Friday, December 26, 2014

You are the {ONE who gives good gifts}

My dad and I are up late tonight wrapping presents for my mom.  "This has become a tradition", he says, reminding me that each year he has ended up having my sisters help him finish up the wrapping on Christmas Eve while my mom is asleep upstairs.  He gives me a wide smile as he hands me the presents to look at how he addressed my mom (and himself) on the "to-from" tag tied to the wrapped gifts.  He's so proud.  Witty little phrases and nicknames are written on those tags.  They carry subtle reminders of just how much my parents love each other.

I smile as I think back to what God has been teaching me this past week, these past months.  God is the Giver of every good and perfect gift {James 1:17}.  This is God.  This is His character.

But He wasn't always this to me.

To me, God was the One asking me to give up things, not receive them.  To me, God was limited to giving me spiritual gifts - ones that couldn't possibly be wrapped and underneath a Christmas tree.  I wouldn't have said that my view of Him was limiting, but my lifestyle proved otherwise.

I could easily give material things to others for the sake of sharing the Gospel.  In fact, I actually spent most of my breaks traveling to unreached places in order to do just that.  It was natural for me to travel to drug-trafficking centers in Mexico to give Christmas presents to children in orphanages, so that they might know the goodness and love of the Father.  My summers consist of spending time with vulnerable people, meeting their physical needs and often times giving away time and money so that they can experience the love that comes from God alone.

Yet receiving gifts still seemed to make me uneasy.  I hesitated.

The materialism in America threatened me, and I would do anything to avoid it.  I thought that somehow I would become materialistic if I were to receive gifts without this hesitation.  While my intentions may have been pure, these thoughts revealed my misunderstanding of God and His character.

He is the God who gives gifts to His children.  Just like my physical father, He likes to spoil His beloved people.  He loves us.

This isn't leading to a prosperity gospel; God is not going to bless you materially because of anything you do.  This sort of thing has absolutely nothing to do with us.  This is Him.  This is His character.

He is the God who showers us with His love.  Closeness with Him is better than any material thing, yet material blessings may be a way that God is trying to remind you of His love.

So I am asking God to help me remember His character in all things, and I am thanking Him for the physical and spiritual gifts that He gives.

Rejoice in Him and in the best gift He has ever given us - His Son!  Our Messiah has come, and He is coming again.   

Merry Christmas!

No comments:

Post a Comment