EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)–Joyce Hall became the founder of Hallmark Cards, Inc. He is best known for the Hallmark slogan, “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best.”
Quality was his trademark. Not a single Hallmark greeting card reached the marketplace without his “O.K.—J.C.” signoff. He was committed to giving the very best to his customers so they could give the very best to their loved ones.
We are motivated and inspired to strive for “the best” because we strive to reflect the character of the One — the only One in history — who absolutely did give His very best.
God gave His very best. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The gift of Jesus Christ to the world represents the high price God paid to give us His gift.
God Himself is the best. Perfection begat perfection when God gave Jesus Christ, for perfection cannot arise out of imperfection. Jesus Himself said, “… your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
God gave for the best reason. The motivation which prompted God to give the gift of His Son was the highest possible — pure love, “God is love” (1 John 4:16) and “so loved” the world (John 3:16). The perfection of His gift reflects the perfection of His love.
God gave the best gift. Would you be willing to give away a precious child? Imagine what it cost God to give His “one and only Son” (NIV) to die for our sins. God gave the most expensive gift He had for your and me — Jesus.
God gave for the best purpose. The best gifts accomplish the highest good for the recipient. They’re given for positive, uplifting purposes. God’s gift was given for the best purpose: That whoever believes in Christ, God’s gift, should not stay mired in sin but might be lifted up and planted on the solid rock of salvation and eternal life.
Joyce Hall set a high standard for excellence. But the perfect example of “caring enough to send the very best” is God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. God loved enough to send the very best to those who could only be saved by a perfect Savior.
At this time of the year our thoughts are turned toward gifts. The most important gift we have to give every year is the gift we give back to God Himself — the gift of all that we are and have. Jesus described it as our “heart … soul, and … mind” (Matthew 22:37).
Giving ourselves to God can mirror His gift to us, in that:
— We ourselves can be the best in Christ. We are not perfect like God, but as we obey the admonition to “be perfect” (Matthew 5:48), we present to God a heart striving to be holy in honor of Him.
— We can give ourselves for the best reason. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life….” (John 15:13). If we would love our friends enough to lay down our lives for them, surely we should love God as much.
— We can give the best gift. In thanks for God’s “indescribable gift” to us, we can “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (2 Corinthians 9:15; Romans 12:1). We only have one life. Giving it to God makes it our best gift.
— We can give for the best purpose. When we give ourselves wholly to God, we make known the riches of His grace and glory to the world, proclaiming Christ’s death until He comes (Romans 9:23; 1 Corinthians 11:26).
In the midst of your gift-giving this Christmas, reserve your best gift for the One who gave His best gift to you. Resolve this year be to give yourself — heart, soul, mind and strength — to God every day. Make Christmas a year-long event as you unwrap yourself in the presence of God each day. Show that you care enough to send Him the very best.
David Jeremiah is the founder of the “Turning Point” radio and television ministry, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., and chancellor of Christian Heritage College. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.TurningPointOnline.org.