Allow the words of this song to sink into your spirit and recognise the deep love that Father God has for you.
As we approach Christmas, I want you to think about how you receive gifts that are given you. Here are three possible responses.
- I love the gift. It’s just what I’ve been hoping and praying for.
- It’s a kind and thoughtful gift, just what I need, but not what I expect.
- It’s a kind gift but it’s not really what I want or need.
Today I want us to focus on gift number 2 above. Last year my wonderful wife Sue bought me a gift of a cook-book. It was certainly not what I was expecting and I confess that I was slightly surprised! I had a choice about how to respond. I could go through the motions, say thank you, put the book on the shelf and forget about it or I could embrace the gift and learn how to cook with Sue’s help. Thankfully, I chose the latter course of action. As I’ve mastered basic techniques in cooking, my confidence has grown, I’ve been able to bless Sue to release her to do other things and I’ve even enjoyed the challenge. Indeed, I can say now that this has been one of the best presents that I’ve ever received.
So why do I mention this story? It’s because it reminds me of the greatest and most beautiful gift that Father God has given us in His son Jesus. It is a sign of the deep love that He has for us. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ The question is-How do we respond to God’s gift?
Perhaps you have been seeking God with all your heart. If so, He promises that he will be found and that you will be set free. (Jer. 29:13-14). This was the promise made by God to the exiles in Babylon.
Perhaps, like me with the cook-book, you are wondering how God’s gift of Jesus will benefit you personally rather than serve others? It was only when I allowed the Holy Spirit to shine a spotlight on my selfishness that I realized that it is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) If, through his lavish kindness and generosity, God has welcomed you and me into his family as beloved children (1 John 3:1) and given us the gift of eternal life, (Rom. 6:23) then how can we not earnestly align our hearts with his in seeing the lonely set in families and defending the weak and vulnerable in our society? (Ps. 68: 5-6)
Do you embrace God’s gracious gift of belonging to his family and serving others?
How will you to use your talents and gifts to bless others?
Pray that many in your family and friends would come to know and embrace the gift of Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
Pray that God would guide you in welcoming others into his family.
14 Dec 2021