Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas is All About the Gifts !!

Christmas is all about the Gifts !! 
Okay, have I shocked you ?  Just when you got the message 'its NOT about the gifts' ?   
Hear me out and I think you will agree... Christmas IS about the gifts!  
The problem is not our focus on 'gifts' at Christmas time, it is focusing on the WRONG kind of gifts. 
Christmas gift giving is sometimes reduced to giving and receiving out of duty or  expectation, although much gift giving at this season of celebration is focused on giving to those who are needy, and giving to those we love in expectation of their appreciative and happy response!  

It is a special delight to watch someone open a gift you have chosen with thoughtful care and see their expression of surprise and happiness!   
Speaking as a grandmother,  I look forward all year to giving my grand girls those gifts that will cause them the greatest joy!  
It would be a great sorrow to me if my grand girls would either reject my gifts or not even bother to open them !   I cannot even imagine !   
And yet .. the very best gifts, the ones that Christmas IS all about, ARE often rejected or left unopened.  
That must leave the Gift Giver heart broken !   
I wrote a little acrostic, using the word Christmas to list the gifts that have been gift wrapped in Jesus and inscribed with our name.  
C -   Charity  - the greatest gift of Christmas is LOVE .. Not just the feelings of love, but an expression of love in action. The very 'giving' of God's only Son to come show us the way.  The Greek word for 'charity'  carries a meaning of 'love feast' and that is God's invitation -- to come to His love feast -  the invitation delivered in person by His Son! (John 3:16)
H -  Healing -  Jesus brought 'healing in His wings' --  our healing, spiritual, emotional, and physical.  (Acts 4:30)
R -  Righteousness -   Jesus gave to us His righteousness - to clothe us so we can come acceptable to God,  entering into His presence,  clean and holy !  (Rom. 5:17)
I -  Image  -  even as Jesus came in the image of God - so He gave us the gift of  His Spirit to change us, little by little to also be formed in the image of God -- to look like and walk even as Jesus did !  (II Cor. 3:18)
S - Salvation  -  Oh.. we long to be free - and Christmas brought us that freedom - Accepting this gift of Christmas saves us from our sin , from darkness, from the enemy and  eternal condemnation! (Acts 4:12)
T - Truth  -  what a gift this is !  To have, to hear, to know the TRUTH .. Jesus is the Truth and in Him is all Truth.  We have but to listen to His Words and accept them.
(John 8:32)
M - Mercy  -  what a beautiful gift this is.  When we are guilty or bowed down with care or sin,  instead of rebuking words we are gifted with mercy.  The gift of comfort, understanding, forgiveness and encouragement to walk worthy of Him.  (Heb. 4:16)
A -  Armour - The 'armour of God'  -  what a practical gift this is!  Providing the  protection, the enabling we need so we can live a victorious life in the midst of darkness and chaos and threat of the enemy!   (Eph. 6:11)
S - Supply - a gift that just keeps on giving.   God has gifted us with a supply for all our needs - everyday for the rest of our life!   The supply that never runs out, because it comes from God's personal heavenly riches !  (Phil. 4:19)

A beautiful aspect of Jesus' gifts to us are that they are meant to be shared, as scripture says.... "Freely you have received, freely give !"  (Matt. 10:8)

I wish you all a wonderfully blessed Christmas , and a New Year 'without lack' - 
May you enjoy every God-given gift and rejoice in sharing them with others !!   


Sandy said...

You have a Blessed Christmas with your family, too, Julie...
Love from NC

ellen b. said...

A lovely list of so many gifts we receive!

Betty said...

I love this post Julie. Keeping it all in perspective..the best gift of all!

Anneliese said...

We watched the Nativity Story tonight and I think of what the Shepherd said .. we have each been given a gift .. it hit me in a new way... Jesus IS Gods gift to us. Like you say, how said to not accept the gift we have been given.
I will have to go through your acrostic as I close my eyes tonight.

Lovella ♥ said...

Beautiful Julie. You truly wrap your love into each gift you give. We've seen it time and time again. I can imagine your family must feel so loved.
The acrostic is a wonderful way to remember all the gifts God gives us and especially now at Christmas time.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What a great post, Julie! Freely I have received...freely I can share.

Kathy said...

Lovely list wonderful that we have received the best gift. It's in receiving and then opening and 'using' This Gift that we will experience the wonder of it all.

Marg said...

What a wonderful post Julie...I will take that list and add it to my New Year's Favorites reminding me of the who God really is and what he gives to all of us so freely.
May you feel 'His Gifts' throughout the New Year 2014!