When I was a kid, there was no time more exciting than Christmas. I would go to bed on Christmas Eve and never get much sleep. I would lie in bed, stare at the ceiling, and just wait anxiously as I thought about what awaited me in the morning.

Why is it I couldn’t sleep? Why was there all this anticipation for Christmas morning? It was because I knew Christmas meant presents. Lots and lots of presents! When I think back to Christmas mornings as a kid I remember the joy of opening gift, after gift, after gift, throwing wrapping paper throughout the living room and posing for a picture while holding up each present. The joy I felt as a kid while opening presents is hard to top.

Looking back now, as a 23-year-old, I realize something about those presents that I never realized as a kid. I didn’t deserve them. It’s true. My parents went to great lengths to get me everything I wanted, but I didn’t really deserve any of it. I wasn’t a bad kid; I was actually a good kid, but I definitely didn’t do anything to earn the gifts I received. I never had to do extra chores to earn my presents, I never paid my parents back, and I never gave my parents gifts that compared to what they gave me. The only thing I did to earn those presents was in being their child. I was their child, they loved me with an amazing love, and they gave me gifts I never earned all because they loved me. That pretty much sums it up.

As Christians, we’ve all received a present we didn’t deserve. On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who came to earth to live a perfect, sinless life and die a death that we deserved. We can experience salvation because of this amazing gift of grace that was given to us. Ephesians 2:8 says it clearly, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

Isaiah 9:6 says this, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

This Christmas season I look forward to and I’m thankful for the presents I will receive. During this season and every season I’m most thankful for the present that was given to me in Jesus Christ, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace who was born and then died for me.

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