Life – What a precious gift! So beautiful, so fragile, so undeserved. Its value is so vast it cannot be accurately described with words or quantified with numbers. It cannot be bought or purchased. We did nothing to earn it and there is no repayment plan. We are the recipients and still, we claim it as if we are entitled. And despite all of this it is freely and graciously given to each one of us.
God has lovingly given each of us the remarkable gift of life. He has created us with a brain to think, emotions to feel, a human body and senses to experience the world, and the ability to be in a relationship with others. And even more importantly, God created us with the capacity to know Him.
Even when selfishness and sin corrupted and twisted the life and relationships God intended for us to live, He graciously made a way. When sin threatened to destroy all that God created to be right and good and true, He sent His own Son to be the sacrifice, the payment for our sinfulness. When sin separated us from God, Jesus’ death on the cross made forgiveness possible. Not once but twice God has given us the gift of life – first when we were born and secondly when we were given the possibility to be born again. There never has been or ever will be a greater demonstration of love and grace.
Our family tradition at Christmas is to pick names and then buy a gift for that name. Everyone is supposed to provide a list of things they would like to receive. I can remember one Christmas when the family member who picked my name ignored my list and got me something I did not want. I was disappointed and grumpy all day. My Christmas was ruined because of my own selfish greed. I completely missed the point of Christmas that year. I’m ashamed every time I recount that story but it serves as an important reminder for me.
More than ever, this Christmas I believe God is calling us to rediscover the precious gift of human life and the incredible gift of new life through faith in Jesus Christ. I believe God is calling us to remember this critical truth: Only through Jesus is forgiveness for our sin and freedom from the selfishness possible.
Now is the time to return to God, to remember again the love and grace of God demonstrated so clearly in Jesus. He is the way through the divisiveness of personal preferences and the deathly effects of this pandemic. I believe now is the time to live lives of humble gratitude to God for all that He has given us. God does not always give us what we want, but He most certainly provides what we need when we put our faith and trust in Him.
Men, let’s lead the way, empowered with God’s love and grace, by living selfless, generous, and grateful lives.
Let’s lead the way in our workplaces, families, church families, and communities by allowing the Spirit of the living Christ to come to live in and through our words and our actions. Men, I believe God is calling us to be lights shining in these dark days that point to Jesus who alone is the way, the truth, and the life. He has given us everything we need to be faithful stewards of his blessings.
This Christmas let’s not focus so much on ourselves or material things but rather on the truth that we have been twice blessed – first with human life and second with the possibility of new spiritual life in Christ so we may have a right relationship with God. This Christmas let’s celebrate God’s generous provision of all we have and all we need. Let’s live loud our gratitude to God for all He has done for us.