Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gift Giving

At this time of the year most of us turn our thoughts toward finding the perfect gift; the gift our family member or friend has wanted for a long time, a gift that shows how much we love them, a gift that will change their lives.  I don't know about you, but I get so caught up in the busy-ness of all the gift shopping and making that I often forget that there is only one reason I give gifts. It is in honor of the best Gift Giver of all time.  I'm sure you've heard the old saying, "You can't out give God." I have heard it many times, but I hadn't honestly taken the time to think on it.  I'm embarrassed to say that many times I have simply thought, "Yes, He sent His Son for me."  Oh, but there is so much more to God's gift giving.

He knew who I was before I ever set foot in this world.  He created this world for me and for you.  He set the temperature and climate so plants, animals, water, everything, would be just right for us to live.

He gave me intelligence and free will.  A free will to choose to use His gift of intelligence in any manner I choose. I have the choice to study, work hard, create, sing, read, and so much more.  Or, I can choose to sit on my rearend, feel sorry for myself that I don't have the biggest and the best of everything there is to have in the world.  Another choice He has given me is to accept His mercy and grace in my life.  He always gives me the choice of whether or not a spend time time in prayer, praise, and worship.  It is all my choice.  My God didn't mandate the I love and worship Him. He has left this all all in my hands.  He wants my love, but He wants it to always be something freely given from me to Him.  He didn't have to do this.  He could have made me so that I always do whatever He says, but He gave me the wonderful gift of free will, free choice.  My God is so awesome! 

He gives me forgiveness. With all my free will, I mess up...sometimes a lot.  Because God sent His Son to earth for me, He gave me the opportunity to accept His Son, Jesus, into my life as my Savior.  Because of Jesus' gift of sacrifice, His pure and perfect life given freely on a cruel cross, He made a way for me to come directly into the Holy of Holies and ask forgiveness of my sins.  Thank you, Lord, for this truly awesome gift. It is a gift I was not worthy of, but because of Jesus sacrifice of His precious life I am now worthy to come to You and ask for your forgiveness, Your guidance, Your grace.

God gave His Son for me.  Jesus stepped down from His thrown. He left all the glory of heaven to come to earth to live as a man.  He spent His life as a man, giving us all the gift of His words, His knowledge, His teachings.  He felt what we feel.  He went through temptations like we go through temptations. He didn't have to do this, but He gave us the gift of His life any way.  He then went through torment, beatings, torture and ultimately gave His sinless life as a gift, a perfect sacrifice, so we no longer have to search for perfect sacrifices in order to come to the Lord with our prayers. 

The gift giving didn't stop with the sacrifice.  Jesus conquered death and the grave.  He rose again to once again walk among us.  For 40 days He walked among us and then He rose into heaven.  But He didn't leave us alone.  The Lord then sent us the gift of a Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is here, with me, every day. 

What a wonderful God! There is no way I can ever dream of outgiving my God.  He has given me everything I will ever need.  When these thoughts finally registered in my brain I realized that the gift I need to give my friends and family is to be sure to share God with them.  They all need to know what God has done, to hear about the love of Jesus and learn about the way He opened for us.  So this year I purpose to share the great news of Jesus wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself. 

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