The Present of Presence

The greatest gifts that we can give to anyone this year will not cost us one cent monetarily, but sadly the main focus of Christmas for far too many people has everything to do with what can be purchased and given as a gift. The greatest gift any one can give at Christmas time is the same greatest gift we can give all year long. It is the original Christmas gift given to all of mankind over two millennia ago. It is the gift wrapped up in the name Immanuel, or literally translated from the Hebrew word used in Isaiah 7:14 & 8:8, “with us God”. To make it more readable, you could say “with us is God”. To simplify it, you could say “God with us” as it is interpreted in Matthew 1:23. No matter which phrase you use it means the same and the amazing thing is that though it is only found twice in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament, this simple phrase alters everything for eternity. God’s presence with man and in man is what changes our eternal destiny. God gave us His presence through His Son as the original Christmas present. When we put our faith in Christ as our personal Saviour, we receive the presence of God with us in His Hoy Spirit living with us continually. This gift of presence is the best gift we can give to any one and any time of year even at Christmas time. If we introduce people to Jesus and they trust Him as their Saviour, then they can enjoy His presence in their lives while they live life on earth and then in His presence in Heaven eternally when this life is over. There is no monetary exchange required for this gift of God’s presence in the life of a repentant sinner. All that is necessary for this gift is genuine faith to receive God’s gift of forgiveness for our sins paid fully by Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection. Not only is the present of God’s presence the greatest gift we can give, the next greatest gift is our presence personally with another person. Again, there is no monetary exchange required for the present of our presence in the life of another human being, but there is a cost that we must be willing to pay and that cost is our time. Far too often we sadly feel it is simpler and cheaper to buy a present to give than it is to give ourselves to another person. The greatest gift we can give to God is also ourselves, which is exactly what His Word says that He wants and is reasonable for us to give in Romans 12:1-2. So, as you consider your gift giving list this year, please consider the greatest gifts and don’t just acquiesce to the simplest gifts, which can be purchased. Let us seek to give gifts that truly make a difference in the life of another person.