This is truly the most wonderful time of the year. This is the time of the year when families are together, school is out, and gifts are exchanged. Family members that have not seen each other all year are able to reunite and enjoy a good meal together. In our country, the name of Jesus is more freely spoken around this time of year than it is at any other time. Children (and some adults) are waiting with anxious anticipation for Christmas morning so they can wrestle off the wrapping paper and enjoy the gifts that they have wanted all year long.
Really, the spirit of cheer and giving is one that Christians need to possess all year round (Acts 20:35; Phil. 4:4; 1 Thes. 5:16). We need to be people who naturally exude a spirit of gratitude, giving, and happiness. Around this time of year, Christians must maximize the opportunity to be the giving individuals that Jesus called us to be and allow our light to shine (Mt. 5:16; Lk. 6:38). There are many gifts on people’s list, some that we simply cannot afford. However, there are gifts that everyone needs that only Christians can give. So while you may be low on funds—if you are rich in faith, here are some gifts you can give this holiday season:
A Shoulder of Comfort
While this time of year is extremely happy for many, some experience extreme heartache during this time of year. When some recall the former days with loved ones now passed on, the pain during this season of family and friends can be excruciating to bear. Christians need to be those with the capability to weep with those that weep (Rom. 12:15). God is near to those that have a broken heart, and if we are near to God, we will be near the brokenhearted as well (Ps. 34:18; Jas. 4:8). We will find that our holiday season will not be made bitter by associating with those of heavy hearts, but rather, we will grow more appreciative of our loved ones. This holiday season, give someone a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. There are many who will appreciate new toys, jewelry, and Apple gadgets; but those who receive comfort will remember and cherish this gift for a long time to come.
We all have someone that we hope to reach with the gospel. Maybe you are thinking of a lost cousin, aunt, close friend, classmate, or co-worker. A good gift you could give them is a copy of the Bible. The Bible still contains the only message with the power to save (Rom. 1:16-17). Though we are a few thousand years removed from its completion, the Bible still will furnish men for every good work and give all that is necessary for life and godliness (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3). More than inviting someone to service, giving someone a copy of the scriptures suggest a deep interest in their eternal soul and this will be appreciated. May I challenge you to give more than just a copy of the Bible? Try highlighting passages to point the reader to verses that will explain the gospel message and what one must do to be saved (Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:16-18; Acts 2:38; Eph. 2:8-10).
The recipient may not be familiar with the Bible, but if you could aid them in this way it would show your concern and love. Highlight passages that discuss God’s love for the individual, the heartbreaking consequences of sin, and the remedy provided by God in Christ for atonement for our sins. Many gifts will be exchanged on the 25th, but none more valuable than the invitation to heaven through a copy of the Bible.
Christians need to be known for what they believe, for their love, and for their unity (Jn. 13:34-35; 17:20-21; 1 Pet. 3:15). Christians also need to be known for their good works (Eph. 2:10; Jas. 2:20). This Christmas, look around and see who needs a helping hand. Maybe it is an older family member who needs help moving or cleaning out a cluttered garage. Maybe it is helping wash the car for your mom or holding the flashlight while dad changes the oil. Perhaps it’s giving a ride to a family walking in the cold or helping an elderly stranger load gifts or groceries into their car. We need to have our eyes open for opportunities to do good for others (Gal. 6:10). Most times, it is not the opportunity that we lack, but the obligation we fail to see. Jesus links service to others with service to Him (Mt. 25:31-46), and there are many that could use our help this holiday season.
Why not give the gift of service in the name of Christ this holiday season? The gift of service may be the one thing to spark a spiritual discussion that would have never happened had service not been rendered. Let’s not keep all the good works we are capable of doing to ourselves. The world needs to see Christian beliefs on display, and not merely discussed. You may not have a large bank account, but surely the gift of service is within your budget this holiday season. We should remember that pure religion is defined as service given to others (Jas. 1:27). What better gift could we give?
This time of the year should be one of joy and giving. Create great memories with your family and friends, and don’t forget to be the faithful Christian that Jesus wants us to be (Mt. 10:22). The gifts suggested in this article are surely not seasonal for the Christian and should be done all year round. Yet, when the world is watching more intensely around this time of year, let them see those professing the crucified Savior as Lord, crucifying themselves and giving themselves away in His service (Mt. 16:24; Gal. 2:20, 6:14).