Last week I changed the message on the church sign to read, “Give the gift you have been given,” not knowing that it would prompt the lesson this past Lord’s Day. What do you do with the gifts you receive? Do you use them or shelve them? Perhaps you make it a gift to someone else. Have you ever re-gifted a gift? Be aware, there are some hazards with this practice. One individual received a gift card from a friend only to find it had a balance of $1.00 when he tried to use it. Another person received a book from their boss that wasn’t of interest to her and not wishing to see a good book go to waste, only to find out after giving it to another that it had been personalized to her by her boss.
The season of Christmas is highlighted by the giving and receiving of gifts and this premise is based upon the example of the Magi bringing gifts to the Christ child when they found Him in Bethlehem. Giving is a theme found throughout scripture, primarily in the New Testament with James 1:17 telling us that every good and perfect gift is from God.. John 3:16 tells us that God gave His only begotten Son; Ephesians 4:7 tells us that God gives us grace; Romans 6:23 assures us that God’s gifts includes eternal life… The bottom line is that ultimately God gives us hope!
Have you received these gifts of God? What are you doing with them? These are not items that can be re-gifted. They can be rejected as described by Jesus in Mark 8:31 when He said that He would be rejected by the religious leaders and eventually killed and rise after three days. Peter told many on the day of Pentecost that they had disowned the holy and righteous one. Another option you have is to accept them much like the 3000 that Peter preached to on Pentecost and were added that day, or Lydia, the seller of purple who encountered the apostle Paul in Philippi, and let’s not forget the jailer in Philippi who was prevented from taking his own life by Paul when the prisoners were released from their shackles after an earthquake. These people accepted God’s gift rather than reject it. What will you do with them? You don’t actually re-gift, but rather, you share. Tell others about what God has done for you, give them the choice to accept or reject and pray that they accept and eventually share it themselves!
Copyright © 2010, Nolan P. Rutter