December 22 The Joy of Gifts

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As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10 NAS

Because of my dad’s religion, our family did not exchange Christmas presents for most of my childhood. I never understood using religion to deprive children of the joy of gifts. So, when I discovered as a young adult that gifts were actually a part of God’s intention for my life, you can imagine my joy.

God’s gifts to us are not the Christmas-morning-tear-off-the-wrapping fun kind. The batteries won’t run out. The parts don’t break. His gifts are spiritual, mysterious. Not only do they benefit others, they also increase joy when we use them to serve. They come with a promise that we will see the grace of God multiplied, layer upon layer, through that service.

Every life experience, every memory, every tragedy, can be redeemed for joy and purpose. Even the really, really bad ones. God can use every single one to grow us into vitally effective ambassadors. THAT is a gift.

And occasionally, God throws in a big-red-bow-with-sprinkles gift, too. Just for fun, because of His great love for us. Enjoy it all, and use them well.

Father God, may we love others as You love us and share our gifts to reveal Your grace.

written by Sheri Hunt