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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

December 11, 2012

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,

Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.

If you have no penny, a hay-penny will do,

And if you have no hay-penny, then God bless You.”

This is from an old children’s song that I used to enjoy on my record player, from my childhood.  Generosity is paramount and highlighted this time of the year.  People are more apt to donate to the needy or to organizations that support the needy and homeless.  As you find yourself in the spirit of giving, always be sure to research the organization that you are considering, as there are many schemers out there.

There are so many people, so many families, that are experiencing grueling struggles this year.  Unemployment is at an all time high, and no one truly knows the true numbers of the unemployed and struggling, because our system cannot possibly keep up with those who have over-extended their unemployment resources and thusly, those unfortunate souls have fallen off the grid.  The present unemployment percentage is truly just a fraction of those actually struggling with hopelessness and disgrace.  Millions of homes are in foreclosure or have been foreclosed upon already, and this trend will continue to worsen as our country’s economy continues to slowly crumble.

Why do I bring up Christmas and then dash all such joyous thoughts with information on our poverty-stricken countrymen (and women)?  Because, this Christmas should be spent, in my opinion, soberly contemplating the gift that we did not deserve, but were given, that some still have denied.  The Creator of Heaven and Earth, descended to the Earth, through a miraculous and truly unbelievable, but true virgin birth.  Jesus’ humble beginnings can be a reminder that it doesn’t take much to survive.  A warm bed and three decent meals a day are all we truly need to sustain us, everything else is not actually necessary, aside from love.

Through out Jesus’ ministry, He had no place to call home.  He traveled light, but made the most incredible impact any one man has ever made.  And then, fully knowing and expressing His fate to His followers, He tarried on, sharing the love of Our Father through miracles and teachings- wonderful stories that we are able to enjoy, to this day, as found in the Holy Bible.

He encouraged His followers,  not to turn a blind eye to the needy.  Even before He arrived on the scene, the Hebrews were instructed to care for the widows, the orphans and the homeless.  This is our charge, as followers of Christ, adopted by the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac.  If we see a need that we can meet, we are instructed to do so, without hesitation.

To me, the most amazing part of this, is that it is also stated in Deuteronomy, that we will be blessed for being charitable!  What an incredibly generous gesture on the part of El Shaddai, especially considering that we should not need such incentives to do what is right and kind, just and proper.   I have experienced the reception of such blessings on many occasions and am happy to report that, as always, Our Heavenly Father is true to His promises.

These blessings come in many forms, but, they always come, and it always does more for my heart than I dare try to express with my limited word-smithing.  God deserves so much more.  I praise Him, in the quiet moments of my days, for all the blessings He bestows upon me and my family…and I cannot seem to escape the feeling of unworthiness.  For as often as I do give, I mess things up more often.  I slip, I cuss, I issue ugly judgements in silent thought…I’m human, watch me err!!

And that very fact, that I’m utterly imperfect and hopelessly flawed, and yet through the greatest gift of all, I am blessed to know and receive God’s unfailing, unending love, is what fuels my passion of sharing the Love of Christ with you.

That little baby, born in a manger, was the greatest gift one could ever receive.  No home, nor car, nor diamond-ladened jewelry could ever be worth more than the price Jesus paid on the cross for our salvation.  Salvation IS the gift that keeps on giving.  And if you have experienced this gift, and have truly accepted it, and all it’s connotations, then you truly have it all and need nothing more.

However, if you are reading this today, and have yet to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, then this gift is still just a mystery, and possibly, in your minds, a fantasy.  I am here to tell you that what you believe to be fantasy, is absolutely tangable and is yours for the taking.  But you must first overcome your preconceived notions and take a true leap of faith.

I had the pleasure of knowing a lovely woman who was kind enough to express that even though she wants to believe in Christ, in a concrete way, the way her mind works, fights against her abilities to abandon logic.  It really opened my eyes to why some have such a hard time taking that leap of faith required to let go of the old life for a new, restored life in Christ.  Many people have to see, touch and feel something to believe in it.  Imagine if chairs were like Jesus…there, but unseen…there would be a whole lot of people just standing around, even with others sitting in these invisible chairs that are obviously holding them up.

Faith is believing in things that you cannot see.  Even one of Jesus’ own followers had a hard time believing Jesus had risen from death and had to see and touch Jesus’ nail-scarred hands, before accepting that their Savior had truly returned to them.

But Jesus held out his hands to Thomas, and then showed him where the spear pierced his side.  Only after Thomas touched Jesus’ wounds, did he believe.  Jesus then said the following, and it is what I would like for you,  who still do not believe, to meditate on today.  For these words came from a gift that is just waiting to be received.

John 20:29  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Look!!  Another blessing, just for believing in Him!  Actually, it is the biggest and most continual blessing anyone can EVER receive.  Jesus loves His faithful children and bestows upon us, blessing upon blessing, through out our lives.  We cannot do anything to deserve this continual flow of blessings except to believe in Him and follow His commands.  Shoot, even then, we fail Him…but His Love for us NEVER fails.

Will these blessings be yours for the taking this Christmas season?  Will you proclaim the Lord of Lords and King of Kings as your Savior and King this Christmas?  I pray you will.  You will never receive a better gift.  It is in giving, that we receive.  So why not give your life to Jesus today?

If you are interested in asking the Lord into your heart and life, feel free to leave a message below.  I would love to help you come to know Him as I do.

Until next time,

Feliz Navidad y Vaya con Dios!

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