Editors note: For the month of December, our theme is “The Gift of Jesus” and our focus verses are found in Luke 2:10-14. “but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
December is an exciting time of year. The anticipation of Christmas morning: opening gifts, fellowship with family, singing carols…When I was a little girl, I knew Christmas was coming soon the day that the Sears catalog arrived in the mail! I would sit for hours checking the items that I wanted to add to my Christmas wish list:
- A new baby doll ✅
- A new pair of skates ✅
- A new bicycle ✅
- A new pair of pajamas ✅
I was always so excited to see the latest, greatest toys and I would picture how I would feel opening those gifts on Christmas morning!
Fast forward many years later and my wishes have changed. I’m not looking for a new baby doll, unless I’m shopping for my granddaughters. As far as skates, are you kidding me? I don’t need to break a leg…or a hip…I could use a new bicycle or a treadmill and I’m all about a new pair of pajamas. However, the gifts I’ve been searching for lately cannot be found in the Sears Christmas catalog.
What I’ve been thinking about lately are spiritual gifts. I find myself “checking off” my wish list in the Bible just like I did as a little girl with the Sears catalog:
- The gift of wisdom ✅
- The gift of prophesy ✅
- The gift of healing ✅
- The gift of tongues ✅
However, God has been speaking to me lately about what these gifts are all about.
To begin with, all gifts that I check are not gifts that I’m ready to get…yet! As a little girl, I had a long list of wishes, but didn’t always get what I had on my list. My parents loved me so much and wanted to give me good gifts. My parents would’ve never given me a gift that I wasn’t ready to receive. For example, they would’ve never given me a bicycle if I hadn’t learned to ride a tricycle. Or they would not give me a new car until I was responsible enough to use it correctly.
Each child in my family received different gifts. My parents didn’t give me the same gifts as they gave to my brother and sister. They were older than me and had different desires than me. My parents knew that I didn’t want a football and they knew my brother wouldn’t appreciate a Barbie. They were good, good parents and gave us appropriate gifts because they loved us. They got to decide what was best for each of their children!
Just like my parents, God loves me and wants to give me good gifts.
He knows when I’m ready to receive certain gifts and even though I have them “checked”, He decides when I am ready to receive them.
Maybe I’m ready to receive the gift of wisdom, but maybe I’m not ready to receive the gift of prophesy. Does He love me any less because He doesn’t give me the gift of prophecy? Absolutely not! I have a friend who has received the gift of tongues. Does he love her more? Is she a “better Christian” than me because she received that gift and I didn’t? NO! God is a good, good Father who knows what gifts we need in order to grow His kingdom.
1 Corinthians 12:11 says that “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.” God gets to decide when I’m ready to receive an extra gift!
Be content in all things
As a little girl, I don’t remember a time when I woke up on Christmas morning and was disappointed because I didn’t receive a certain gift that I had checked off in the catalog. I was content with the gifts that I was blessed with.
I am content with the gifts that God has given me through the Holy Spirit. Do I want more? YES! However, I trust Him to give me the gifts when He says I’m ready for them! Psalm 37:3-4 says to “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Using my gifts for others
I remember one particular Christmas, I received an Easy-Bake Oven. I was so excited to use that gift to “bless” others. My dad ate lots of tiny brownies that I made using this amazing Christmas gift! It was a gift that kept on giving!
God gives us spiritual gifts, but they are not meant to be consumed on ourselves. As we receive, we give it away and then more is given to us. When I feel like I’m not doing enough with my gift, I need to step back and reflect on how God is using my gifts to grow His kingdom. Recently when attending the Holy Spirit class at church, I heard something that struck a chord with me. I heard that we need to “establish evidence of how God is using your gifts that He gave you.” Begin to write down how God is blessing you with the gift of wisdom, or the gift of prophesy. Has He blessed you with the gift of healing? What have you done with that gift? Whatever gift you have received, use it well and I believe that He will bless you with more gifts!
Trusting that your gifts are good
I never doubted that my parents would give me good gifts! Although they threatened telling Santa to put coal in my stocking when I misbehaved, deep down I knew that I would get good gifts for Christmas. You can trust God to give you good gifts as well! Luke 11:11-13 says, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
You can trust God, our good, good Father, to give you gifts that you need to receive in His time. I pray that during this holiday season, you unwrap your gifts and receive your spiritual blessings with the same kind of excitement as receiving the Sears Christmas catalog in the mail!
We would like to thank Vickie Young for writing this blog post!