(from the archives December 2014)
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17
Gifts that can make you glad
Speaking of gifts, did you get any good gifts this Christmas? Boy, I sure did. I got a pair of socks that blew my mind when I put them on. They’re too soft to be real. Among other things, I also got a disco ball. I know, right? What can’t you do with a disco ball? Received it from a friend who was with me one day at Walmart when I said something to the effect of “Wow, a disco ball! I sure would like one of those!” Haha, I am now the proud owner of a disco ball.
Gifts that can make you mad
Gifts can come in all shapes and sizes. Some we want and some we don’t want. Did you get any gifts that made you mad? The gift was an insult because it didn’t meet your expectations. It was the wrong brand, ugly color, didn’t fit, it was cheap, or was just plain not what you asked for.
Seems to me that our gift expectations are formed according to who is giving the gift to us. For example, a gift from a spouse might go something like this: “Wow, he better get me something really good this year. Last year he got me a pack of dish towels and a box of candy for Christmas. Man, was I mad!” Now, if those dish towels and box of candy came from an acquaintance, then those would be fine gifts. But since they came from such a close relative, the expectations were much higher. Those gifts would most likely put a husband (or wife) in the dog house.
The gifts of practicality
Gifts can sometimes fall into the “need” category, too, like tools, a vacuum cleaner, a winter jacket, snow blower, money, a motorcycle (haha), etc. Those are cool gifts that can keep giving throughout the year.
God gives gifts too. Did you get any gifts from God this year? Boy, I sure did. At the beginning of the year, I got a very large package of humility. We shouldn’t balk at humility. It’s a wonderful gift, though it does come at a high price. It’s a good thing because it comes with God’s grace attached to it. (James 4:6)
And what can’t you do when you have God’s grace in your life? I also got a nicely wrapped present of contentment. Yup, that’s a good one too. I am so happy to be living in the U.P. I’m blessed beyond blessing. I still feel like I live in paradise even after four winters! They don’t call it “God’s Country” for nothing. I am convinced that a person (maybe even I ) could write a book in this place.
I learned that I am rich: in friendships, favor, peace, and joy. People have extended large quantities of forgiveness to me, I’ve learned to love people on a whole new level, and I’ve seen the reason why I should bless my enemies. I’ve seen loyalty and sacrifice given on my behalf, and I am surrounded by human treasure.
Here’s another great gift I got from God this year: I have finally realized my worth to God and I am in hot pursuit of a true deliverance from all my insecurities.
My cup overflows
Yup, I have surely received a ton of gifts from the Lord this year. They make me want to serve Him all the more, love His people with more authenticity, and represent Him more faithfully to this world. I can’t thank Him enough for all the gifts He continually bestows upon me. My cup overflows.
The perfect gift
This year has not been easy, but it sure has been rewarding. What did you get from the Lord this past year? Let’s re-count His blessings as we come to a close of yet another year. If you can’t really remember receiving any gifts from the Lord, perhaps it’s because you need to receive the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, first. Call upon His name and ask God to save you. Salvation in Jesus is the one gift that we really need. He’s practical, He’ll make you happy, He won’t put you in the dog house, and He keeps giving for all eternity. We can’t receive or give anything better because Jesus is the Perfect Gift!
Thanks so much for reading.
Shalom, Big D
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