McMinnville Seventh-day Adventist Church


My Best Birthday Gift Ever

What has been the best birthday party you’ve ever had, or attended? I don’t remember having or attending many parties when I was a kid. My parents were poor by today’s standards. Dad was a “missionary” teacher and mom had her hands full with five kids to care for. Parties for a first- or second-grader revolved around gifts, food, and friends, in that order. I don’t know how old I was, but I do remember a favorite gift. It was what I had dreamed about having for many birthdays, until one day, it happened. I ripped the gift wrap from the box, and there it was – a green John Deere tractor, just like what I had dreamed of for so many years!

Later in life I learned through experience that there are greater gifts than birthday gifts. I learned that the greater my trouble or predicament, the greater my appreciation for the solution. When I skinned my knee, soft, soothing ointment and a Band-Aid was the greatest gift. When I lost my toddler daughter in the store, finding her was the greatest relief. When I felt as sick as a dog and the right medicine brought relief, that was a welcome gift. It is an amazing experience when the gift matches my need, and the greater my need, the greater the gift.

When Adam and Eve turned their back on their Creator by focusing on themselves, it ruptured their relationship with their Maker, resulting in eternal separation, which Scripture calls the second death. While in this desperately lost condition, Jesus, their Maker, offered them a Gift, a promise that He Himself would come to this earth, take their separation experience upon Himself, and thereby “crush the head of the serpent” (Genesis 3:15). This promise was repeated by the prophets (e.g. Isaiah 7:14; 53; Micah 5:2) until the time came when a Baby was born in a smelly stable in a dinky little town called Bethlehem.

Who was this Baby? The angel who appeared to Mary answered that question. She said, “. . . you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:31-33 NLT). What will He do? His Name says it all – “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 NLT). Wow, what a Gift! We who deserve to be paid the “wages of sin,” which is eternal death, are given the Gift of “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NKJV).

This is the best birthday gift, not my birthday, but His birthday! Not my green John Deere tractor, but His Gift of a personal Immanuel, God-with-me, friendship forever. My tractor has long since rusted and is no more. His Gift of Himself will live forevermore into all eternity. That’s the Christmas gift I want to receive this Christmas season, the best Gift ever. The good news is that there is no short supply and He will never run out of this Gift. He has this Gift for you, too. Don’t let this Season pass without securing your Gift. It’s a gift, it’s free!

- Pastor Jerry Joubert