Every Christmas there is a toy that everyone wants and that creates all sorts of craziness. In 1983 it was the Cabbage Patch Doll! It was my oldest daughter’s first Christmas and I would have given nearly anything to get her one. But none were to be found. There was actually a smack-down in a Pennsylvania store with a store manager holding an aluminum baseball bat fighting off mad parents trying to get a doll. To date there have been over 100 million Cabbage Dolls sold. Crazy parents!

The next huge Christmas toy was Beanie Babies in 1995 and Tickle Me Elmo in 1996. A few other examples include Furby (1998), Xbox 360 (2005) Nintendo Wii (2007), Zhu Zhu Pet (2009), Elsa Doll (2014), Hatchimals (2016), and L.O.L. Surprise! (2017). Do you know any others?

Even though a lot of negative things can be said, the toy craze also shows how much parents love their children and are willing to do almost anything to show them that love. But of all the “crazy” things a parent has done to express love, nothing compares with what God did – He gave His own Son. Jesus is God’s Christmas gift of love.

God’s gift of love is a personal gift.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (Luke 2:11-12)

The angels told the shepherds, “unto you is born.” Notice all the times the angel said you/ye. This was a personal gift. I understand that the gift of Jesus is to all the world – it transcends times and cultures. It is global – but it is also personal. The gift God gave will impact our world only after it transforms me and you. God’s gift is very personal and must be accepted personally.

God’s gift of love brings peace to troubled hearts and a troubled world.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)

The angels proclaimed to the shepherds “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Jesus came to bring peace on earth.

We have seen our share of troubled hearts this Christmas season. For many, this will be the hardest Christmas to get through. And we can look around our world and see that peace has not reached the earth. But Jesus is the answer to our troubled heart and the worldwide unrest. It begins in our heart. Jesus brings peace.

God’s gift of love brings deliverance from sin’s grip and consequences.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

In Joseph’s dream the angel tells him that the baby in Mary’s belly will “save his people from their sins.” The ultimate reason Jesus was born is to die on the cross to provide forgiveness of our sins. All this was motivated by love. God so loved the world.

There is not one person that is not loved by God. You are loved by God. God loves you with an out-of-this-world kind of love. You can’t do anything to earn it and you can’t do anything to get more of it. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what you’re thinking about doing because God has this intense love for you.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (1 John 4:9)

So what should we do with God’s gift of love?

First, we need to open the gift up. John 3:16 that we must believe. When you receive this gift you will find peace, joy and pardon for sin. Sometimes it’s hard to receive a gift. It can be awkward. But Christmas truly becomes Christmas when we receive the Christmas gift that God offers.

Second, we need to be a re-gifter. You know what that is. Your open a nice gift and then wrap it up to give to someone else. I want to encourage you to “re-gift” the gift of Jesus. Not because you did not like the gift but because you liked it so much you want others to have it too. He has given you peace, joy, and pardon for sin. Why not re-gift that for others this season? How?

  • Let someone new in your circle of love? Don’t just walk by or ignore them? Step out of your comfort zone and reach out to someone new.
  • There’s no better way to show the power of God’s love and forgiveness than to forgive someone else. That’s a great gift to receive.
  • Maybe you can extend a loving gesture to someone you do not even know. This year we are donating to build a well in Nicaragua.

Are you ready to give God’s love? No matter how different each Christmas is, God’s love will last forever. The gift of God’s love is eternal. Love is the only gift that can truly change this world.

Like any mother, Karen was excited about having a new baby girl. Their 3 year old son, Michael, day after day, sang songs to his little sister while in mommy’s tummy. When Michael’s little sister was finally born, she was in a very serious condition. As days inched by, the doctors said there was little hope. Michael kept begging to see his sister and sing to her, but the hospital wasn’t open to 3 year olds. But when Michael arrived, Karen glared at the head nurse, “He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!” He gazed at his little sister and began to sing, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray.” Instantly, the child began to respond. “Keep singing, Michael,” Karen encouraged. “You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” As Michael sang, a healing took place. The next day, Michael’s little sister was well enough to go home. Women’s Day magazine called it “The Miracle of a Brother’s Song.” Karen called it a miracle of love.

Christmas shows us how much God loves us. Christmas helps us understand true love. God wants His love for us to be shared with others.