Monday, July 7, 2014
OF GIFTS AND GIVERS
I love to get presents. I will be a kid forever when it comes to receiving gifts. When I find out someone has a present for me, I can't wait to open it. Christmas is especially difficult because most of the time you have to wait "forever" to open those beautifully wrapped parcels. You have to look at them every day until finally, you are given permission to rip that paper off! I enjoy giving gifts almost as much. At Christmas, birthday parties, baby showers, you name it, I anxiously await (well sometimes I might say something like, "That one's from me. Why don't you open it NOW!") the opening of my specially selected item. I get excited because I have usually thought through all the aspects of how the gift will be utilized and what a blessing I think it will be to the person. It is especially fun when it is something you know they have been desiring for some time. Then there are the facial expressions that are priceless. I remember my oldest daughter wanting so badly this beautiful white jacket with embroidering and fur lined hood. We purchased it and hung it in a doorway. The time came and she entered the room. There is no comparison to the joy on her face at that moment. That jacket may have meant nothing to another little girl, but to my little girl, it meant all the world. I was thinking this morning about an instance where the Gift and the Giver are one in the same. John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Those of us who know the truth, know that God is the Giver and Jesus is the Gift. We also know that: "...anyone who has seen me has seen the Father...", John 14:9. "In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.", John 1:1. I like the New Living Translation of John 1:14, "So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son." God, Jesus, the Word... one in the same. Now the Gift: "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with GREAT EXPECTATION and we have a priceless inheritance--an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.", I Peter 1:3 & 4. Talk about a Gift! Now, a really fun way to give a gift is to put all kinds of smaller gifts into a large box. The recipient opens each one with anticipation as to what comes next. "Oh, wow! There's another... and another!" And it goes on and on. 2 Peter tells us that he has given us "all things we need for life and Godliness" and "he has given us great and precious promises" so that we can become more and more like him. The Gift and the Giver has given us the privilege to be a Gift and a Giver. Finally, "Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.", Ephesians 5:1. Be the Gift and the Giver of the Good News, showing the way to Eternal Life which begins now with the Kingdom of God being Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit! Hand others the BOX and watch in anticipation as they receive, as you have received. Everyone wants the gifts that bring real life: "Faith, hope and love and the Greatest of these is LOVE."