by Jayme Durant *
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
As we exchange gifts with loved ones this season, elegantly wrapped packages in red, gold, and green, topped with satin bows, serve as small reminders of the greater gifts we receive from our heavenly Father. Though they may not come in glittering boxes, God purchased them for us at an extravagant price.
Our good Father bestowed His gift of grace—redemption through His Son Jesus Christ—because of His great love for us. His love is pure, unconditional, and free, and we don’t deserve it. His holiness melts away any claim to merit on our part because even our best works are like “filthy rags” to Him (Isaiah 64:6). He gives us boundless love because that’s His nature.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Even if you’ve been in church just a few times, or not at all, you’re probably familiar with this verse. I’m afraid some of us have heard it so often that we brush over the significance of God’s gift of eternal life. In “The Only Begotten,” Dr. Henry Morris III reminds us of the magnitude of God’s gift.
His gift of mercy assures us that our transgressions are wiped away and that we will not be forgotten, but salvation is only the beginning of His gifts to us. His Holy Spirit indwells us at the moment we first believe. He gives us gifts of the Spirit so we can live by His power and grace. He promises His moment-by-moment presence, provision, and guidance. He gives wisdom. And His love is everlasting—this gift will never be taken away.
In the beginning, He gave us the “very good” gift of creation. Throughout history, we see how He continued to give gifts to His children, even though none of them deserved anything from God. Adam and Eve, Noah, Lot, Jacob, Rahab, Ruth, David, Zacchaeus, Mary and Martha, the disciples, and many, many others. We can surely add our names to the list.
Not only did He give us light at creation, He came to us as the “light of the world.” His Word assures that “he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). His Word is a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Brian Thomas gives us some details about the gift of God’s Word. He says, “God preserved His words from the generations that penned them right up to this generation because He will ‘preserve them…forever.’”
Yes, His gifts have come to us at an extravagant price—the life of His beloved, only begotten Son. And He gives us the privilege of sharing His gifts with others. Henry Morris IV says, “It’s imperative that all believers everywhere ‘shine as lights in the world’” in our culture today. So many around us need to hear God’s truth and receive the gifts of grace, mercy, and love that only He can give.
May His gifts be yours this Christmas season—and always. We at ICR wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!
* Jayme Durant is Director of Communications at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Jayme Durant. 2016. Extravagant Gifts. Acts & Facts. 45 (12).