I just had one of those conversations with my son. My eyes teared up as we discussed my newest granddaughter. The love and compassion in his voice bring peace to my heart. I was not a good man when my kids were small. Jason is more spiritually mature than I at his age. God has done a work in his life and my grandkids have a good dad.
What a gift for a 60 year old dad and grandfather. Today is my birthday so we think about GIFTS. Christmas is rapidly approaching and we think about GIFTS. When you look like I do, (Santa Claus) you have complete strangers walk up to you and ask where their gifts are. Seriously!?! This brings me to my favorite “Christmas verse”.
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
There are three ingredients in the act of giving: the Gifter, the Gift itself and the receiver. Without these three nothing is given. The ultimate gift is Jesus Christ. In this true story of the Samaritan woman at the well, the word for gift (dorea) is used only here in the Gospels. For my Guatemalan friends the word ‘propina’ is close.in Spanish. It means gratuity, a gift given as an act of grace, given with no thought of something given in return. In Christ we have the boundless gift of grace and mercy, a gratuity beyond our understanding.
If Christ is the Gift, Who then is the Giver? God the Father did not give us evil things and I would say did NOT GIVE merely GOOD things, but rather The Father gave the Supremely Best of Heaven. He gave us Jesus. Father God held nothing back. There is no other plan, no gift remaining hidden in the closet in some corner of a heavenly temple. He gave all. The Gifter gave til it hurt.
Christ the Gift in turn held nothing in reserve. Knowing what lay ahead, He came. Knowing He would become sin for us, He came. Knowing He would become accursed for us, He came. Knowing that the One He had known as Daddy for eternity would in those final moments exact that curse and become His Holy God in order to righteously and justly deal with our sin, Christ too, gave His all.
We who believe are the receivers. Benefactors of whom interestingly, God the Father and God the Son ask us to come and give our all… bidding us to come and die, to take up the cross fashioned uniquely for each one of us… God’s idea of gift giving can be a difficult thing to grasp. What are we holding back?
We mortals give gifts for multiple reasons, for the joy of giving, to honor births, Christmas time, Mother’s Day, Father’s day…. sometimes we give to manipulate and we give trying to outgive the one who gave to us last… If you want to make God gag, try doing THAT with Him!!!
I remain uncomfortable here in Guatemala where it is common for people in ministry here who use the Vine International warehouse to bring gifts. However, often those gifts are food and I force myself (wink) to receive these things.
3 elements, Perfect Gifter, Perfect Gift, Receiver being perfected, what a Christmas story. Gifts under a tree look mighty small when we look to Eternity. When life ends won’t we wish we had that Gift of Living Water on our lips?
Praying and so broken hearted for the families in Connecticut.
Cindy and I are also praying for a three year old in a foreign country named Solomon who was denied adoption by the local judicial system. We know God’s heart for orphans, of that the Scripture is clear. Our friends who are adopting are going to appeal. Please pray.
May God reveal more of Himself to all of our friends in this season. May He speak to our hearts in both our pain, our disappointments and our victories.
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon