TITLE: A Hard Gift to Give
DATE: January 2, 2020
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Eph. 2:18-20 –ESV --For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
As it is still the Christmas season I can be forgiven for telling a Santa story. (I hope.)
This one begins with the young boy being taken to a busy shopping center to see Santa. After waiting in line for what seemed like an eternity, it was his turn to sit on the fat man's knee. After the usual "ho ho ho's" and "what is your name" questions, the boy was finally asked what it was that he wanted for Christmas.
The little boy had obviously prepared himself for this question, because he answered without hesitation, "So I can share."
SMART LAD. It takes most of us a lot longer in life to figure out that it’s easy to share when you have two of everything.
And how difficult is it to share if you have only have one of something? Ask the Lord that question, He can answer it. That’s because God sent us His only Son as our Savior.
That's the lesson a woman missionary in the South Pacific Islands was explaining to a group of children. She began by trying to explain how our custom of giving gifts at Christmas is a pale reflection of the gift the Lord made in the Person of His Son. .
"Giving gifts," she said, "expresses love and reminds us of the perfect gift of love we received from God: Jesus." Then she explained how all of Jesus’ life was part of that great Gift. As is the case with all such interactions, she spent the next few days debating if she could have done a better job.
She got her answer when a young native boy came to the missionary's side and said, "I love you and want you to have this." He pulled from a straw basket the most beautiful shell the missionary had ever seen.
As she admired its beauty, she recognized it as a special shell only found on the far side of the island, a half day's walk from the village. When confronted by this, the boy smiled and said, "Long walk part of gift!"
He got it.
Every day of Jesus life; every miracle, every teaching, every prophecy fulfilled was part of the gift.
THE PRAYER: Lord Every aspect of Jesus’ living, suffering dying And rising was part of Your gift. Grant that I may offer praise and appreciation for what You have done for me through Him. In Your holy Name I pray it. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html