Listen to this devotional:
Matthew 7:11 – If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (NIV)
Most of us are getting caught up right now in the hype of Christmas giving. We've probably got lists, and stores to shop. We may have been searching online and getting things delivered to our home. We all want to buy something nice for our families and friends so that we can enjoy watching them being glad as they receive our gifts. It's the "Ah!" factor that we're looking for in a gift. We want to feel as though we've chosen the perfect gift, the best gift, the most wonderful gift for the loved ones in our lives.
And yet, no matter how pretty we make the bows, choose the wrapping, or pay for these gifts, they last only a little while. There's no gift that lasts forever — despite what the merchants and manufacturers may tell us. All the gifts that are given at Christmas 2006 will eventually fade, fail, and turn to dust. Many of them will end up in a Goodwill store at some time. And in the end, all of them will become part of a landfill, never to be remembered, never to be repaired or replayed.
Perhaps you're thinking that I'm sounding like Ebenezer Scrooge, taking all the fun out of Christmas! That's not what I'm writing. I'm trying to remind us that there are eternal gifts which time cannot wear out and people cannot destroy. There are the gifts of faith, hope, and love which come from our Father in heaven, and are brought to us by Jesus each Christmas, and all year long. Those gifts are everlasting — and more important than any Elmo, X-box, or expensive item we may buy for our loved ones. For, to paraphrase a scriptural verse, what's the point of giving people everything for Christmas, if it adds nothing to their soul?
This Christmas, as well as the plethora of gifts, let's also take time to write letters and cards to go along with them to tell the story of Christ and express our faith in Jesus. For no matter what or how much we give, a gospel message is the greatest gift we can give to all whom we love.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, this is the sacred time of Your everlasting joy when all the earth proclaims Your holy coming. This Christmas, help us to let others know who You are in our lives and how much Your love means to us. Perhaps, Lord, if we are sincere and genuine about expressing our faith, that same, simple and everlasting gift of the gospel will take hold in their hearts, too. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.