The Best Gift

As we get deeper into the holiday season, some of us have a pretty daunting task ahead. We have to find exactly the right gift for the right person, and in some cases repeating this small miracle for several people. I’ll never forget the year I actually hit that target with a bull's eye for my wife. Back then our son David was still in diapers, and we were getting by with only one income while Christy stayed home with him. There wasn’t much extra money for Christmas that year, and yet I still wanted to make it a special time and show my wife my appreciation for her. I took some time and prayed for God’s wisdom in the matter, knowing that I’d have to make a little money go a long way. After praying, I sensed that I had a plan. I soon found myself at the jewelry store at the mall. There I found a great piece of jewelry that fit my budget and brought peace to me after purchasing it. In fact, things played out there pretty much as I had seen in my prayer time. Imagine how pleased I was when the gift was opened on Christmas Day and I had a happy wife! I only shared with her about my prayer quest after she helped me understand how accurately targeted my gift had been for her.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all hit the target with such accuracy every time we wanted to give a gift? Well, in some ways the plan has already been set up for us. You see, those of us who have asked Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives are carrying the best Gift that was ever given. It can’t wear out, it won’t ever lose its value, and it is the only gift that can truly keep on giving, with no worries over warranties. In fact, this Gift gives for an eternity, but it’s up to us to pass it along. If you’re grateful about what Jesus has done in and through your life, I ask you to consider those in your world who could also benefit from having him in their own lives. Will you pray and ask God to connect you with the right people who so desperately need what it is you already have? Any Gift this priceless is worth sharing!

Freely you have received; freely give.
– Matthew 10:8 (NIV)

Going Higher

With the New Year approaching, many of us are starting to reevaluate where things are in life. What could 2012 hold for us? For some, this next year will be about staying in some of the same ruts, repeating some of the same mistakes, and reliving some of the same regrets. This is nothing new for some, since this is how the last several years have been going. They’ve been going around and around the same mountain, making little progress in their Christian walk or anywhere else. Discouraging thought, isn’t it? But it doesn’t have to stay that way! God didn’t send his own Son to the cross for you and me so that we would wander in the desert for the rest of our lives. Yes, the intent was our salvation, but also for us to be able to accomplish the plans God has for our lives, too. But I find that it’s very difficult to accomplish anything while things are going badly all the time and the focus stays on me and my mistakes.

But today could be the start of a new season. This could be a great time for you to spend some quality time with God, allowing him to show you possible adjustments and changes that could allow 2012 to be your best year ever. It’s ok to take our questions into that time with him: Is it time to fast and pray? Should I expect some new directions or opportunities in the next season? Have I been off-track in some areas? These questions don’t make God nervous! He’s our loving, Heavenly Father, and he desires for us as his children to walk in his best plans. It’s not selfish or immature to ask God about these things. So often God wants something good to happen in our lives even more than we do, but we must do it His way. Ready for some positive change?

When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and move on.
- Deuteronomy 1:6-7