The holiday is about presents under the tree and Santa and fun and family gatherings and so much more, however the depth of giving and the surprise inside is very profound. Each gift is a bond, the giver knows what is inside, but the receiver must receive, open, appreciate, use, and hopefully be thankful for it throughout the coming year. All of this seems quite obvious and has gotten to be rather mundane in our material world where the Christmas season accounts for as much as half of the sales of many department stores, and everyone seems to expect more and more.
The Christian year begins with advent when the Christ child arrived here on earth. God made himself in man’s likeness to dwell with us. “God with us, Emmanuel.” The theme is the wonderful gift from God to all of us for salvation from sin, guilt, and the curse of it all resulting in our fears. Jesus came to set us free from all of this. Because he came, does not necessarily save us—unless we accept the gift—and we may have only accepted parts of it.
Early in my life I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and have felt His presence from boyhood. However I chose to detach and distance from the promises and “the rest of” the gifts. Here on this Christmas day I have a renewed sense of the “gifts of the spirit” of joy, peace, and the release of fear, and guilt. These are packages that I received long ago but only received and opened; gift certificates never spent. Long ago I tore the wrappings off, examined the gifts, and hid them away, possibly because deep down I knew that I was not willing to do what God was guiding me to do in exchange for His wonderful gifts.
This Christmas, I am ready to lovingly accept my presents of peace, joy, love, kindness, faithfulness, patience, gentleness, goodness, and self-control. These are the “gifts of the spirit” and the qualities of Christ. What wonderful Christmas presents from God’s Holy Spirit, who gives gifts that make life richer and bring glory to Him, as others see the changes, draw closer to Him, and hope for the same.
Thank you Father for the great presents. I love you and glorify your name, as I unwrap the true meaning of Christmas, your awesome gift of Jesus.
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