About this time of year we are bothered by a range of problems surrounding the question of gifts:

‘What if they’ve already got …?’
‘What colour do they like or what size to they wear?’
‘How much can I afford to spend on …?’
‘What do you give to a person who has everything?’

Very rarely, if ever, do we hear ‘What do you give to a person who has nothing?’

The problem with the person who has nothing, absolutely nothing, is that no matter what you give that person will still be in need, or will be in need again.

Unless … unless you could give a gift that contains all gifts, and that lasts not just for a day or a week but forever.

And that is exactly what God has done on the spiritual level.

Even before he created us he planned the gift he would give us, and in giving us that gift to also give us all spiritual things needed for life and for eternity.

This one gift is his Son, Jesus Christ.

We are mistaken if we understand Jesus Christ and salvation as two separate things. To have Jesus Christ is to have also received salvation: to have received Jesus Christ is to have received in him the totality of spiritual blessedness.

The Bible teaches us that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible also teaches that ‘in Christ’ those who believe in him have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing:

In him we already have eternal life
In him we already have peace with God
In him we already have reconciliation with God
In him we already have redemption
In him we already have the forgiveness of sins
In him we already have already crossed over from death to life
In him we are already acquitted
In him we are already removed from condemnation
In him we have already escaped from the wrath and judgement of God
In him we are already holy, without blemish and free from accusation
In him we are already qualified to share in his Kingdom
In him all the impediments that separated us from the Father have already been removed
In him we already have permanent present access to the Father.

Every person who has received Jesus Christ as their Lord and God has also received in him the full and complete measure of present and eternal salvation. Nothing excluded. Nothing left out. Nothing missing.

All that God requires of me and all that God has for me are mine ‘in Christ’. He is the one gift that contains all other gifts.

The angel said to the shepherds: I bring you good news of great joy. Great joy!

But how many fall far short of this ‘great joy’ … not realising the completeness, the comprehensiveness of this one gift: that in this one gift of his Son God has given us everything.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2012