Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Right Gift at Christmas

The Right Gift at Christmas
Dec 15, 2008
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son..."

At a time with the economy gloomy and jobs scarce, I opened my door on a recent, unseasonably warm winter day to find a man standing there with his three teenaged children. He was going door-to-door asking if there was any yard work he could perform for a very reasonable rate. Never the one to pay someone to do yard work, my heart leapt with compassion for this man and quickly gave him the go ahead. Not that I am abounding in extra funds this holiday season, but my heart certainly went out to him, wondering if my few dollars in his pocket would go toward Christmas presents or the electric bill.

I know what it is like to humble myself for my family's well being and I do know what it is like to need the extra money to put food on the table for a growing family. But the man's rate was so inexpensive that I felt guilty paying him and his children such a small hourly wage. It was soon clear how I could bless him. I grabbed my coat and shoes, rushing out the door with fresh drinks in my hands for the four of them. After offering everyone a thirst quencher, I pulled along side them and added myself to their work force for the job he had bid to perform. Still, not thinking it enough of a blessing, I determined in my heart to double his hourly rate.

The Lord was quickening my heart for this family man the whole time in an effort to make sure he left my home with a blessing. Not wealthy with money myself, I prayed for a way to give to him. The Lord spoke loud and clear. God reminded me that not all gifts are monetary or come in nicely wrapped packages. In fact, the greatest gift ever given was God's own Son for the eternal salvation of our sins. I was generous to offer the gift of money but greedy to offer this family man the gift of eternal salvation. I knew I was supposed to share my faith with him; maybe he and his children would go to Hell if they died that night.

We all know that Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but we forget to give HIM as a gift. We easily get caught up in buying the right present for people but forget about the gift they need most, Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Maybe you and your family all know Christ as Savior, but surely there is someone on your Christmas list who does not have Jesus living in his/her heart. For them, the right gift cannot be bought in a store and no gift card will suffice. The only gift worth giving them is the security of going to Heaven with Christ as Lord of their life.

This Christmas, make sure everyone on your list has had the opportunity to receive Christ in their hearts. Yes, in this economy, monetary gifts are very welcomed, but not nearly as important as the gift of Christ. Find a way to bless everyone that you buy presents for this year. Determine in your heart that if they are receiving a gift from you under the tree or in a small gift exchange at work, that you will ALSO share the gift of eternal salvation. Share with them that Christ lives in your heart and that it is the greatest gift ANYONE can receive.

I had a great opportunity to share my faith with this family and I even got a chance to pray with them, standing outside in my yard. And yes, I blessed them financially as well.

1. Who are you giving presents to this year?
2. How will you share your faith with everyone on that gift list?
3. Will you endeavor to offer the gift of Christ alongside ALL your gifts?

Additional Scriptures for Study: Is 9:6, Rom 6:23, 1 Thes 5:9, Heb 9:23

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