Summary: This is a Christmas season devotional done for the local senior center. The gift of Christmas is one that we cannot afford to pass up

The Gift of Christmas

John 1:12

Senior Center Devotional

December 12, 2001

In the fourth year of his layoff from his job, Dad gave Mom a dishwasher for Christmas.

You have to understand the magnitude of the gift: Our old house had its original wiring and plumbing, and neither could handle the required installation. There was no spot in the small kitchen for such a large appliance. And we hadn’t even been able to meet the mortgage interest payments for over six months.

But Dad hated the thought of washing dishes; he would rather do anything else. And Mom had undergone major surgery that spring, a radical mastectomy for breast cancer, and found it difficult to do any work requiring the use of her arms.

No large box appeared, no new plumbing or wiring was installed, no remodeling of the kitchen occurred. Rather, a small note appeared on a branch of the Christmas tree, handwritten by Dad:

"For one year I will wash all of the dirty dishes in this household. Every one."

And he did. He really did.

-- Judy Rogers, Westerville, Ohio, in Guideposts, Dec. 1988

The receiving and giving of gifts

A. The receiving of gifts

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

John speaks of those who received Christ. The Greek meaning of the word “receive” means “to welcome” or “to accept.” John is making it clear that we are to welcome Christ into our lives. This receiving is not just for part or some of our life but rather it is for every area of our life.

Christ must also be believed. To believe in the name of Jesus means to put faith in Him as a person and in what he represents. The simple act is life changing and transforming because we become children of God.

God has given us an incredible gift. By faith, in Christ, we can become children of God. When we accept Christ we are ushered into God’s family. John says that through Christ we are given the right to become children of God. Literally we are given permission to join God’s family. By faith in Christ, we become a part of eternity. Our citizenship is changed and we gain an interest in heaven. Our position in life is changed. We gain a dwelling place in heaven and divine grace from God the Father.

B. The giving of gifts

One of the greatest joys of Christmas is found in giving. It is indeed better to give than to receive. I don’t always enjoy the shopping or the wrapping of gifts but I love to give the gifts. The same may be true for you. You love to watch others tear through the wrapping. You love to watch their face light up. You love to hear the words “It’s just what I wanted!”

It might surprise you but this applies to Christ as well. There is great joy when you give a gift to Christ. What does Christ want from you?

My child, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways. Proverbs 23:26

The greatest gift you can give to Christ is yourself. Have you received the gift of Christ and have you given Him your heart?

This year the wonder of Christmas can come alive for you in brand new ways if you will open your heart and allow God to prepare you for Christmas.

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