"She gave you what?" is the theme of a holiday feature in our newspaper. They are publishing stories about weird gifts people received for Christmas.
We all have stories about odd gifts we've received: Strange sweaters, poor paintings, terrible ties, fossilized fruitcakes, boring books. We struggle to buy that "perfect give" for the "man who has everything" except the one thing you want to buy him, which he doesn't have because he didn't want it in the first place. When we don't know a person well, it's hard to find a complementary gift, so we settle for a complimentary gift card from a "safe" vendor and hope the person notices the amount on the card.
There is a Giver Who doesn't limit giving to holidays and special occasions. He knows us intimately, knowing what we need before we realize it. His gifts are non-refundable, non-transferable, and don't need extended warranties. God loves to give, and give big.
"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). Every good thing we have comes from God.
Paul reminds us, "What do you have that you did not receive?" (1 Corinthians 4:7). We can never boast about anything, because it all comes from the Lord. After all, can any of us create anything from nothing?
God gives us everything, and He loves to give us everything. Let's look at His shopping list.
Need a Savior? "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
How about a perfect place to live? "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
Maybe help living the Christian life: "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).
Can't decide if marriage is for you? "Each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another" (1 Corinthians 7:7).
How about a spouse? "A prudent wife is from the LORD" (Proverbs 19:14).
Wondering where life originated? "He himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything" (Acts 17:25).
Gifts for farmers: "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45).
Can't figure out what to do? "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you" (James 1:5).
It seems we are the blessed ones who receive all the good gifts. Sometimes, we discover we were chintzy in our giving to someone who then surprised us with a wonderful present. That makes us feel small and cheap. But the greatest surprise of all is this: God, Who gives us all these gifts in Christ Jesus, also gives Jesus gifts--gifts that seem unworthy of one so great and generous. The Father gives Jesus--us! Sinful, unworthy us! Think of it: "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word" (Jesus in John 17:6). Those who obey the gospel are gifts suitable for Jesus! Wouldn't it be wonderful to become a Christian so God can give you to Jesus for a birthday gift?
God doesn't regift, either. "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out" (John 6:37). Once in Christ's possession, we can never be lost, stolen, regifted, or pawned. Merry Christmas!
Alan Allegra is a freelance Christian writer in Pennsylvania. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. More articles at Lifestyles Over 50: http://www.lifestylesover50.com/ and the Morning Call: www.mcall.com. Available for writing. LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alanallegra/
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