During this time of gift giving … I’ve learned an important lesson, and December has just begun. Let me backup to explain.
We made a fast trip to Texas during Thanksgiving to see our parents, one of my husband’s brothers and my sister who live in the area. After our flood debacle this summer, I’m rethinking gifts. I’m trying to purchase things that someone can “do” or “eat” and they don’t have to worry about where it will sit and collect dust.
While in town, we do a lot of in and out visiting with our parents who don't really get out much except for doctors’ visits. I even told my mom, I’ll be like a pesky mosquito to visit for a few minutes here and there. That worked well for everyone. Hopefully no one got tired of us!
So, for my sister’s Christmas present I found the perfect Charlie Brown and Snoopy Christmas Tree jigsaw puzzle. It was only 1,000 pieces and I knew I could give her gift to her early and we could work on it at mom’s house — every time we buzzed in and out.
Well, I had never paid enough attention to realize putting puzzles together is more my thing and my mom’s than my sister’s. I’ve always wanted this Charlie Brown Christmas Tree puzzle! Why wouldn’t everyone be excited about getting this as a gift?
Of course, 1,000 pieces is a lot, but still — it’s Snoopy!!! I can still see her face … she was trying to be pleasant and thankful but a sister knows!
While cleaning out our flood mess, I found lots of precious items that needed to be recycled, trashed or given away. It wasn’t an easy chore, and we still don’t have everything back in its place yet. Hopefully soon, I’ll be reshelving books to bookshelves. But I have a feeling it will be like the third or fourth purge … more giving away.
But there is one gift no one has ever been sorry to receive. God gave his only son to the world so our sin nature wouldn’t condemn us to an eternity away from God. That gift was very expensive for God to give. I love you readers, but I would not give up one of my sons for the most precious person in the world — let alone the worst murderer that every lived. Yet, that’s what God did.
That gift of salvation is in a beautifully wrapped package just sitting there waiting for you to receive. My feelings were hurt when I realized I had not given my sister something she could use or enjoy. God knows the “good things” that come with His gift of salvation and the Bible states in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in your past, or planning to do in the future. God loves you so much. There is nothing you can think or do, that would make God withdraw His gift of salvation from you. He’s not that kind of God.
There are other “religions” who stipulate you have to do certain things at certain times to gain favor with God and maybe if your good outweighs your bad you’ll be allowed into Heaven. May I challenge you to read the Gospel of St. John in the New Testament of the Bible. John gives eye-witness accounts of people seeing Jesus in person, the miracles He performed, and the way he loved everyone — even the unlovable. It’s not a religion — it’s a relationship.
John 8:12 quotes Jesus as saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Spend time thinking about the most important gift you’ve ever had the opportunity of receiving. Don’t miss it this Christmas. And in my case … guess who has a new Charlie Brown and Snoopy Christmas Tree puzzle to put together. Come on over. I could probably use the help.
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