The Greatest Gift Ever!

Dear Friends,

Over the years I've received some lovely presents.  The only thing with gifts is they don't last forever (particularly if they are edible!), some get broken, some wear out after lots of use, over time some need updating and some you grow out of as you leave your childhood behind.

There is however one gift that has eternal value, which is priceless although it cost the giver dearly, which never wears out or needs updating.  This gift is as essential to us now as when it was first given over more than 2,000 years ago.  "the angel reassured them. 'Don’t be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! '" Luke 2:10-11 (NLT)  It truly is the greatest gift ever - the gift of God's own son, Jesus.   Isaiah prophesied about this event many years before it actually happened when he said  "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity."  Isaiah 9:6-7 (NLT)

In 1 John 4:9-10 "God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (NLT)  God's gift of Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, he's what Christmas is all about.

As I've pondered on this, I'm reminded of how generous God is to us, and how he gives and keeps on giving to us.  He's given me so much - forgiveness, love, joy, hope, peace, his presence, spiritual gifts that I can use to serve him and encourage others, my family, friends, my home, the food I eat, the clothes I wear and so much more.

It's God's example of being a generous giver which teaches us also how to give.  When I spend time reminding myself of how generous God is to me, my response is to give back to him.  What can I give to God?  I can give him my trust, but that's quite general and I want to be specific, so, in what area of my life can I give him my trust where perhaps before I've withheld it?  In a particular relationship?  At work?  My health?  I can give him my obedience, is there a particular area where he's been asking me to obey him - to follow his leading out of my comfort zone and do something new, to reject an unhealthy habit? I can give him my time - perhaps there is something I can give up for him, etc.?

Giving to God is not to be out of a sense of duty, not to be done with wrong motives, such as trying to earn his love, and not done with conditions such as if I give something to you, you need to do something for me.  Our giving to God is out of our love for him, knowing just how much he loves you and me, recognising just how much he has given to us, we can't help but choose to give to God.

To Think About:
God gave his greatest gift, knowing that some would reject it, some would ridicule it and some would ignore it.  Have you personally accepted his gift to you?  If you haven't, then there's no time like the present.  Even if you've said no to God in the past and wanted nothing to do with him, today he is still holding out this gift to you waiting for you to say yes.

Make some time over the coming days to be alone with God.  Offer him your thanks and praise for the gift of his son, Jesus.  Also think about the many gifts he has given you and express your gratitude to him in prayer and praise.

What gift will you choose to give him this Christmas?  Be specific rather than generalising about what you will give.

Vicki

My prayer for you this Christmas that each of you will know the blessing of God's presence and peace with you, wherever you are, whatever you are doing.

"May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace."  1 Timothy 1:2 (NLT)


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