Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Bleak Midwinter"1 (Lyrics)
When my son was little, he and his brother had an Advent calendar for a month before Christmas. Every day, the boys would open a window and see the picture and verse inside — no chocolate in those days! As Christmas approached, they would inspect, feel, and shake the presents accumulating under the tree, but they knew that they weren't to be opened yet.
On Christmas Eve, I said, "Stephen, tomorrow, you get to open your presents!"
"All of them?" he said, astonished. I can still see the look of utter incredulity on his face!
In his mind, Christmas presents were like the paper windows. He heard my comment, but his understanding was limited. He expected the presents to be opened only one at a time, maybe for days.
Sometimes, we have that mentality, too. We expect God to dole out His resources and love with a stingy hand, as if they were only available bit by bit. On the contrary, God has glorious, unlimited resources.
Ephesians 3:16 – I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 2:9b – No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. (NLT)
Among the gifts that He has prepared are: forgiveness and freedom from guilt, wisdom and knowledge, meaning and purpose, strength and courage — in addition to the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As well as all these, God gives eternal life — a relationship with Him that begins here on earth and guarantees entry into heaven in the life to come, for those in Christ. We can receive all of these gifts at once, here and now — yes, all the presents!
Ephesians 3:20 – Now all glory be to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (NLT)
This phrase is perhaps even more vividly described by the King James Version: "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think".
Are you ready to receive from God's lavish, generous hand?
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your love is bountiful and beyond comprehension. Thank You that as we believe in You and trust You, You make Yourself at home in our hearts, and our roots will go down deep in Your love, so that we can bear fruit that brings joy and glory to You. Through Jesus, Who made this all possible, we pray. Amen.