“Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.” – Robert Hughes
“Above all else, know this: Be prepared at all times for the gifts of God and be ready always for new ones. For God is a thousand times more ready to give than we are to receive.” – Meister Eckhart
“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I don’t know about you, but some of the best gifts I have ever received are ones that possess a few key attributes that set them apart from the rest.
The first has nothing to do with the gift itself. It is found in the love and sincerity behind it. The gift can lack value, be small or relatively insignificant, but when it is viewed within the context of the great love the giver has for you and the sincerity they demonstrate in its offering, the value of that gift is priceless and beyond appraisal.
The second valuable attribute of a gift is its functionality – the present that is used over and over and over again. Those gifts you receive that become an integral part of your daily routine have a value all their own, like that favorite sweatshirt you love to wear every chance you get or those comfy pajamas you wear to bed every night or the fancy coffeemaker you can use day in and day out. The rigorous use of these kinds of gifts gives them a higher value to you. With their frequent usage comes a loving reminder of the giver – the thoughtfulness and intention they used when picking out of such a unique and purposeful gift that fits you and your lifestyle to a tee.
With the holiday season still fresh in our minds and the New Year fast approaching, think about God’s gifts to us represented within Christmas. Take a moment to contemplate the deep love and sincerity found within each of them, their functionality and use in daily living, and the thoughtfulness and intention behind their offering to you and all mankind 😊
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace – goodwill toward men.” – Luke 2:14 KJV
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6 KJV
Think about the love found in the gift of peace. Better yet, think about its use and functionality in daily living. It’s not a kind of peace that is tied to circumstances or a perfect set of conditions being met. It’s a kind of peace that only a Savior can provide – one that surpasses all understanding.
It can be found in the midst of disease, within tremendous lack, and in the middle of the most devastating circumstances you can imagine. It presents itself in the birth and resurrection of Christ – where all things mortal and earthly were overcome.
I don’t know about you, but I draw on this gift of peace daily – allowing it to reside in my heart and over all aspects of life that tend to overwhelm me. I remind myself that because of Christ, I can live in the peace of knowing all things will be made right.
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus ….” – 2 Timothy 2:1 ESV
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” – John 1:17 NIV
“So then, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all men, so also one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men. For as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law came in so that the trespass would increase; but where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” – Romans 5:18-20 BSB
How can any of us survive one single day without the gift of grace – both in our earthly and our spiritual life? So often I fail miserably! Because of Christ, when failures arise, grace ABOUNDS! I need the functionality of this gift every day – the comfort it provides me time and again when I make mistakes and miss the mark.
It’s never just a second chance. It’s endless opportunities and mercies beyond counting! Christmas introduced this kind of grace into our lives.
“The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From him the complete gifts of undeserved grace and truth have come down to us.” – John 1:14 CEV
Life that Never Ends
“God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.” – John 3:16 CEV
“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” – 1 John 5:11 NLT
Talk about a gift that KEEPS ON GIVING 😊
Because of Christmas, we live both now and for ages to come! No sickness or disease has the final say. No earthly or mortal circumstance can define or confine us. This eternal perspective can provide us with purpose and meaning in all that is temporal and worldly.
Where there is injustice, justice will prevail. Where there is uncertainty, clarity will triumph.
I love the Robert Hughes quote above 😊 Christmas indeed began within the loving heart of God. Its power becomes complete only when OUR HEARTS embrace the wonderful gifts that have come to us as a result.
I pray you contemplate the Christmas gifts that keep giving – a peaceful mind and existence, boundless, immeasurable grace and mercy when we need it most, and a life that never ceases to exist. All because of Christmas my friend!
Think about the love and sincerity offered through them by the Giver. Think about the functionality of peace and grace in everyday life. Think about life in terms of forever 😊
May these gifts bring you great joy as the New Year approaches!
God bless 😊