The beaming bride-to-be sat on the round ottoman opening presents. Surprises awaited to fill her new home. As the wrapping fell to the floor, Sophie discovered new items thoughtfully picked out by family and friends. The macramé table runner from Lisa. A colorful apron reflecting the generosity of Annette. A Shark vacuum from Peter’s sisters. A marble rolling pin from Carol to make cookies. The list goes on; each gift was specially chosen to bless Sophie and Peter.
As these items make their way into the Gomez household, both Sophie and Peter will remember the givers as they enjoy the gifts. Presents remind us of the people who give them to us.
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus received gifts from traveling men. These gifts reflected their givers as well. Wise men brought carefully picked presents to give to Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were perfect gifts for Jesus, the King of Kings. I wonder if Mary and Joseph pictured these generous men whenever they saw the gold in their home? I wonder if they remembered the gift-givers each time they smelled the aroma of the frankincense and myrrh?
Do all good gifts remind you of the Giver?
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
How often do you thank our Triune God for the blessings He has given to you?
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3
When you think of God, do you reflect upon Him sending His one and only Son as a present to earth for humankind?
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
When you think of Jesus, do you contemplate the salvation His sacrificial present provides us from our sinful state?
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
What stirs within you when you realize God does not necessarily give you what you want but gives you just what you need?
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Romans 5:15-17
When you think of the Holy Spirit, do you embrace Jesus reassuring words that we would receive a Helper, Advocate, and Guide from heaven?
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:25
Can you think of a time you had to wait for a special gift?
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. Acts 1:4
I love this time of year when we take time to imitate the King of Kings and give gifts to one another to celebrate Jesus’ birth. When you think of Jesus, do you think of God, the gift-giver?
Before entering this gift-giving season, begin with gratitude. Thank God for His generous presents: grace, love, eternal life, the Bible, His faithful presence and peace, spiritual blessings, good things to enjoy and share, spiritual gifting, etc.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 1 Corinthians 12:4
Practice ABC Praise to thank God for who He is, for His character, for His goodnesses. It is actually better than counting sheep when you can’t sleep or bidding time when stuck in traffic. Begin with A and move through Z, thanking God by proclaiming His names, His qualities, and His blessings.
The presents we receive from God reflect who He is: Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Friend, Judge, Father, Healer, Shepherd, Forgiver, Reconciler, Provider, Abiding Presence, etc. Reflect on who the Giver is and the abundant gifts He bestows upon us.
What kinds of presents will you give in the next two months? Will you intentionally choose gifts to bless the recipient? Consider God’s gift to humanity in Jesus. God gave us what we needed. What are the needs of those for whom you will select presents? In what ways can you engage thoughtfully with their needs? Sure, it might incur more time to be thoughtful about the gift, but remember that God patiently took a few thousand years to prepare the present of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Give thanks as you remember the presents of God in your life.
Be thoughtful this season as the presents you will share can reflect your character, your God-given qualities, and your relationship with the recipient. Follow God’s example and let the presents you give reflect you, the giver.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.
R. Kevin Seasoltz. God’s Gift Giving: In Christ And Through The Spirit. New York, NY. 2007.
Alan Vermile. It’s a Wonderful Life Study Guide: A Bible Study Based on the Christmas Classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Brown Chair Books. 2019.