BIG, expensive gifts this Christmas?

 

giftsI love giving gift at Christmas. I’m not all that good at it, but it is fun to try. Bev, my late wife, was the a master of gifting! She never just went shopping to  ‘get a gift.’   She thought about the person and gave things she thought would delight that person.  Here are some tips on bringing joy and blessings to others this Christmas.

  1. Make it personal. A few years ago, my son Sean created a ‘book’ in which he shared ways that I had been a good Dad. It’s a gift that holds value, years after the giving. The best gifts don’t come from Amazon, do they?
  1. Give yourself. Time is the most valuable commodity we have.  It’s easier to write a check than it is to offer someone ourselves. In the year since Bev went home to Heaven, my life has been enriched by so many who take time to talk, who offer hugs, who send a note, write a Facebook message. Those little gifts have steadied me in the anguish. So, give yourself! Make an offer of a night of babysitting for a young couple. Offer to spend an evening with an elderly person who is alone. Sit on the floor with a 4 year old and give her your full attention while she tells her stories.
  1. Enhance the value of another. Pay somebody a sincere compliment and watch them light up.  Write a paragraph that tells somebody how her life makes the world a better place.  Tell them they are a great Mom, or an inspiring Christian, or a super-listener, or a hard worker, or… you’re getting the idea, right?  Use the gift of words to speak blessings into the life of another. Critics abound. Go against the stream and speak words that build up.
  1. Sacrifice without seeking notice! Find out a way to take care of a need for somebody, then do it anonymously, if possible. Few things bring me greater joy than hearing about a need and taking steps to meet it, whether that’s putting the person in touch with somebody who can help, writing a check to put some gas in their car, or praying earnestly. When we give from our own need, God blesses that kind of sacrifice.

    Remember the widow that put a penny in the offering?  The Lord told His disciples, she gave more than the rich guys who gave out of their abundance. In our giving, be it to God or others, Jesus reminds us, “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. … Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.” (Matthew 6:1, 4 The Message)

Personal, engaged, other-centered, unselfish – who taught me those things?  The One whose Gift inspires this Season. The Word says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NLT)  He gave Himself, for us, at great cost.

My prayer is that we will be changed by His gift and then, from the richness of grace poured into us, become people who give the best gifts.

Here’s a word from the Word. “There is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:15-17, NLT)

________________

How Many Kings

Follow the star to a place unexpected.
Would you believe after all we’ve projected?
A child in a manger,
Lowly and small, the weakest of all.
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in His mother’s shawl,
Just a child
Is this who we’ve waited for ’cause.

 How many kings stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

 Bringing out gifts for the newborn Savior,
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe,
Gold for His honor and frankincense for His pleasure
And myrrh for the cross He’ll suffer.
Do you believe
Is this who we’ve waited for? 

How many kings stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me, oh,
All for me, all for you.

Jason Germain | Marc Martel © 2006 Centricity Music Publishing (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)

Germain and Martel Publishing (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)

CCLI License # 810055

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