Strangely Wrapped, Silently Delivered

Ever since the first Christmas celebration, I think one word has fallen from everyone’s lips more than any other. It isn’t the word joy or carol or tree or food. It’s the word gift. Gifts are so inseparably linked and interwoven with Christmas that we can hardly think of one without the other. However, we need to establish a priority. With all of the giving and receiving that happens at Christmas, it seems appropriate that we first think about God’s gift to us.

What was that gift? Of course, it was His Son, Jesus, and with Him, the salvation He offers to all humanity. I never tire of repeating the greatest Christmas verse in the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). 

When God came to us that first night, He set in motion a plan He had established before the foundation of the world. And what was that plan? To give us the greatest gift possible—eternal life. He provided this gift through His Son, Jesus, who came to us because we could not come to God. As hard as we tried, we could not even get close to Him—our sinfulness kept us away. Now, because of Jesus, we have access to God Himself. God’s gift invites us closer. Small wonder the apostle Paul announced, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). 

In spite of the great magnitude of His gift, God delivered it quietly and personally, announcing “good news of great joy” to a few obscure shepherds on a Bethlehem hillside (Luke 2:10). God chose to announce His gift to common men—nameless shepherds—because Jesus came to address humankind’s common condition: our desperate need for a Savior. 

Jesus came “that [you] may have life,” John 10:10 says, and that you would “have it abundantly.” Do you know this abundant life? Has the peace He offers made its way into your heart? I write this to those of you who have yet to know our Savior and to those who know Him but are missing the joy of this season. In the midst of the frazzled and harried days that often accompany this month, take time to unwrap His gift. It costs you nothing—it’s a gift, remember—you need only receive what He’s done for you.

God’s gift waits for you this Christmas. He delivers it to the doorstep of your heart—quietly, as you wait on Him, and personally, as He answers your specific needs. Whatever your need may be at this time of year, trust God to give you that which is most abundant—delivered quietly yet with great joy. 

Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, “Strangely Wrapped, Silently Delivered,” Insights (December 2000): 1–2. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

About the author


Pastor Chuck Swindoll

Pastor Chuck Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word. Since 1998, he has served as the senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, but Chuck’s listening audience extends beyond a local church body. As a leading program in Christian broadcasting since 1979, Insight for Living airs around the world. Chuck’s leadership as president and now chancellor emeritus of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry.

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