Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
What God did through Jesus Christ was not for God or Jesus’ benefit. They didn’t need saving; they were never lost. They didn’t need healing; they were never sick. They didn’t need to regain power over the enemy; they never lost it. It is the gift – the goodwill – of God!
Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Our good works do not produce love; they are a product of love. Works are the fruit of our salvation; not the root of our salvation. In fact, the only way to get your faith to work is by love. (Galatians 5:6)
1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love reveals who I am or who I am not. Each and every one of us were given the same measure of God’s love. What we do with that love determines our own destiny.
1 Corinthians 13:5 Love… does not seek it own,
Love does not do things for itself but for others.
Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.
There is a tangible link between love and gifts.
Ephesians 4:1-8 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (Not to the measure of man’s capacity, merit, or effort.*) 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (*emphases mine)
What are these gifts? It was the custom of the Roman emperors at their triumphal entrance to cast new coins among the multitudes; so does Jesus, in His triumphal ascension into heaven, throw the greatest gifts for the good of men that were ever given.
What is the purpose of a gift? To use it!
Romans 12:4-13 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Whatever the gift you have, it was given to you for the benefit of others.
1 Peter 4:8-10 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Your gift was free. Use it to help others who are hurting like you were.
2 Corinthians 1:4 (God) who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.