For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Gods love for us is incredible! Thank you Father God for sending your son and thank you Jesus for dying for us. May all come to experience the gift of knowing you and the love you have for us.
I love Christmas time, it's so heart warming and wonderful. People are more open and friendly. It's a time to give and receive. A time to celebrate and remember our precious Savior and the reason he came. This Christmas season I've already received so many wonderful gifts from my Heavenly Daddy. I'd like to share a few of them with you because I'm so excited of how much our Father loves us.
The first gift, is the gift of Contentment. (Philippians 4:11-13) I am content and very happy with my life. I've been happy, don't get me wrong but the feeling that comes with being content is different. I have all that I need. He is enough for me and I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength. The desire for more, bigger or better is not there and instead there is peace and an overwhelming joy. My one and only focus and priority is to please my God. Joni being in a wheelchair for many years was able to understand this, so I know all of us can too.
"I realized that the stakes were far greater, far more immense and cosmic than merely my satisfaction with a wheelchair and its unpleasant baggage. I shifted my focus on God. His glory was at stake, and that made my satisfaction in Him (not satisfaction with 'the way things were') the real issue. It was no longer a matter of being content with His plan for my life; it was a matter of finding Him utterly and supremely the source of ALL contentment. This, much to my delight, would give Him the greatest glory." Joni Eareckson Tada
The second gift is Gratitude. Deep, sincere thanksgiving from the heart. I feel so overwhelmingly thankful for my life. My past, present and future, my wonderful husband, amazing kids, the ability to be home with my children and see them grow up day by day. This beautiful state, our friends and family, our home, the country we live in and the list goes on and on. I started to write three things down in my journal, that I'm thankful for everyday and before we pray in the evening we try to go around as a family and do that too. Practicing this has helped me realize, how much we truly do have to be thankful for. Instead of focusing and only thinking about what we still "need" or want.
Giving is the third gift. I love to give. We did Operation Christmas Child with the kids a few weeks ago, I teared up seeing my kids so excited to give to children who might not have ever gotten a gift before. Life gets busy sometimes and we forget about being intentional givers, or we don't take the time to look around to notice the needs of others. Sometimes I feel like we need to have a lot, in order to make it count. But the more I pray about it the more I realize that it's about being sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit.
I was taking the kids to class the other day and felt I should bring some Bliss Bars I made earlier, to share with their teacher. I was on the verge of being late and was hesitant on whether I should take time to package them up for her or just do it in another day. But I strongly felt I had to take some today, so I did. When I dropped the kids off, I handed her the plate and she told me that, right before we came she was hoping someone would bring her something for tea because she didn't have anything and that my Bliss Bars were perfect timing. How awesome is that!? I made someone's 'tea' time by obeying! Also, we were not late because while I was getting the plate ready, my oldest took charge and got everyone buckled in the car and ready to go. That isn't always the case but still, how amazing is our God to notice and care about all of us, even such little things. To me that says he really cares and loves each and every one of his children so much! Nothing we give is too small and he will provide what we need to do it.
I have another story I'd like to share; this happened to a youth pastor from our church. He was on his daily morning routine when he noticed a homeless man sitting on the pier with a broken ankle. He walked up to the man, said hello and asked him if he was ok. The man said he was fine. So pastor went on and got his coffee, but instead of going back to the car the Holy Spirit led him to ask the man if he needed anything. He asked if he can pray for him and the man agreed. Then he asked if he could do anything else for him and the man said yes, he needed a ride to the place he lost his watch the other night. Pastor drove him there and helped him look for it. They looked for almost an hour and couldn't find it, so pastor took off his watch and gave it to the homeless man. After that they sat down and talked together and in the end the homeless man received Christ. Praise God!! Isn't that amazing?! But that's not the end of the story a couple of months later, word came around to the youth pastor that the homeless man had died.
God needed someone to listen and obey that day. Pastor headed to the Holy Spirit, he gave of his time and heaven gained another soul into the kingdom. My prayer is for us all to learn, to hear, obey and give when God is leading us, may it be as little as making someone's tea or as big as leading someone to Christ.
The fourth and last gift I want to write about is my favorite. The gift of Prayer. I can't live without it, I don't know how to. The kids and I do worship and intersession just about every morning and it's the highlight of our day. Jesus was born into this world to teach us how to live, he then had to die in order for us to be reconciled with God. I am so thankful for the ability to run to him, for anything, anytime, day or night. He is always there and is faithful to answer us when we seek him. The privilege of being in the presence of God is better then anything this world has to offer.
There are many, many more wonderful gifts Jesus gave us, when he came to this world. I am so thankful that he came! I hope you can accept and receive the gifts God has to offer us not just during Christmas but always.
What gifts are you thankful for this season? If anyone has a testimony or a story to share please do. I Love hearing your stories. Thank you for reading this. Merry Christmas!!!