point out about God's gift to us is that we don't deserve it. Consider this: God gave us the ultimate gift of His Son Jesus Christ while we were still sinning against Him (see Romans 5:8).
We did nothing whatsoever to merit or deserve His gift. That is the amazing truth of Christmas. Despite who we are, God sent His Son so "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
With Christmas just days away, begin to prepare your heart for the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Meditate on the fact that Jesus was born to die so that we might live.