Regifting :: by Howard Green

Regifting is the act of taking a gift that has been received and giving it to someone else. When it comes to Christmas gifts and all of the exchanging that goes along with this time of year, the only expectation I have is to simply enjoy friends and loved ones no matter what I give or receive. For many people, this can be a very stressful time of the year. Gift giving and receiving seems to take the joy right out of the season.

People get so worked up over buying the “perfect gift” or they may get disappointed by not receiving the “perfect gift” from someone. On the other hand…you may be content in knowing that this season is really all about Jesus and the exchange of gifts causes no drama in your life.

I don’t know how you feel about regifting but as Christians…we have the ultimate opportunity to regift. Christians have received the perfect, unmerited, free gift of salvation from Jesus. All of us have the opportunity to regift this salvation we received. The difference with ‘kingdom regifting’ is that we keep the original gift, but this priceless treasure simply and beautifully replicates itself over and over again by God’s grace and mercy.

As believers we need to remember that this gift of salvation we received wasn’t cheap. I sometimes find myself a bit bothered by the cavalier, cleaver, and at times…even silly approaches some folks have toward evangelism.

This gift of salvation isn’t some commodity to be peddled. Salvation isn’t some trinket we need to try to package into a nice gift box. Salespeople explain the features and benefits of an item in hopes of “persuading” a buyer to want the product. We don’t need cleaver programs, formulas, or campaigns to get people to accept Jesus.

I don’t know where this idea or notion came from, but I believe it stems from some inside the church not having a realistic view of their former hopeless state, repentance, and the priceless gift of salvation.

Who are the believers that are effective witness for Christ? It is my belief that they are those who came under conviction and were persuaded of their hopeless and wretched state without Jesus. For these people, conversion wasn’t simply a life enhancement or a one time commitment and then life continues as before and get heaven in the end.

Receiving this gift of salvation was completely an act of the Holy Spirit. God in His mercy reached down and exposed our heart for what it was:  hopelessly wicked. Far from feeling sorry or a little guilt, when people are truly convicted, repentant, and transformed by the Lord……they truly can appreciate the value of the gift of salvation.

Ephesians 2:8:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Romans 5:6-11: “ For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

Friends…if you are reading this and are a Christian, you have received the most precious gift in the world. It is of paramount importance that we represent this gift to others in a way that reflects it’s true worth. This is done every time we share the gospel with others. The gospel is simply:

I was hopeless before a holy God. I had no hope of eternal life apart from the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. I believe God raised Him from the dead and confess Him as Lord. When a person sees that kind of brokenness and now restoration through Jesus in us…….that gift is represented well.

This Christmas week the world is giving, receiving, and regifting. As believers, let’s regift the gospel of Christ to others. We can do this throughout the year because even though the hurts of this life tend to be magnified this time of year….they are always present. People are suffering from the loss of a spouse, death of a child, cancer diagnosis, job loss, foreclosure, or the bottom has simply fallen out.

People need hope and while we can’t promise things will get better, we know the one who brings salvation and true peace. Tell people your story… you were going to hell without the Savior. Tell them how the gospel changed your life. Tell them there is hope in Jesus for this life and for the life to come.

Ask to pray with them, talk with them, or simply be there, but do so with the purpose of presenting Jesus to people who desperately need Him. Regifting the gospel is truly an act of love.

As I close, here are Christmas wishes from my wife, Erika:

Where’s the Joy?

Christmas is a time of joy but for so many this year,  it is impossible to find it. How can we have joy when we see our life and others around us is filled with hardship, disease, conflict and struggling, having absolutely zero control over our circumstances? We need some good news and even though we know that no human being is able to promise us anything, in our desparate need for hope, we are easily satisfied with their assurances that all will work out and get better in the end.  Except that we know that we are drawing more on wishful thinking than on a true hope and it provides little comfort.

So where did the idea of joy, good tithing and peace come from?  A bunch of confused, delusional optimists out of touch with reality?   Nope, they were perfectly sound minded and they got it.  That’s the good news.

There is one who is able to make promises and keep them but only faith makes it possible to bank on them.  His promises are making it possible to go through struggles with real power, dignity and purpose and joyful expectation of better things for those who love him.  He has promised.

Without this faith,“a man can see only things close at hand, and is as one bowed downward to the earth, groping a dreary way, with neither hope nor exaltation at the end.”  (Unknown author.)

Christmas is a time of opening presents. There is one Christmas gift that many still snub and leave unopened.  My wish is for all this year to finally open the gift that Christ has offered .

2 Peter 1:4:  “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life, he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature.”

He has made joy possible for all, regardless of birth, color, status, culture or family religion.   May you find it this season.

Merry Christmas!

All for Him,

Howard and Erika Green