What is the best gift you ever received? Christmas of course is all about receiving.
Yes, you heard me correctly……receiving. Bah humbug with this giving stuff!
I can vividly remember the best gift I ever received. I was a little girl, probably about 7 or 8 years old. We were celebrating Christmas at my home and my aunt brought over this large wrapped package for me. (I’m not ashamed to proclaim that I was her favorite.) I was so excited to unwrap this gift. My aunt Barb always gave the best gifts.
I unwrapped the large box and saw the most beautiful Barbie doll I’ve ever seen sitting inside waiting to be opened.
My aunt bought me a Barbie Ice Skating Princess that came complete with her own rink. She could twirl and spin and looked oh so gorgeous in her pink sparkly costume with a crown adorning her head. My aunt was notorious for taking me to see Stars on Ice every year when they came to town. Ice-skating was kind of our thing. So naturally, as a little girl, this Barbie was everything I wanted to be; a beautiful princess who could dance on the ice. She was graceful, magical, and perfect in every way.
I couldn’t tell you what gifts I received last year or the year before, but I distinctly remember opening the Barbie Ice Princess over 27 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Fast forward to 2016, with 4 kids in our home, Christmas-time has quickly become a season all about giving.
We scramble around trying to find the perfect gifts for our children; gifts so special that they will create lasting memories and resemble the same significance of my Barbie so many years ago. Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles all want to know what perfect gift they can buy my kids. I drive myself crazy during this time of year. I know most of you can relate, especially since we are getting down to Holiday crunch time.
It’s been imbedded into our culture, that during the holiday season, we should focus on giving.
Hear me clearly when I tell you that giving is a good thing. The Bible specifically tells us that we should give what we are able and with a glad heart. But, in the midst of the giving season and the hustle and bustle of buying for others we get consumed with our desire to impress the receiver. It’s so easy to get lost in the expectations of being a perfect giver, the fancy cookies, sparkly decorations, Christmas parties, egg nog, the volunteering, hosting relatives, traveling, working, caring for our children who are off their normal routine, and managing the budget, that we lose focus on the fact that the perfect gift has already been given by the perfect giver.
God has given us His Son who has offered us salvation; and all we have to do is receive it.
Wow, what a gift! And with this gift, God has given his sons and daughters the authority to wear a crown so beautiful it makes my Barbie Ice Princess look dull.
John 1:11-12 says He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
I encourage you to take some time right now, in the middle of the Christmas chaos to acknowledge what this gift means in your life.
I encourage you to take a breath, and put yourself into a posture of receiving God’s love. Relax, allow grace to overflow, lift your head up and open your arms wide. It’s interesting that the same posture we use to receive God’s love is the same posture we use to give love away.
If you have not received this promised gift of salvation, I pray that you may open your heart this Christmas season to the possibilities of believing in His name. Romans 10 says that when you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your hearts that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
This precious gift of eternal life has been offered freely to you. After all, God does give the best gifts.
And once you receive it, you can unashamedly proclaim that you are His favorite, crown and all.