Presents and Presence
When Ivey was two years old she would tell you Santa Claus was her boyfriend. That was until we went to the mall to see him. She wanted no part of him. By Christmas she made Mike and I assure her that we would leave a note on the front door for him not to come in. He had strict instructions not to come down the chimney but leave the things on the front porch. To make Santa happy we told Ivey we would get up extra early and bring the things inside. Santa would not want her to have to come outside!
The next morning Santa had left Ivey a note on her floor in her room with some extra candy just so she would know she had nothing to be scared of. He always mentioned her daddy's snoring and that always cracked Ivey and Sarah up! (He always had the nicest, most flattering things to say about me!) Ivey was so proud he had come in and she slept right through it. From then on Ivey did not mind Santa coming in our house.
I read somewhere that in a recent Christmas season Americans used 28 million rolls of wrapping paper and 17 million packages of tags and bows. That can wrap a lot of presents!
As we anticipate Christmas day let's focus on Jesus' presence as our present. The gifts under our tree can remind us of the ultimate gift. Jesus Christ! When we unwrap this gift, we find it has a lifetime guarantee of faithfulness and love! This gift will never break or wear out, for it comes with a lifetime guarantee - both this life and the one to come! For all eternity.
Jesus is like the gift that keeps on giving. With the gift of salvation we are also given other gifts. Romans 5: 1-11, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."
We are given justification, peace, access to God, faith, grace, hope, perseverance, love of God and the Holy Spirit, deliverance from wrath, salvation and rejoicing!
When we look at all of the gifts under our tree let's focus on Jesus as the ultimate gift! This costly Gift is ours; free for the taking. The gift of Christ will bring endless joy and satisfaction. Every day, every moment, will be a gift, new and exciting and full of joy and love!
Have we taken the opportunity to receive this gift? It cannot be ours unless we receive it! Christmas is a great time to open this gift! Have we received these gifts and put them on the shelf by failing to spend time with God and study His Word?
The beauty of Christmas is not in the presents but in His presence!