Here we are again, at the threshold of another holiday season. The music has begun, travel plans are being made, and there is a magic that seems to whisper about as we prepare for all of the festivities. It is no doubt a wonderful time of year… all of the gatherings, the food, church services, heartwarming reunions with old friends and families… and gifts.
The gifts. I have been thinking quite a bit about the gifts that we give one another, and a piece of scripture has come before me that has made a pivotal alteration in my perception of the importance of gifts. Before I tell you the piece of scripture, I want you to know that this isn’t a superficial talk about gifts or how we should give ourselves away this holiday season. Rather, this is how I feel about the array of gifts that we either choose to open, or don’t.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Pretty powerful, isn’t it? Let me explain to you why by giving you an example. While we’re safe in God’s grace, he doesn’t want us to remain stationary or stagnant. His gift to us is the guide to his heart. We have to move toward him… we have to want what he wants. With that said, I’d like to ask you a question. Have you ever been given a gift that wasn’t really what you wanted? I have. One year, my mother bought a full year gym membership for me. We all know that when it comes to gifts, a gym membership isn’t too flashy, and to be quite honest, isn’t too fun to open up. But after I started going, I started making my attendance in the gym a habit, and I started to realize how great the gift actually was. Furthermore, the gift was given to me by my mother. As wonderful of a person as she is, she isn’t perfect… pretty close though. The point is, that even with an imperfect heart, she gave me a good gift. She gave a gift that required something of me. She knows me, and knows what’s good for me, and gave me a gift that was good.
What about God? Jesus knows your heart, and he is perfect. He is flawless. He knows you, and he knows what you need. So this year, when our thoughts come to wants and needs, let’s try to think about the gift that Jesus gives us every day. Let’s try to imitate our perfect father in Heaven when we both give and receive gifts this year. Sometimes, God shows up in a way that isn’t what we expected, and sometimes, isn’t even what we want.
God’s true gift calls us to do something, it’s not just something that we receive. Just like the gym membership, being given one doesn’t get you fit. Showing up, exercising, and working for it gets you there. The true gift my mother gave me wasn’t the card that gets me access to the gym, it was the opportunity to live a healthier life, just like Jesus wants us to pursue him. His gift is grace. The rest is up to us. It’s up to us to exercise, read our bibles, and most of all, love others as he has loved us. Receive the offer and gift of Christ. Know that the best gifts are often the ones that call upon you to make a decision, and to act. How will you receive this gift?
Here’s the Snapsermon synopsis of this blogpost!