Moments with My Father ~
Christmas – what a great time to reflect upon the gift of Jesus in our lives! There is no greater gift that someone could give to us than the love gift our Father gave us in sending His Son to save us from our sins. It is a gift far greater than silver or gold or anything that is of material value in our lives. Recognizing this great gift in my life just makes me want to give my best back to Jesus. Mary and Joseph knew how special the gift of Jesus was in their lives as well and the night He was to be delivered into the world, I know their hearts were to provide what they thought was the best for the child, but circumstances were such that there was no room in the inn, the provision of God was a manger for the Christ child. You know, it strikes me that this is the reality in the life of many of us. I don’t know if you ever find yourself in this state, but this gal has the heart that is often tempted to want to give what is often considered the most expensive or most extravagant gifts money can buy to bless others in honor of Jesus just as the three wise men presented great gifts as a sacrificial act of worship to Him. The reality is that the provision that we have is often not enough to do so and we can find ourselves in the lowly, humble state of “less than ideal” in our minds or we are tempted to spend money we do not have. If you struggle with this, I want to share with you that I find encouragement in the fact that our Father considered the lowly, humble state of a manger for His Son as the best and Jesus Himself said that if we love Him, we will obey His commands. While it is appropriate for a believer to incur debt for some things, to be perpetually increasing our debt can be dangerous, in that it puts us into bondage to others. Obedience to live within our means and not go into debt to buy gifts for Christmas is one of the best gifts we can give to our Savior. He so loves us as children and desires our best. As I recall, there is a Christmas song that is the story of a little boy who wanted to give something to Jesus for Christmas, but he had no gift to give. Therefore, he chose to play for Him on his drum. Yeehaw! This thought just stirs up all kinds of ideas for giving beyond what money can buy as I think about perhaps providing someone a gift of my time, my service, or perhaps a sacrifice of a time of prayer or fasting for a trial someone is facing. These kinds of gifts can stand out from ordinary gift giving and often display the love of God to someone far more than a material gift – something to ponder. It also blesses our Lord! Now how cool is that? Gift giving can be so much fun and make us feel so good inside and I am all for it, but let’s bear in mind as we do so this year that the best for Jesus is to do so in a manner that truly honors Him. Living within our means is also much less painful in January when all the bills arrive for things we purchased that there is no money for. Yikes! Hey, you know what, this just reminds me that there is also great joy and reward in obedience to what our Father desires for us. Now I’m really excited and seeking to give His best for me with you all this Christmas. God bless you all!
Lk 2:1-7; Jn 15:9-17; Ro 12:2,13:8; Mt 16: 24-27,18:21-35; Jos 24:14-15;