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The Gift that Lasts

The Gift that Lasts

“Give the gift for all seasons...the gift that says you care all year long...the ideal gift — a pleasure each month.” Such phrases are designed to promote the idea of a Christmas gift delivered each month during the coming year; perhaps a magazine, candy, a flower arrangement, fruit, or some other welcome present, as a reminder of your thoughtfulness. The concept is good. And not only does the one who receives the gift benefit, but also the giver. As one advertiser so aptly stated: “No crowds, no driving, no slush, no hassle, no returns.” Yes, a gift that lasts all year is a twelve-fold kindness and an easy way to shop. No matter how you do your Christmas shopping, your gifts should be first of all an expression of love.

The first Christmas was a truly lasting gift, one of infinite love. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son...” — the Son who came into this world to be our Savior. This marvelous, priceless gift of salvation, which began in a manger in Bethlehem and was completed on Calvary's cross, is a lasting gift, given not only for those living in that day, but for everyone born since then, and everyone yet to be born. The gift is for everyone, just as the angel told the shepherds that night so long ago: “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” No one is excluded, and yet some refuse to accept God's wonderful gift of salvation.

For the most part, the gifts we give to one another are not lasting. Either they are consumed, deteriorate, or become outdated. Thus their value does not increase. But God's gift not only is eternal, but becomes more precious with the passing of time. The joyful knowledge of sins forgiven is but the first step in a new life as a child of God. The more we grow in the Christian life, the more blessings He is able to entrust to us. Peace in the midst of turmoil, patience in trials, comfort in sorrow — all these and much more can be ours when we reach out with hands of faith to receive God's gift of salvation. The gift goes on and on until finally the presence of Jesus abiding with us here results in our abiding in His presence eternally.

May the gifts you give this Christmas Season remind you of the gift of love God offers you. No gift was ever planned for so long, chosen with such care, or purchased at so great a price — the death of the Son of God. Then may the gifts you receive remind you that God is waiting for you to accept His gift. He wants you to enjoy all the blessings and benefits that He has in store for His children. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.”


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