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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)

TITLE: Gifts of Blessings
By Edmond Ng


    After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11 NAS)
It all began with the Magi who brought gifts to the Child in worship to the newborn King of the Jews, of gold, incense and myrrh. Since then, giving Christmas gifts has become a common practice to people who celebrate the season. In the 4th century, the spirit of giving during Christmas was rekindled when Saint Nicholas, who was said to be a wealthy and generous man, gave heartily to children, especially to those who were deprived and in need. As a result of this act of generosity by Saint Nicholas, a tradition of exchanging gifts was born, leading to the myth of Santa Claus.

All of us look forward to receiving gifts during Christmas every year, because gifts are such a blessing and they are always free. We need not pay a cent for it, and we know when we receive a gift, it means someone cares for us. We give gifts to express our care for others too, to show them our love and friendship. The difference, however, between a giver and a receiver of Christmas gifts is the price. Giving Christmas gifts is not free. Christmas gifts are paid with a price.

When our Lord came down from heaven to earth as a Child, He paid with His all to be with us, to lead us to the way of salvation. He gave up His glory to be born into a humble home, and on the day He was born, He was destined to die a cruel death to pay the price for our sins, to give us the free gift of eternal life of salvation. Such is the true Christmas gift, for "greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). By grace we have been saved through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christ is the ultimate Christmas gift sent by God to reconcile our relationship with Him, to set us free from the bonds of slavery.

This Christmas, as we look forward to receiving gifts, let us not forget to give good gifts generously, especially to the poor and needy. Let us in giving, not expect anything in return as in exchanging gifts, but rather give willingly and cheerfully, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:17). Let us with grateful heart thank God for His ultimate Christmas gift of eternal life in Christ.

Remind us O Lord the price You paid to save us all in giving of Yourself and everything else to be born a Child on earth and to die on the Cross for us. Teach us Lord to give good gifts of love to help the poor and the needy. Help us be willing Lord to give without expectation of return, for we know You desire a cheerful giver.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/20/08
Lovely devotional. The addition of a personal anecdote might help to draw more interested readers. The prayer at the end was especially meaningful.
Norma-Anne Hough 11/25/08
Nice devotional. We as christians get gifts daily, pity we don't always remember to be thankful for them daily.
Loren T. Lowery11/26/08
A well-thought out devotional for this time of year. Such writing gives us all pause to stop and reflect.