Like the magi, we should bring our gifts to Jesus this Christmas.
For the average person, the gospel of Jesus Christ is about what God does for us.
- He forgives our sin.
- He makes us righteous.
- He transfers us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
- He makes us children of God.
- He makes us citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.
- He rescues us from final judgment.
These are all things that Jesus does for us by his grace.
The Good News of Jesus goes beyond this, however. The gospel is also about what God does in us.
- He changes our desires.
- He transforms our nature.
- He replaces the fruit of sin with the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, and self-control).
- He sanctifies us.
These are all things that the Holy Spirit does in us by grace.
There’s yet one more step. The gospel isn’t just about what God does for us and in us, it’s also about what God wants to do through us.
The New Testament emphasizes that all believers are endowed with special giftings from the Holy Spirit for service in the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit empowers individual Christians to fulfill their calling to be fruitful for Jesus. My gift is preaching and teaching. Stacey’s (my wife) gift is shepherding and encouraging. Others have gifts of evangelism, administration, apostleship (i.e., planting new ministries), discernment, exhortation, faith, generosity, healing, and many more.
The magi brought Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were the best gifts they had to offer the king of the cosmos. This Christmas, will you bring Jesus the best gift you have to offer? Will you give Jesus the gift that he has given you through the Holy Spirit? How is God calling you this Christmas? What does he want you to do this Christmas to minister to a hurting world?
When Christians serve the world as a gift to Jesus, the light of Jesus shines. Christmas is certainly a time of celebration and receiving gifts. But, as the magi remind us, it’s also a time of giving. Where does God want you to minister this Christmas to bring light to the darkness? What gift do you want to bring Jesus to glory God?