"For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life." Jn. 3:16
We’ve heard that verse so many times. We gathered as a family to celebrate the birth of Christ. I love Christmas and I love giving gifts; but I wanted my grandchildren to hear, if even again for the umpteenth time, why we give gifts at Christmas. I recited the above verse. I reminded them that God gave the first Christmas gift, the best Christmas gift ... His giving demonstrates His love for us… and I let them know that we (my husband and I) give also because we love them … They were excited and like normal children wanted me to finish and open their gifts. I picked up the first present to pass out and my oldest son quickly interrupted to tell my grandchildren that Christmas is more about ‘GETTING’ than about giving. I was a little surprised to say the least, but I thought, let’s hear him out … He went on to explain that God did in fact give, but His purpose was so that we’d ‘get and receive’ His gift. He then picked up the gift I had set back down and proceeded to give it to my grand-daughter. She sat a little perplexed about what to do, kind of looking to me as if to ask, ‘do I take it?’ This played into what my son and all us as parents wanted them to understand. God gave His son, but if we do not receive His Son, then we do not own the gift He gave. To which I added to his illustration, God demonstrates His love by giving, we demonstrate our love by receiving with joy and thanksgiving what has been given. Inside I was so full in my soul for my grandchildren to hear this truth, for my children to raise their children to hear this truth – I was so very grateful for God’s gift to me and my family. I pray that all my grandchildren will trust Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Love – is about giving AND getting. We are taught so much, and rightfully so, that love is giving, serving, thinking of other’s above our self, or to think of others first … As people, and even as God’s children, we look for love on how we desire to be given love. We measure love often by how it is not given us. Therefore, we sometimes miss being loved and therefore do not receive love given, but reject the love given. We may not mean to, but just as we miss the love of the Father given us, we miss and do not receive our spouse's love to us.
As this new year begins, may our eyes be more open to receive all the love the Father bestows upon us, not just through the things we desire, but through His invitations to receive love through the trials, the grace he lavishes upon us when we sin … And may our eyes be open to receive the love given from our spouses in their love language and may we endeavor to give that sacrificial love that God has given us.
God Bless you and Happy New Year!