Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (KJV)
One Christmas in my youth, I received an artist's easel, a pad of large newsprint paper the exact size needed for the easel, and water colours, complete with brushes. This gift was likely expensive and would have given me hours of enjoyment if only I had appreciated and used the gift. Due to my own pigheadedness, I missed out on what would have been time shared with my busy artist father while he gave me watercolour lessons. Since I didn't get what I wanted, I pouted, never thinking how my reaction would disappoint my father. Maybe if I'd been a couple of years older and a whole lot wiser, I'd have realized how much I could have learned from him if only I'd appreciated what I received. If I'd been born today, my dad could have returned it on Boxing Day.
Likewise, God offered humanity a gift on the first Christmas — Jesus the Messiah — but so many people turn away. They don't appreciate God's free gift. Our Lord was born to save His people — all people of every time and place — from our penchant to mess up, causing all sorts of mayhem and disaster. But that same penchant to mess up causes us to turn away from Him. How sad!
The gift of spending eternity with those we love, the many who've gone before us, and with our friend and rescuer, Jesus, is totally priceless. Our assurance of this gift comes from none other than God the Father, who never regrets giving, and has nothing shadowy or turn-coat about Him. The old hymn, Great is Thy faithfulness by Thomas O. Chisholm states this so perfectly.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee:
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
Because He's God, He cannot step out of character. He is God, and He can only be faithful, steadfast, and compassionate forever. So we can be assured, certain that when we receive Jesus Christ, we have received God's ultimate gift to us.
If you've not done so, why not pray this prayer with us today?
Prayer: Father God, there's no way that I deserve Your compassion, faithfulness, and love, yet You've promised me just that. Forgive me for the many times in the past when I've turned away from You and rejected Your gift. Today, I accept Your free gift, Jesus Christ, as my rescuer and friend, now and for all eternity. Amen.
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Thanks for a good word today Cass.
Thanks so much. Speaks to me in a Big way!
Thanks so much, Cassandra, for a wonderful devotion today.
Thanks, Cassandra, for reminding us of the wonderful gift we have been given.
Thanks, Cass, for the inspiring words. You are using the canvas, just not for drawing.
Cassandra, thank you for the wonderful reminder of the greatest gift we will ever receive. May you have many blessings come your way.
I just read (and was blessed by) your recent publication in PresbyCan, The Unappreciated Christmas Gift.
Thank you for your reminder of our Heavenly Fathers faithfulness. It is so easy to forget when we wrap ourselves in sorrow or other earthly things.
Thank you for writing. A good reminder for us to be ever appreciative of the wonderful gifts our Lord so freely gives us.
Blessings as you enjoy this Advent season.
Thank you for exploring the meaning of ‘gift’ with us in the context of Christmas, Cass. The great thing is that God has forgiven us for our past, reminding us to forgive ourselves and accept His forgiveness. We can never reach the bottom of God’s love. Thank you for accepting the inspiration that God continually gives to you as His dear child.
Thank you for this devotional. So very true and how I regret the years wasted because I didn’t realize what a gift I was being offered. Thankfully, God waited for me to ‘smarten’ up!!!
Wow, that is a good old song too, remember singing it in my younger days.
God bless and Merry Christmas.
Your message comes with perfect timing as l struggle with things that have happened recently in my life and why God allowed them. So thank you for this message and God bless you.
Good morning Cass,
Read your devotional this morning. In the Netherlands we got a gift when St. Nicholas came on December 5th. You and I have completely different reactions to a similar gift. And as we know the greatest gift is Christ the Lord.
Thank you for writing and wish you and yours a very blessed Christmas and a happy New year.
Sorry about that paint urge that just didn’t fit in time. But God is faithful and can right mistakes in his time and in his way.
May God bless you with all that is good, love for your father, love for our Father in heaven who is always active in the earth. May we appreciate all that is good in any way, especially to the encouragement of persons to receive Jesus and live Jesus’ WAY – he whom we adore Forever.
The blessings of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to you and to all those with whom you associate.
Amen. Keep writing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. I am just re-reading it, enjoying it, and its message again.
It’s like a spirit-filled arrow, through the heart of the shopping-mall-Christmas. Thank you for your writing and sharing.