Yesterday morning when Abigail woke up she saw a few presents that were wrapped for her under the Christmas tree. However, as she saw the presents her first response was, "I only have two?" I point this out not to pick on my child, but rather to display the heart of most of us in that statement. The underlining thought of such a statement is that we deserve the gifts that we're given.
On a much larger scale is the thought that we all "deserve" the greatest gift in the world: the gift of Jesus Christ. That is the mindset of the culture we live in (church and secular culture). In fact, I think this is one reason the world can celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus (which many people culturally believe). There is something in our DNA that says we deserve this great gift. There is a thought process that actually believes we are good enough to receive these gifts.
So what does Scripture say? Scripture teaches that we do not deserve this great gift. Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). The very definition of grace proves that it is undeserved. In fact, James 1:16-18 says, "Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." By his own will he saved us. Jesus was born for an ultimate purpose. Matthew 1:21 says that Jesus will save His people from their sins. Jesus was born to die on a cross to redeem those who would believe. That is the greatest Gift there ever has or ever will be. And that gift is solely by the grace of God.
But it's not only for Christians that God gives good gifts. He sends sun and rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). On the cross Jesus also purchased a common grace for all people. Everything good in this life comes from God. For those who are believers and those who are not, God is a gracious God here and now. So we do not "deserve" the gifts in our lives, but rather through the birth of Christ, which led to the death of Christ on behalf of sinners, we receive amazing gifts with the most important being the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Beloved, this Christmas season as you celebrate the gift of Jesus with your families and friends, do not forget that He is a gift. You and I do not deserve it. The mentality that many of us have that says, "But I deserve more," is the result of a fallen, sinful nature. We have done nothing to deserve the good that is in our lives. God has been gracious and has gifted us with many things. The only reason there is good in our lives is because of an almighty, all loving, all sufficient God. Let us fight against our fleshly nature everyday that we might learn to value the precious gifts in our lives.