Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Christmas List

Proverbs 18:16 A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

      Someone said, "I think as you grow older your Christmas list gets shorter, because the things that you want can't be bought."
      We have a small tradition at our family gatherings during Christmas, Thanksgiving and all major feasts. Before we eat, we all take turns sharing something we are most grateful for in our lives. On some occasions, the enthusiasm of this blessed family fun time has caused another go-around when exclamations of' "Oh, oh, I have something else I'm grateful for," and declarations of gratitude are offered up to heaven as a sweet and honest prayer. 1 Thes. 5:18 Give thanks in every circumstance, because this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
      
      I sit there at the table smiling and listening like a patriarch of the family and I become so blessed to hear all the good reports and expressions of gratitude coming forth so freely. What a gift of life this joyful experience is. It cannot be bought at a big-box store or a specialty shop. It can only come from our heavenly Father who also rejoices in the gleeful offerings of thanks. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
      I hear people bemoaning the fact that they have such unfulfilled expectations this time of the year because of all the seasonal hoopla going on. Maybe it is their lists of unreasonable and unattainable gifts they are looking for to bring joy and satisfaction into their lives. Peace of heart cannot be bought with a debit card, it can only be received as a gift from the Prince of Peace. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 
      The newest toys or fashionable garments can be given and received with fun and gratitude, but it will never have the lasting effects of fulfilment that is so often looked for when gifts are exchanged. Be realistic during this time of the year and have the best righteous time you can. Make the blessing of each other and goodwill for each other's lives a must-have on your Christmas wish list. 
      My Christmas list for everyone is the blessing of life I have experienced and am so happy to have. My wife trusts me and I trust her. My sons are loved and are respected citizens. I live in a country with numerous freedoms. I can read and write, plus I have real friends. I live in a law-abiding society and my sons love their parents. 
      God's grace is poured out on me daily. These things that bring meaning to my life cannot be bought or shopped for on anyone's Christmas list that is most often grudgingly gone through just to get it out of the way. No saints, these kinds of gifts are God-given and inspired to bring about the best in each one of us.
      There is no greater gift to mankind than what God the Father did for us through Jesus Christ our Lord. God gave us eternal life if we want it. Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 not of works, lest any man should boast. What an amazing gift Jesus is and he himself is the gift that keeps on giving right into and throughout eternity. All I can say is, "Thank you, Lord God, for your mercies in my life."
      When we, as the blessed people of this earth, start to give each other the gifts that God has given us, we will be ushered into the everlasting presence of the Lord. Prov. 18:16 A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. My Christmas list and wish for everyone are great and marvellous blessings that you will not have room to contain them. May your children call you blessed. May the love in your marriage grow and be a blessing to the rest of your families. 
      May you and your neighbours be a blessing on your street. May you find forgiveness and restoration among your siblings. May your health be the best it has been in years. May you prosper and be generous with all that God has given you. May you all find the real peace you have been looking for in Jesus name. Now, that is a Christmas list if ever I saw one. Merry Christmas everyone and God bless us all.

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