5 Things Christmas Gifts Taught Me about God
1. Gifts are not something we earn. Despite jokes about lumps of coal in stockings, parents want to give their children a special Christmas—even when they’ve been naughty. Our Heavenly Father offers His grace because He loves us, not because we deserve it.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8 (NLT)
2. Have you ever received something that was totally unexpected? Or asked for one thing, but got something even better? Christmas gifts are most special when they’re surprises. God loves to surprise His children.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)
3. Timing is important. Ever peeked or unwrapped a present ahead of time, then felt a big letdown on Christmas Day? God’s timing is not always the same as ours, but it’s always best.
There is a right time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (TLB)
4. You can’t judge a gift by the outside. Ever received a present that was beautifully wrapped but disappointing after you looked inside? Or opened a plainly wrapped gift to find exactly what you wanted? God’s most precious Gift came in a humble setting.
Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a box where animals are fed. Luke 2:7 (NCV)
5. We decide whether or not we’ll open a gift. Someone could give us the most wonderful present we’ve ever received, but we don’t truly accept it until we take the action of opening it. God lets us choose whether or not we will accept His gifts.
But to all who did accept him and believe in him he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 (NCV)
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook or Twitter.