Unwrapped

Last night I sat in the middle of my living room listening to Christmas music and wrapping gifts for my kids. Each one of my children are unique. Each one has something special about them that sets them apart.

As I wrapped the gifts I thought of them individually and how each gift was selected specifically for them. Different ages, different stages, different likes, different expectations. I selected something that would meet them where they are at. Micah is into Star Wars and books…he is also incredibly interactive and enjoys toys that he can interact with us. Maiah loves art, playdough, she enjoys creating. Mikayla loves pretend play…pretending to be a doctor or a teacher. Milena loves baby dolls..she loves to nurture and cuddle. Each one of them has different gifts specifically for their personality.

As I began to wrap each gift I thought about the parallel between the gift that we have been given not only at Christmas time but every day for those who know the saving grace of Christ.

We have been given a gift of deliverance from our sin.

We have been given a gift of hope.

We have been given a gift of eternal healing.

We have been given a gift of adoption.

We have been given a gift of acceptance.

We have been given a gift of mercy.

We have been give the gift of grace…Amazing grace.

We have been given gifts for every aspect, need, want, ache and hope of our hearts.

On Christmas we celebrate the gift of Jesus. We celebrate the gift of the Father sending his son to swaddle and mend our callous hearts with His eternal hope…

but we must unwrap the gift.

The gifts I gave my children don’t do them any good sitting under the tree…looking pretty. The gifts I gave my children become useful when they are unwrapped.

This is true with our gift of salvation.

This is true with the gift of Gods love.

This is true with the gift of Gods mercy.

This is true with the gift of God’s forgiveness.

This is true with the gifts God has deposited within us.

This is true…every day that we walk with the Father…everyday He longs for us to unwrap the gift of His son within our hearts to give us the benefits of being adopted into His presence.

He longs for us to unfold what has been bestowed upon us…peace, joy, hope, love, mercy, grace, forgiveness.

Who in your life needs you to unwrap the gift of peace you’ve been given?

Who in your life needs you to unwrap the joy or hope you’ve been given?

Who in your life needs you to unwrap the forgiveness you’ve been given?

Who in your life needs you to unwrap the mercy you’ve been given?

He longs for us to be not just ones who claim to have the gift of these things but to unwrap them for the world to see and experience too that they may know Him as we do. He longs for us to unwrap them for our hearts to be free. He longs to unwrap them for our lives to speak – hope to a dying, lonely, wandering world.

There is a song most of us grew up with as children called “This little light of mine” that speaks of this very simple and yet sometimes hard concept:

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bush Oh No!
I’m gonna let it shine…let it shine…let it shine…let it shine…

It’s easy to get distracted from letting the light shine through us…we get distracted by our own life, our own problems, our own fears, our own expectations…but we rob the world of the greatest gift when we fail to look beyond ourselves and only see Him.

When you are wrapping gifts this Christmas think of the gifts that have been given to you in Christ Jesus.

Think of the gifts He has deposited within you that need to be shared with others and not hidden.

Think of the forgiveness that He has given you that needs to be extended to others…even the ones you feel are beyond forgiveness.

Think of the mercy you have been given that needs to be given to others.

Think of the hope you’ve received that you may share it with others.

Unwrap the gift that is our Blessed Hope.

Ephesians 1: 3-12
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.