Do you have a favorite Christmas verse?
Most people to whom I’ve asked that question haven’t had an answer. If they did, it was a verse you might expect—one about Jesus in the manger or Mary in Bethlehem . . . perhaps the wise men in the East or the shepherds in their fields.
Of course, verses like those do help tell the wonderful story of Christmas. But my favorite isn’t found in one of the Gospels. It’s not a scene from Bethlehem or even in the context of what we call “Christmas.” It’s 2 Corinthians 9:15:
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (NASB)
At that point in the chapter, Paul has been writing about the nature of giving—the joy of releasing what we have held on to and the generous blessing God does in turn. Then Paul realizes that God Himself, when He gave us Jesus, modeled exactly what the apostle has been writing about. Overwhelmed, Paul exclaims, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
The word Paul coins for “indescribable” is found nowhere else in the Bible. It conveys the idea of ineffable generosity, a gift, as the NLT puts it: “too wonderful for words!”
Paul with his immense vocabulary, searches for just the right descriptive synonym to fit the person of Jesus, who is given to us as the ultimate gift. When the apostle can’t think of a word, he makes one up: indescribable. I might have picked awesome. We throw around that word too easily, but here’s a place it really fits: Jesus IS God’s awesome gift!
This Christmas season, I challenge you to camp on that idea and spend some time asking yourself two important questions.
First, have you accepted God’s awesome gift of Jesus? In giving us Jesus, God gave us the gift of grace, the gift of truth, the gift of love, and the gift of hope. Jesus perfectly modeled these magnificent qualities for us . . . and through His death and resurrection, He imparts them to us when we believe.
Second, have you responded to God’s awesome gift with generosity? If not, you’re missing out! Sharing God’s indescribable gift is the only thing that compares with receiving it yourself. December is the perfect time to experience the full joy of generosity—to give abundantly because you have received abundantly . . . and watch with wonder as the Lord works through you.
People around the world are desperate for grace, truth, love, and hope. This Christmas, YOU can help them unwrap the awesome gift of Jesus by donating generously to Insight for Living Ministries.
We are 100 percent committed to proclaiming the Light of the world in every nation and in every language on earth . . . and we are 100 percent supported by our ministry partners. To close this year on budget, we need $4.4 million by December 31.
Won’t you send your generous gift today?
With indescribable joy,
Charles R. Swindoll