Five Gifts You Should Give This Christmas
This is a wonderful time of the year. For us, it is a time of being able to be home, of being able to attend services with our own church family, and of being able to buy presents! We love it all, and especially the gifts. I have been thinking lately about five gifts that I want to give this Christmas. Perhaps you can give them too.
- I want to give the gift of the Gospel. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). A Savior. One who rescues us from our sins and from the penalty of our sins. Jesus is the Savior and this Christmas I want to give the gift of the Gospel. “Jesus died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4). I have several neighbors that I have talked with in the past and want to do so again. I know that I am going to meet a lot of people while I am home and I want to speak to each of them. I am going to message some friends via Facebook and twitter. I am going to do my best to give the Gospel this Christmas. Forgiveness. Eternal life. Peace with God. That is a gift I hope many of you will give as well.
- I want to give the gift of peace. This is one I have been thinking about a lot lately. Paul taught the church at Ephesus that one of the ways to be the Christian we ought to be is to endeavor “to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). “The fruit of the Spirit,” he says, “is love, joy, [and] peace” (Galatians 5:22). “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). And one more: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable . . .” (James 3:17). In a time of the year that has become increasingly secularized and busy-as-all-get-out, I want the Holy Spirit to help me to give the gift of peace. I want to handle every situation with calmness and gentleness. I want to respond to people quietly. I want to make things right with anybody whom I have wronged. I want to forgive easily. I want to offer the give of peace. That is another gift I hope many of you will give as well.
- I want to give the gift of joy. “The fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy” (Galatians 5:22). The shepherds, on the night of our Savior’s birth, were told that it was a night of “great joy, which shall be to all people (Luke 2:10). As so many around us live lives filled with complaining and griping and covetousness, I want mine to be different. I want to give a life of joy, as I remember my blessings. I want to be a “bright spot” in an increasingly dark world. I hope you will join me in giving the gift of joy!
- I want to give the gift of gratitude. Paul told the church at Ephesus to give “thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). Gratitude is one of the identifying marks of a happy and successful believer. I want to have a happy heart that is full of thanks. I want my lips to continually express it. I want to text it and Facebook it and tweet it. I want to send notes of thanks! I want my God to know that I am grateful for His incredible blessings in my life. I want my wife and children to know that I am grateful for them and for all that they do. I want my staff and my friends to as well. I want to have a happy and grateful heart every day. That is a gift worth giving! You should consider giving this gift as well.
- I want to give the gift of presence. Not presents, but presence. My time. My attention. My listening and talking and visiting and investing in people by just being there. James 1:27 says that ‘pure religion . . . is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” I want to put down the phone and be present. I want to ask questions and sincerely discover how people are doing. I want them to know that I care. I want them to know that they are important enough for my undivided attention. I want to give this gift to my wife, my children, and my staff. I want to give it to several older friends who are often lonely. I want to offer it to people in my church and to people who randomly cross my path. Very few of us give this gift anymore. Our ever-present and time-consuming and time-wasting phones have really destroyed this gift. Our self-focused lifestyles have too. Our busyness has contributed to its demise. Still, it is a great gift – a genuine investment in time and communication and care and love. I want to give the gift of presence! I challenge you to do the same.
Thanks for reading,