December 22 & 23, 2012
Well, Christmas is just a couple days away. How are you doing with your shopping list? Living in a house with a wife and 3 girls who love to shop, I get no sympathy for my hatred of sitting in a store and watching them try on clothes they aren’t even thinking of buying. Stores and shopping aren’t my thing … never were, never will be. Since I don’t like shopping, I procrastinate buying up to the last second. As a result, maybe you guessed it … I’ve become an incredibly efficient Christmas Eve shopper. It really is a lot of fun. People are in better moods, excitement is in the air, there are less than 24 hours till the magic of Christmas, and there’s a party atmosphere everywhere you go. Try it next year, or at least save some of your list for Christmas Eve.
But you see, shopping is about finding something to fill someone’s need. To me, I am not going to spend money unless I really need it, not just want it. Putting on my other hat as a psychiatrist, when I think about “shopping” for something to help fill someone’s need, these items can’t be found in any store. Value, purpose, connection, identity, security, consistency, meaning, competence, ability, and love aren’t for sale. But according to the world, and as a result of Satan’s trickery, after watching all the commercials and seeing so many ads on the computer or in the paper, you would swear these precious intangible needs are in every store … and even on sale for a special price this time of year. But they’re not, not even close.
The beautiful and simplest truth is this. The most important gift, the foundation to all those gifts we need that I listed earlier, is a relationship with our almighty Creator and Father, the One and only God. The most precious needs are what we all desire and thirst daily for … what we are all yearning for. We wish they could be easily bought on sale then be given to us in a pretty package. But better than that and amazingly, they came in a manger in the form of a baby, and they are FREE!!!!
This is the true and amazing story of Christmas. God gave us the most loving and unbelievable gift of all time to meet all our other needs completely. It cost Him and Jesus a lot … but it is truly and totally free to us. Really, it is the grandest gift ever given. That is what we are blessed to celebrate on Christmas Day.
Today, think how you will receive God’s gift each day to affect the issues you struggle with … to address and meet all your real needs. God has given you what you need. Learn how to use it. Our curriculum workshops can help you apply God’s gift to your areas of need. If you haven’t received this gift, go to our Spiritual Basics link and click salvation. If you have received this Ultimate Gift, consider who needs this gift and pray about giving it to them during this holyday season. It’s more valuable than anything else you will consider buying, making, or giving from this world. Don’t be shy about sharing it, because you couldn’t give anything better. Receiving and giving it is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, You are so amazing and awesome. Thanks so much for loving me and caring about my well-being. Not only do You care for me, You even sacrificed Your only Son and sent Him to die for me … not because I did great things for You, but because I am a wretched sinner. I am so happy You are the perfect shopper who gave me the perfect gift. I pray in the name of the one You sent to die for me, save me, and heal me – Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16,17
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31,32
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. Malachi 3:10
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4