Many years ago a dear friend of mine unselfishly donated a kidney to a mutual friend in a Bible study group we attended together. Giving away an organ – a part of your body – is something the average person isn’t likely to do, myself included. While I’ve indicated on my driver’s license that I am an organ donor in the event of my death, I imagine I would only consider donating a part of my body while I’m alive to someone in my immediate family. As a Christian, I realize I sound completely selfish, but honestly, I think I represent the majority by sharing my true feelings.
The gentlemen who received my friend’s kidney lived and thrived for a couple of years, but over the course of time due to some unfortunate circumstances, he picked up some old bad habits. He began smoking, drinking and entertained all manner of riotous living and once again fell into poor health and eventually died.
Many people judged and criticized this man because he treated the precious gift of a healthy organ so poorly which ultimately led to his demise. The sad reality though is that the kidney – while irreplaceable – was quite simply – a gift.
When someone gives a gift, the recipient is entitled to use the gift however they see fit. If the giver offers the gift with restrictions, it’s no longer a gift but a loan. So even though my friend gave a part of her body to a casual friend, she did so willingly, unselfishly and without restrictions. This gentleman chose to abuse his gift which I’m sure was upsetting to many, but it was his gift to abuse or respect.
This Christmas day as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray we can think about the gift offered to us by our Creator. Because God so desired relationship with mankind, He willingly offered us His one and only son. Christ was sent to earth, born of a virgin and lived his entire life knowing that He would one day lay down His life for us — a bunch of sinners, who sometimes casually disregard His gift and sacrifice.
The Creator of the universe is a very generous gift giver though, and He continually offers many other gifts besides salvation and eternal life. Forgiveness, mercy and grace (which are new every morning) are but a few of His gifts. Of all His gifts though, I would think the gift of free will would be the gift God would regret giving us the most, for it’s this gift that allows us to accept or reject Him as Lord.
When so many people reject Christ and Christianity, it makes one wonder if God is ever tempted to simply smite us all. Do you think God ever regrets sending His son to Earth?
On this Christmas Day I pray you treat the gift of our Lord Jesus Christ as the most precious gift you’ve ever received. I pray you’ll not only regard it as the best gift ever, but I hope you’ll love the gift so much that you’ll share it and pass it along to everyone you meet. The gift of Jesus isn’t a gift just for this one day, but it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
I’m sharing my gift … are you?
Merry Christmas and blessings for a Christ-filled New Year!
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:8-10 (NIV)