The Unopened Christmas Gift

Bible Book: John  1 : 11-18
Subject: Christmas, Gift, God's
The Unopened Christmas Gift
Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor www.pastorlife.com

Introduction

It has been said that anticipation exceeds realization. Certainly when it comes to Christmas gifts, we have all experienced that at one time or another. As we mature, however, we begin to anticipate Christmas, not because of what we will get but because of what we will give! Of course, if shop diligently and spent hard-earned money for a family member's gift, only to see it ignored, it breaks your heart.

Have you ever left a Christmas gift unopened? I haven't! In fact, the only Christmas presents that are ever left unopened are those wrapped for someone who does not arrive to receive them. Sadly, when it comes to God's unsearchable gift, that is what many are doing. They have left the greatest of all gifts – the gift of God’s love wrapped up in His Son, Jesus Christ - unopened.

Let's look today at the nature of God's gift and the way His Gift has been treated!

I. The Lavished Gift

I was reading a catalog some time ago that listed a number of rather lavish gifts. One gift was an airplane that could be purchased for $3 million dollars. Another was a ring that was encrusted with diamonds containing a large rare jewel as the centerpiece. You could buy that ring for a mere $700,000. Of course, you can buy a child’s gift for a few dollars and then watch them have more fun with the box it came in that with the gift itself.

But, God gave the greatest of all gifts when He sent His Son to be born in Bethlehem’s manager. This gift was the best heaven had to offer. He came to redeem us from our sins and to give us eternal life. For this gift to be effective, however, one must receive it. This gift requires some action on the part of the recipient.

The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” But, as this verse reminds us, one must receive Jesus by believing in Him in order to obtain the benefits! So many have done what many people did when Jesus was on this earth -  The Bible states, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” He came for YOU. This is your gift! But, you must turn from you sin, believe on Him as Lord and Savior and follow Him or the gift is left unopened.

II. The Lost Gift

Some gifts have a time limit. Have you ever received a gift card, put it aside, and then when we found it in the drawer where you laid it, you discovered that it had expired? Yes, I guess a number of us have done that! A lost gift is a terrible waste.

A 17-year-old young man was expecting to get a car for Christmas from his wealthy grandfather. On the appointed day, the grandfather handed the teenager a box. The boy tore open the box to find a leather Bible inside. His grandfather asked, “Do you like it?”

The boy answered that he did, but one could see the disappointment on his face. The grandfather told him to be sure to read the Christmas story when he got a chance. The lad said that he would. Actually, however, he went home that day and tossed the Bible inside a draw and never opened it.

A few months went by and the grandfather died. At the funeral a friend of the family asked the young man if he had gotten his new car. The lad replied that he had not received a car for Christmas; he told the man that all he got from his grandfather was a Bible. The friend said, “My dear boy, go home and read Luke, chapter 2 and see what you find there.”

Later that day, when boy was at home, he opened the drawer, pulled out the Bible and turned to Luke, chapter 2. There he found a letter from his grandfather tucked in the pages of the story. He opened it and discovered a key to a brand new automobile. Also, however, he read these words: “The car I have purchased for you is being held by the dealer for 90 days. You must pick it up by that time or you will lose the car.” The boy quickly looked at a calendar. He threw his hands over his face because he had missed the opportunity for the car by just 3 days. He had lost a great gift.

Many people have done the same thing with Jesus. Some have decided to wait for a more convenient time to settle things with God. Sure, they intend to look into this matter about Jesus one day in the future. But, then, life slips away and the gift is left unopened. Death comes too quickly, and the gift is unopened. You see, there is no guarantee in life of another day - even another hour. I wonder how many have lost life’s greatest gift by putting off opening their hearts to receive God’s Son. Don’t wait too long, my friend. The gift of God’s Son is only available while you are living. You can’t change your mind after you die. Losing a car is one thing - losing your soul is another!

III. The Lasting Gift

But, for those listening to his message, the gift is still available. You can have the greatest Christmas of your life by accepting Christ as your Savior this very day. The great thing about this gift is that it lasts forever.

Have you ever thought about some of the Christmas gifts you received many years ago? I remember a train my parents gave me when I was 11 years old. How I loved that train! But, where is it now? Long ago it was swallowed up in a garbage dump somewhere in this world’s discarded objects. My Daisy air rifle, favorite bicycle and numerous other possessions have been relegated to faded memories. However, I accepted Jesus when I was nine years old and the gift of God’s Son came into my life. That is a gift that has never faded, in fact that gift has become more beautiful, valuable and useful in my life each passing day and year.

There is an old song that reads, “Everyday with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.” I can attest that those words are true.

When I was a boy, I loved children's book and cartoons.

When I was a young man, I enjoyed western stories, movies and more mature stories.

When I grew older, I enjoyed reading about history and science.

As an old man, I don't read children's books anymore, and I don't really go the movies - actually they've become to profane to endure. But there is one book I read when I was a boy, when I was a teenager, when I was man and now I love it even more in the senior years - the Bible! It never grows old. Do you know why? It is the book about Jesus, God's love, heaven, salvation, and all of God's blessings! The one thing that has lasted all these years since I was a boy, is Jesus - His salvation, His Word, His blessings, His promises, His peace, His presence in my life. Yes, the greatest gift is God's Son - for that is a gift that will last for eternity.

Conclusion

So, when the Christmas wrappings have been tossed in the trash can, when the Christmas tree is outside the house waiting for disposal and when the Christmas meals have been eaten and forgotten, Jesus will ever be the same. He is, after all, “the same yesterday, today and forever.”

So open your heart to Jesus this Christmas and He will open to you the greatest of all Christmas gifts – the gift of His love and the gift of eternal life! This is the one gift you don’t want to leave unopened!!!