Christmas Gifts

Isaiah 53:1-12    This entire verse is all about how Jesus died for OUR sins, gave His life so we could be forgiven and have eternity with Him, His Father, and the Holy Spirit.  He willingly and silently underwent the pain, the humiliation and death which we deserved, but He did not.

Isaiah 54:13     All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children

Matthew 1:21     She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins

John 3:16     for God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believe is him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8     But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 2:2     He is the propitiation of our sins’ and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Rev 13:8     And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the “life of the Lamb slain from the foundations of the world.


Christmas is the time when folks think about gifts.  I don’t know a lot about folks living in third world countries, as my understanding is most of them have to worry about feeding, clothing and giving shelter to their children.  They must hope for medical care when their children get very ill.  I’m not sure there is anything to left to give to these poor people.  Maybe it is some of these people who have children blessed by one of the Samaritan purse gifts…I truly hope so, but I don’t know.  Primary needs outweigh the luxury of gifts all the time, as it should be.

I was always excited from Thanksgiving to Christmas as a kid.  I loved shopping for the perfect gifts for my parents and grandmother and brother.  My brother was the easiest to shop for—we read the same books, had the same friends, and did lots of the same things.   My grandmother was also fairly easy to gift, but I would struggle more with buying for my parents.

So I did enjoy shopping and gifting, but I loved and eagerly anticipated my own gifts, and the excitement of opening mine.  My family attended church Christmas Eve, then coming home we were allowed to open one gift and then the rest for the morning. 

But there was an abundance of gifts around that tree for six persons living in that home.  How blessed—how spoiled.  It was hard to imagine those persons who did not celebrate the same, and with the abundance we had.   I still buy abundance for my family, which partly brings shame.  Why do I feel the need to offer so much when there are so many truly doing without?  Yes, part of me feels strongly that it is the amount of love and thankfulness I have for them.  But the thankfulness goes to God.  He provided me with the wonderful family and friends I’ve been blessed with, and I am thankful.   But we live in rich country and my friends and family truly do not NEED me to purchase anything for them.  They are all employed and comfortably set.

As I became older, I traveled.  And then it was easier to see how RICH our country is financially.  There is so much money in this country and we forget those who are huddled in a hut with six young children, struggling to feed and water them, keep them healthy and so forth. 

I took a wonderful trip to Cancun one winter, thoroughly enjoyed it.  But signed up for a day trip to surrounding areas, including stalagmites and a distillery, and to Chichen Itza.  All were impressive.  But what stuck with me was driving along the road and seeing huts and gravel yards, with skinny dogs and persons, children, and mothers, only an occasional man but abundantly poor.  These were struggling persons living and eeking out a living, trying to feed children and poor pet dogs. 

My guilt and pity and sympathy soared.  I wish I could really say empathize—but never have I struggled with those true struggles, so I can’t fully empathize.  I was on vacation, staying in a luxurious resort, how for a day. . .while these people were living and throwing scraps to dogs and they looked awful, with ribs prominent, posture hunched, tails tucked under, with just an occasional uplift and slow, uncertain wag. 

My heart ached.  Here I was experiencing a lovely, spoiling vacation, being pampered in any way I chose, and these poor people and families were struggling to feed and house themselves.  

Anyway, I returned with a new perspective that so many DID NOT LIVE and enjoy the same things many in our country do.  There is NO reason to give such abundance to those I love who can also afford.

So, I began to consider the abundance of gifts my Lord has handed to me.   I am blessed with good health, good eyesight with glasses—and I can groan in frustration if one of my MANY pairs of readers are not within reach—good hearing, reasoning ability, a wonderful family of three hard working, employed, family oriented, loving grown children, four wonderful grandchildren I adore, and am blessed to live in a wonderful home, a great neighborhood and close neighbors and friends, and have had experienced some marvelous experiences throughout my life.   There is NO question I have been blessed—and those are HIS gifts for us.

His gifts to us. . .WOW, where can I begin?  He gives life, He has given me the friends, family, children, and eyesight, hearing, general health, my pets, and on and on.  I was married to a good and loving man until he died several years ago.  I have a hoe that is nice and comfortable and accessible to the ocean and sitting on the beach within 60 seconds of leaving my home and crossing the street, my parents were the epitome of a loving, close couple, I am still close to siblings, and maintain friendships from my childhood.  He has gifted me with all of that.  He, my Lord, my Savior has blessed me. . . .abundantly.  Even when I have made mistakes, jumped the gun, not waited for His direction because I was determined I was right, and I wanted what I wanted. . .

Yet, He still worked it out for my best.  My God has gifted me abundantly.  First, and foremost, He gave His life to free me from the sin of death and separation from Him and the gift of being able, the gift, the precious knowledge of living with Him, God, and the Holy Spirit in heaven.  So, I can list many, many gifts You have given me.  But the greatest of all is not material.  It is the precious gift of eternity with you, an eternal, everlasting life with You in heaven—I cannot imagine heaven, but You have given it to me.  Because of your precious, humble birth with a good young soman, chosen by God and her loving and understanding, obedient mate, You came into this world to give us the greatest GIFT—You, and your humble death on the cross, to give us the GIFT of eternity in heaven with YOU and the rest of the God head, so we are freed from our sins as long as we believe You died to save us from our sins, and You are the Son of God, are a part creator of the world and we choose to follow You as our Savior and Lord, You have given us the GIFT of life eternal.

Jesus left His kingdom in heaven to come to earth to walk among the suffering and poor, and then to teach and give His followers the Truth, the Light and the Way, and willingly gave His life to save all who believe in Him.  Our greatest gifts are not of this world, not material things.  They are the gifts we obtain from Jesus’ willing sacrifice to die on the cross, sinless, to take on all of our sin so we can be freed to live in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior and recognize he is God and died to free us.

My Lord, You are the greatest gift ever.  Thank You for all You have given to me and ‘mybellaviews.’