12/18/19 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Just seven more days until countless children (and maybe some young-at-heart adults) will be waking up early in the morning to see if their dreams, their expectations, and yes, even their wishes have been fulfilled.
Even though Judy would always make Christmas a fun time around our house, the gifts we gave to our kids were so different than the gifts God gives to His kids. I remember Judy making this huge Raggedy Ann doll for Heather one Christmas. Even though Judy made this gift herself, even though she made it with love, she had to purchase supplies from others to make it.
God not only makes the gifts, He is the source of the gifts…. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
At Christmas I would be the one to help the kids get the cookies and milk ready for Santa. Then I would be the one that would eat the cookies and drink the milk that we got ready for Santa! I would also be the one that would sign Santa’s name to the gifts for Judy and the kids. Matter of fact, for Judy, things have not changed; she still receives gifts from Santa every Christmas!
Although I pretended to be Santa, over time the kids realized that although I was the one who gave the gifts, I was not the Santa that they had imagined. That is so unlike God in that He is not pretending to be anything He is not. He said…. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
The gifts I gave to my kids without exception were either repaired, replaced or rejected over time. But God’s gifts only get better…. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
This month in my blogs, we have seen 13 gifts from God that are available to be opened any time of the day, available 7 days a week, accessible anytime we need them. So today, just seven days away from Christmas, we are going to add 6 more gifts that can be placed under our Christmas tree.
Do you ever feel like you are out of control? Maybe it is a situation that you are trying to work through, it might be trying to raise your children or grandchildren, or for you, life might have just hit you with something you never saw coming. That never happens with God, He is always in control of everything. So here are our gifts that God gives us for our enjoyment and fulfillment.
God’s Control – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Remember back in the day when you were dating your spouse? I still remember Judy pursuing me, although for some reason Judy remembers it differently!! Nevertheless, did you know that God pursues you too?
God’s Pursuit – Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6
For me the highlight of Christmas is being able to surprise Judy with something she needs or really wants. I believe the same is true of God; He delights to give us the things we need and often desire.
God’s Delight – Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
I had a good friend of mine lose his wife to cancer. He and his wife are about the same age as Judy and me so my heart aches for him in his loss but also to think that it could just as easily been me that experienced the loss. To lose a close friend or a spouse can be devastating, but to lose God…. well that will never happen.
God’s Presence – And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. John 14:16
The older I get the earlier I find myself wanting to go to bed at night. When you get exhausted from life’s battles we have a gift from God we can open up. It is called…
God’s Rest – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
I went to a boarding school when I was in high school which was about 90 minutes from my home. That meant that every home basketball, baseball and soccer game or every cross country meet, or school play that I was involved in, my parents drove 3 hours round trip to come and watch me. I cannot think of a time when my parents ever missed one of my games. They were always there to cheer me on.
Can I remind you that God is always there to cheer you on in your game of life. God is there on the side lines to encourage us to give our all, He is running beside us giving us words of encouragement so that we do not quit the race. Our 6th gift this week is…
God’s Applause – The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
Many gifts will be given away over the next few days. Don’t make the mistake that many do and live for the good gifts at the expense of the greater gifts. Get your fulfilment from God’s gifts, those gifts that keep giving all year long!