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Gifted

I don't know about you, but I come from a family of gift givers.   My parents loved giving them, so I guess I get it from them.  I am married to someone who isn't as much into gift giving.   His family is like that, too. They give them, but the passion in the giving isn't huge.  Since it brings me joy to give gifts, it sort of deflates gift giving for me. 

Some people are extravagant with their gifts, giving from their abundance of wealth.  Others give all they have from the meagerness of their wages.  While some aren't able to give much, so they re-gift what they've been given. 

My first husband and I were the recipients of a re-gifted present while he was a pastor.  An elderly retired pastor and his wife were at the pastor's Christmas party in the Northeast Ohio region of our denomination. All the pastors' couples were supposed to bring a gift for an exchange not to exceed $10.  Numbers were drawn. Gifts with numbers were given according  to  number on ticket each couple held.  Everyone OOHed and AAHed over the wonderful finds that were received.  When we opened ours, we sat stunned.  It was a shiny print in a frame of the Serenity prayer.  The print was old, but it was in excellent condition.  When we lifted it up to show everyone and thank the givers, there was a hush in the room.  The elderly couple told us that they were gifted with it quite a while ago when they were struggling in their ministry.  They thought someone would receive a blessing from it. We could tell they couldn't afford to give much, but they gave far more than anyone in the room.  They had the joy of knowing God was with them in their meagerness and in their ministry. At the time, I wondered what was in store for us that the Lord would prompt them to give us this precious re-gift.  Now I know.  We accepted their gift with joy. God gave us joy in the difficult circumstances we faced in ministry and dealing with cancer, unbeknownst to us at the time.

There is no gift we can give that compares to the gift the Lord gave us at Christmas.  We can give out of our abundance or out of our meagerness.  The best gift we can give Him is our heart.  Whatever gift He has equipped you with, use it for His glory.  For in the giving, you will receive blessings unimaginable. Joy comes in the giving. Joy comes through knowing our Savior.


When researching Advent, I found this from "Our Daily Bread" December 1, 2011 written by Julie Ackerman Link: "During Advent, we emphasize hope, peace, joy, and love, which God sent with Christ.

HOPE. We have an inheritance reserved in heaven, a living hope through the resurrection of Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3-5).

 
PEACE. We will love life and see good days if we turn from evil and do good and if we seek peace, for the Lord watches over the righteous and hears their prayers (3:10-12).


JOY. We have inexpressible joy even though we have trials because our faith is being tested and prove genuine. The end of this faith is the salvation of our souls (1:6-9).
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

LOVE. We can love one another with a pure heart because we have been born again through the Word of God which lives and abides forever (1:22-23)."
 
I would like to focus on these passages through the Advent season. May God bless you!


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