Monday, December 17, 2007

The Perfect Gifts

Have you bought all your gifts yet? Most likely you are tired of people asking you that question. Our answers may range from a boastful “yes!” to a humble “I haven’t even started” or somewhere inbetween. When I think about finding the “perfect” gifts for my family and friends, my mind glazes over in a fog, but I want to present to you three perfect gifts we can give this year. They may not reduce your Christmas list, but they will create eternal blessings for you and your family and friends. All three of the following gifts create an overflowing joy in our lives and in the lives of others.

Compassion. In Matthew 25:40 we read, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” We give to the Lord when we reach out and give to others. Opportunities abound during the holidays whether it is volunteering at a hospital, donating gifts or serving in food lines. I want to encourage you to pray for God to lead you to the place you and your family can serve. Don’t let it be just a Christmas season participation. Carry this opportunity of service throughout the year, reaching out to others and loving and serving in His name.
Forgiveness. Is there someone you need to forgive? Are you holding onto bitterness and anger? This Christmas, release it and give the gift of forgiveness. Forgiveness means you are giving up the right to hold something over another person. It does not mean you are saying it is okay to do what you did to me again. When you give the gift of forgiveness you are actually giving yourself the gift of freedom for you will no longer be entrapped by your resentment. Seek God’s help (forgiveness is not always easy), but decide today you are going to forgive. Ephesians 4:32 reminds us, “Forgive each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.”
Thanks. Great joy erupts from a thankful heart. Psalms 136:26 tells us, “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Let’s be women who give thanks to God continually. Our family, friends and co-workers will be blessed by being around a person who is grateful. The opposite of being a grateful person is a grumbler and we know people are not blessed by a grumbler! So let’s make an intentional choice to give thanks to the Lord for His love and kindness, counting our blessings each day.

Yes, this season is all about giving. Certainly the “perfect gift” is not something we give to others, rather it is what God gave to us by sending His only Son to die on the cross for us. God gave the ultimate gift, which motivates us to give to others. Happy Giving!

Family Fun: Together as a family, wrap three empty boxes with plain wrapping paper. Label the boxes: Compassion, Forgiveness, Thanks. Place them under the tree and talk about the fact that these are three gifts we can give to Jesus this holiday season and all year long.

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