Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Gift of Love

Give him a generous farewell gift from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress. Share with him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you.

-- Deuteronomy 15:47 

Christmas is only a few days away, but opinions vary as to whether that's good news or bad. Either way, if you're still looking for that perfect gift for that someone special, there's no lack of choices, colors and price-points. A quick online trip to proves that. But with money particularly tight these days for so many Americans, every purchase has to count. We need gifts that will make an impression. We need value. It comes down to getting bang-for-the-buck.

There's nothing wrong with trying to Gift Tagstretch a dollar. But maybe a gift's real value has much more to do with the meaning and person behind it than a Low Everyday Wal-Mart price tag.

That's certainly the case if we're to believe God's personal instruction manual, the Bible. What does it have to say about the characteristics of a super gift? And more to the point, what does the Bible tell us about being a super gift-giver? We can find the answers through the Scriptures' vivid portrayals of Jesus related to the issues of living, relationships and love.

It's from Christ's example that we learn to give with an attitude of generosity: one that exceeds what we expect to receive. Our gifts should also affirm the value of the recipient. But most importantly, our gifts--whatever they may be--should be given out of love.

Perhaps the Bible doesn't say that an Apple iPhone is a better gift than a bicycle or a sweater. But the same principles apply. And what we also learn is that when it comes to gift-giving, it really IS the thought that counts. (Your grandmother was right!)

Christmas is straight ahead...and the clock is ticking. So before we head to the mall, log onto or tune into the Home Shopping Network, let's follow the example of Jesus, who was and is the ultimate gift-giver. His greatest present was the salvation He bought for us through His death on the cross. It was an incredibly expensive gift that we can never repay. But it was given out of love...and it's free and available to anyone who's willing to open the package. 

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