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The Gift - A Devotion

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James 1:16-18 (NKJV)
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.

At the conclusion of wrapping with empty tubes lying all around, it is apparent that once again I have overdone it for these kids. I have no remorse in my giving to them. In fact, I love to do it and with many parents agree that it would be okay if I never unwrapped another one just as long as my children had all they ever long for. On close inspection, the tree is surrounded by gifts galore not only from us to our children but from our children to others. It blesses my heart that they are givers. I am overwhelmed that after another long year of challenges, hardships and difficulties that the Lord has brought us back to this place of family all together as one without losing a single one. Each year is a gift to our family after coming so close to losing one of our own. Shaking our foundation and changing our perspective of life and priorities, although I am tired and weary – I know my Father loves me. He keeps sending down good and perfect gifts that before our family began this journey were taken for granted all too many times. He is the Father of Light and there is no darkness in Him so I have nothing to fear. There is no shadow of turning in my Heavenly Father because if so surely He would have changed His Mind right before sending His One and Only Son to the earth to die for me. I would have certainly changed mine. But God had already decided that I was His Prized Possession as are you! He predestined us to live as His Precious Children forever and paid the price for our release from the penalty of sin that kept us from Him. Now I am free to enjoy life as a Child of God – it is a gift! I intend to open it today. Use it as instructed. Enjoy it. Do not deceived today! The greatest gift you have been given is this day to love Him more!

Lamentations 3:21-26 (NLT)
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.

This morning when I woke up, I could smell the crockpot breakfast that I prepared last night. Potatoes, sausage, cheese, eggs and spices all mixed together left to simmer overnight while we slept. Before I opened my eyes, the aroma was all around me. No matter what I have done or not done the day before. Whether I hit it out of the park or blew it at bat, God prepares new mercies for me each morning. His Mercy is provided each morning so that I am free to open the day as the gift that it is. If my hope is in the Father, then I will run to Him first thing. “What do you have for me today, Dad?” He begins with fresh mercy to forgive all my faults and failures from the day before and as my sins float as far as the east is from the west, He presents me with a brand new day to discover and explore just how high, deep, wide and long His Love for me really is. (Ephesians 3:18) He challenges me to do so while encouraging me every step of the way. To have this gift of mercy, I must come to the Lord and depend on Him as my Heavenly Father. He sends good gifts, they are perfect. Those who live by faith and hope in the Lord are satisfied even in the most difficult and tragic situations. There is more potential packed in this new day than you will ever discover outside of using it for God’s Purpose. Great is His Faithfulness. His Inheritance for you is greater than anything you could ever think of or ask for attainable for all who choose this day as a Gift from the Father. (Ephesians 3:20)

I Peter 1:3-5 (NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

We should live with great expectation rather than merely hoping to get by. If you are a new creation in Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, then you do not deserve the consequences of your bad choices. When you choose to make better choices by walking in the Footsteps of Jesus and following His Example, you are exempt from penalty by the Blood of the Cross. I have heard many cancer patients who smoked during their youth now struggle with this awful disease in the mature years say, “I smoked so I deserve this.” That is a lie from the pit of hell and the devil’s mouth, bad choices flow under the Blood and His Grace is sufficient for you in all things. Do not accept your current situation based on your past, but put all your faith and hope in Jesus who is your Healer and Deliverer. He did not die in vain so that you could merely get by. He died so that you and I could confidently hope and live with great expectation. This very thing keeps me going day after day in the battle with our son! I expect God to heal Him forever. I have accepted that Jesus Christ will fully restore His Body! I know that He will live and not die so I choose to live in that moment of expectation until it comes because I am fully convinced that God is faithful. Are you? Without faith or confident hope, you will live a wary life. You will be constantly suspect of God’s Gifts when they come into your life afraid to open them as if there is some catch or walking all around them without diving in. Let me assure you when my children’s feet hit the floor this morning, young and old, there will be little keeping them from the pile of gifts that await. They know they were given in love so they are excited to receive them. You should be, too! Your Father loves you and has blessed you with everything you need to have a blessed and prosperous day if you will take it! It’s His Gift to you each morning!

Luke 18:15-17 (NLT)
Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

There is nothing under that tree that will satisfy my soul. When I opened my eyes this morning, I longed for Jesus. I knew that His Mercy was waiting for my fear and doubt that I have been entertaining so I handed it over for the hope that I hold on to. Before family arrived and the children stirred, I needed to hear my Father’s Voice telling me that everything will be okay. This day is a gift sent from my Father who loves me more than anyone ever could. He sent His Son so that I could boldly come into His Presence each day finding all that I need. I will open this new day minute by minute rather than focusing on the future. I will discover it with childlike faith and expectation that my Father gives good and perfect gifts. I will be excited with new possibilities as the Lord prepares me to fulfill His Purpose and Promises in my life. I will wait on the Lord today and choose to rejoice throughout! Children count their presents. Have you counted your blessings today?

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NLT)
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

The Greatest Gift every given was when the Father gave His One and Only Son. It opened heaven so that all of God’s Blessings could pour into the lives of His Beloved People. Honor the Son today by choosing this day as a gift to be opened, discovered, used and enjoyed by placing all your faith and hope in your Father! Do not let the enemy steal the Father’s Gift by allowing depression, frustration, negativity and strife to enter your celebration. Every day is a good and perfect gift from the Father even those days that have some bumps along the way! Enjoy your gift today! Merry Christmas!

John 3:16 (NLT)
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

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