Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
Best Gift Ever!
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Best Gift Ever!

What is the best gift you’ve ever received? Was this special present something you received when you were a child? Or does this memory come from when you were a teen? Maybe your most favorite present came after you became an adult. Whenever you received it, you likely still remember it as the best gift ever!

Some Of My Best Gifts

I remember receiving a very special gift when I was a child. I loved it and sat for hours learning how to play my new ukulele! But one day when I was hanging something on the wall above my bed, I came down right on top of my precious ukulele – and broke it in two. I had forgotten to put the instrument away. So this gift became both a happy and a sad memory.

When I was a teen, my family got a super-cool mini-bike – like a little motorcycle. It was so much fun and made me feel free and grown up. I rode it all over the neighborhood. However, somehow I got myself discombobulated with the mini-bike one day – and ruined my very best, very cool jeans. They were bell-bottoms! So this gift also had both happy and sad memories attached to it.

In college, I received my very own “hot pot” – a plug-in, very small appliance to heat water for cocoa or tea to keep me awake as I studied into the night. But one night, I was so hungry! With nothing in my dorm closet except popcorn kernels and oil, the adventurous side of me decided to use my hot pot to make fresh popcorn and keep the “sleepies” away as I studied. Oh my! Bad decision. Soon, I had fire blasting out the top of my hot pot! Fortunately, I got the fire out before anything was damaged. But yet again – a great gift accompanied with some embarrassing moments became a mixed-bag of memories.

Good Gifts

Over the years, I’ve figured out many times good gifts run alongside difficulties, mistakes, and mishaps. So many good things in this life seem to become tainted by the brokenness of this world. The human family has learned to accept this most of the time. And people obligingly, and sometimes grudgingly, try to make the best of things.

Well, no matter what your age when you remember receiving your best gift ever, God wants to give you His best gift ever this Christmas. Not only does He want to give you more of Jesus, His Son. He also wants to give you peace and joy. In a world that is broken and struggling, that is a wonderful gift to receive.

In Jn. 14:27, Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” God gives “not as the world gives.” His gifts are forever. And they run right alongside the brokenness so common in this life.

Frankly, this fact is a rich blessing. Rather than diminishing gifts from God, the sorrows and losses of life seem to accentuate and emphasize the beauty God has given to help us remember – “I AM with you.” Emmanuel: God With Us.

God’s gifts keep hope alive.

It Starts With A Baby

Christmas has lights, smells, special goodies, surprises and gifts. It also features tender moments, carols, visits from friends and family, and the wonderful nativity story. For children, it’s like magic. Adults who choose to see the “magic” still present join children in awe and wonder. These are the folks that have eyes to see God’s best gift ever.

All these holiday experiences and blessings – and the best gift ever – start with a baby. The best news of all time is wrapped around this precious baby, along with the swaddling clothes. The opportunity to be forgiven of all sins and to live forever is the unthinkable act of God as He packed into that tiny baby – His greatness the universe cannot contain. With ears to hear, the Baby brings glad tidings to anyone who will listen.

When Jesus became a man, He often said, “Whoever has ears to hear.” Jesus also opened blind eyes so people could see. And He healed broken hearts so the crushed in spirit could come alive again and live with hope. He did these things to help people run in His reality alongside the reality of sorrow. Guess what He says. He says, “Behold, I am making all things new!” (Rev. 21:5) All of this together is the best gift ever.

Give Us Christmas – The Best Gift Ever

Because God’s timing to complete His promise – all things made new – has not yet come, life is a mixed bag right now. The good gifts fill our lives alongside the sufferings. The knowledge of these good gifts in our tainted environment is the “happy-sad” state we live each day in. But this is not a hopeless condition. It is pregnant with hope, just as the virgin was pregnant with a Savior.

The Baby Jesus has come, and He gives us Christmas. He gives Himself – the best gift ever. From the manger to the cross to the empty tomb – the man, Jesus, continues to give the best gift ever. His dear presence in our loneliness, His intimate friendship in our sadness, His wisdom and counsel in our confusion, His healing for our broken hearts – this is all part of the gift.

The Man Jesus is yet to come back to earth to bring a reality where everything will be new. There will be no mixed bag. The good will not run alongside the disappointments. There will be no sadness. In fact, it will be like having Christmas all the time.

Christmas reminds that more gifts from God’s dimension are coming. Christmas gives hope. If you struggle with stress, depression, sadness, illness, or fatigue, Christmas is a promise of hope.

It’s Time To Receive Your Gift

Even with losses, why not make choices to receive the Baby who promised to make all things new?

Did that Baby lie? I doubt it. That holy child changed everything forever for anyone who believes. Why not Reach Back to God with all your heart. Lean into Him in deeper faith.

It’s time for a warm cup of cheer, seasoned with God’s comfort and encouragement. Drink from God’s cup! Let Him refresh you every day. Open up and let Him quench thirsts in your hidden, inner heart. Joy. Cheer. Celebration spiced with hope. A Baby is born to help bear all your burdens.

A Baby gives you Christmas!

 

“Baby – You give us Christmas. You give us Your very life.

Then, You add in freedom, peace, joy, wisdom, and hope.

Baby – You truly are the best gift ever. Thank you!”

 

Application Thoughts and Questions

  1. Did you identify your best gift ever? Were you a child? A teen? A grown up?
  2. Have you opened your heart to receive God’s peace even in the middle of your difficulties?
  3. Ask God to give you ears that hear and eyes that see more of His incredible gifts to you every day.
  4. Draw close to Jesus this Christmas. Enjoy His presence by faith. Why not share your heart with Him.

 

Jesus is the best gift ever . . . that anyone can receive!

 

 

 

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