Jump Start # 2981
2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”
We are nearing the day of Christmas. The stores are filled with people shopping. The delivery trucks are busy going up and down the streets dropping off things ordered on-line. Trying to find that right gift is hard. Some people are easy to shop for. Others, it’s a real challenge.
With that in mind, here are some things to consider.
First, have you thought about all the things God gives you? The list is long. We’d begin with today, that is a gift. We expect it and go to bed at night assuming that the morning will come and there will be another day. One day will be the last day. Today is a gift.
The way God made you is a gift. He has sprinkled talent in you that is uniquely you. Some have an ear for music, that’s a gift. Some can draw, that’s a gift. Some are athletic, that’s a gift. Some are fixers, that’s a gift. All of us have been given talent by God. Sometimes we’d like to have someone else’s talent. I’d like to have an ounce of my wife’s musical ability. We are made uniquely by God. We all have talent. He made you just the way you are.
Second, God has put people in your life. Sometimes these people may annoy us, but they are there. It may be for our benefit that they are in our lives. There may be some lessons we need to learn from them. And, I expect there are times when God is using us to help them. People that enrich us, encourage us, help us and make us be a better us. The gift of fellowship and friendship.
Third, the greatest gift is salvation. Don’t take that for granted. God doesn’t owe us that. He doesn’t have to save us. It is His choice, His love that drives Him to do that. Our salvation came with an incredible cost—the blood of Jesus Christ. Without that, there would be no salvation. Our verse states that this gift is indescribable. It’s beyond words. There is nothing to compare it to. It’s the best. It’s the greatest. It is something that we could not do for ourselves. It is something that only God could provide. Realizing this gift, as our verse states, one becomes thankful. Thanks be to God for our salvation. Without this, we are lost. Without this all is doom.
Gifts that could not be purchased in any store. Gifts that we could not provide for ourselves. Gifts from Heaven.
Before we leave this idea of gifts, let us turn to ourselves. Sweaters, watches, cool socks are all nice gifts but in time those things wear out and are tossed away. How about gifts that can change someone’s heart, their way of life, their destiny. Here are a few ideas:
· The gift of God’s word. Give a Bible. Bibles are expensive these days and there are so many different styles and versions and covers. Think about a Bible for your child. Inscribe the date on the inside. Teach him how to take care of that Bible. Sit down with him and show him things you have learned. Have him bring his Bible to services. Your first Bible is a big deal.
· The gift of videos from the Bible lands. Appian media has several series that brings to life what the Bible lands look like. They have a series designed for children. Find time to sit down and watch these together. Talk about them and share insights. Going to the Bible lands is expensive and hard. Not everyone can do that. But through modern technology the Bible lands can be brought to us.
· The gift of your time. Gifts don’t always have to be store bought. Carve out an afternoon for your grandchild—just the two of you. Have somethings in mind, such as teaching her how to cook or how to use tools or how to identify trees. Lots of opportunities to sprinkle life values in those moments. I expect decades from now, that child will remember that day much more than any toy you bought them.
· The gift of legacy. Take an afternoon with your grown child and talk about your family history. Get out old photos and letters. Show the family tree. You might even take a trip to some old cemeteries, or drive by houses that you once lived in. Knowing where you came from and the history of the family is important. In this, tell the spiritual and religious history of the family. This can make a lasting impression.
Giving gifts is special. It’s an indication of our love for others. It’s a wonderful occasion to make a lasting difference.