‘Time in the Word’ By Clayton Adams
I still remember a special gift I received for Christmas, 1968. My family was living on the Biloxi, Mississippi Air Force Base and my father was assigned to an overseas base.
My parents had purchased a Batman costume including the belt which had different types of gadgets. One brother received the costume and I received the belt. I think of this simple gift with great fondness and remember the joy from playing with the gadgets while watching the Batman television series.
I cared not that the costume and belt came as a single item and that my mother divided the gift between two of her sons.
I was proud and excited to have the belt!
Fast forward some 50 years later and I have the greatest joy in making gifts to give to my grandchildren. Last year I made keepsake boxes out of old wood fence boards and burned each grandchild’s name onto their box. Of the eight grandchildren, a few use their boxes to keep their valuables, some use it to store their toys and youngest one just sits in his box.
Giving gifts is a great joy for me and I can only imagine how God must feel as He stated, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11).
The apostle James wrote about giving gifts, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17).
God initiated giving gifts and He gives perfect gifts to His children.
The joy of giving gifts is far greater than receiving gifts. The apostle Luke wrote, “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Giving is greater than receiving.
But I have had to learn a very important principle to giving gifts. I have learned to give gifts with no “strings attached.” I do not expect a “thank you” for the gift. If the gift is used for a purpose other than I intended, that is the right and privilege of the one I gave the gift to. I give my gifts knowing that they could be destroyed, misused, sold or given away or never used. Whatever the recipient chooses to do with the gift – that is their privilege.
God has given gifts to mankind and each gift is to be used. God has given His Holy Word, His Holy Son and His Holy Spirit.
God’s Word guides us to the understanding of how the world was spoken into existence and humans were created by the very hands of God. By our choices, we distance ourselves from a personal relationship from Him. His Word brings God’s second gift, His Son Jesus.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Jesus guides us back to and enables us to live with God on earth and later in Heaven.
Jesus made it possible to live with God by laying His life down on the Cross to redeem us from our sin and the consequence of sin — death.
We can’t, won’t and don’t go to hell because God sends us to hell, we go to hell because we do not accept the gift of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit of God is alive and well, living within all who follow God. The Holy Spirit of God was sent to us by Jesus (John 16:7-15) and He is influencing, leading, comforting, encouraging and strengthening all who follow Jesus.
The Holy Spirit of God draws people to and reveals the Word of God and the Son of God.
God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not die but have eternal life (John 3:16).
This was the greatest of all gifts. There is no greater gift than Jesus the Christ.
When God gave us His Word, His Son and His Holy Spirit, He knew that some would ignore His gifts, some would misuse His gifts and some would never accept or acknowledge His gifts. I can only imagine how God must feel towards us as His gifts are misused and not accepted.
The greatest gift we can give to each other is what God gives so freely to us — forgiveness. The greatest gift you can give is forgiveness.
This Christmas discover the truth about giving gifts, that it is better to give than to receive — forgive others, forgive yourself.
Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.