No Returns

 The day after Christmas is apparently the third busiest shopping day of the year, after Black Friday and the Saturday before Christmas.  Some go for the discount after-Christmas bargains, but many go to return or exchange gifts for a variety of reasons.  Many of the gifts received this Christmas will be headed back to the stores today for a different size or color, because they were defective, or just to be exchanged for something different, or even for a refund. 

     Christmas Eve we attended a party at our pastor’s house. We were to bring a wrapped “white-elephant gift,” something we had received as a gift in the past which we didn’t really want or couldn’t use.  I guess we all have them sitting around, or stored in closets. We’re not really sure what to do with them because we don’t want to offend the person who gave them to us.  When we pick out gifts for others, we are always concerned that it be something they really do want and can use.  We aren’t always successful!
   I’m so glad the gift that God gave us is exactly what we needed and what our heart longs for, and never needs to be “returned.”  His gift, of course, was His Son, and the salvation provided through His sacrifice on our behalf.  “For God so loved the  world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16).  Our greatest need is for forgiveness of sin and to be reconciled to God. God’s gift not only met that need but also provides a whole new, purposeful life. Jesus said, “…I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10).  I have never heard a testimony saying, “I’m glad I waited so long to receive God’s gift of salvation through Christ.” But I have heard many who have testified, “Oh, I wish I had made this decision long ago!”  God’s gift is the “perfect” gift, the one we desperately need and which not only meets our greatest expectations but much more. It is definitely the “gift which keeps on giving!”  Once you have accepted God’s gift of eternal life in Christ, you will never need to or want to try to “return” it.  (You couldn’t even if you wanted to!  “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable”… Ro. 8:29…no returns!)  
     Another great thing about the “gift” God has given us is that you can share it with as many as you want without fear of losing it yourself. This gift comes with an eternal “guarantee,” “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you'” (Heb. 13:8).  In fact, the more you share your “gift” with others, the more your gift means to you, and the more excited you get about the gift you were given.
     I trust that you have received God’s greatest of all gifts by trusting Christ for eternal life. If you haven’t, I strongly urge you to consider Jesus’ offer to you, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).  “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Rev. 22:17).  If you have “opened” God’s gift to you, be sure and share that gift with as many as possible. Many around us are desperately in need of hope and purpose. They are “dead in their trespasses and sins” and need the life which is only available in Jesus Christ. If you have Him in your life then you can share Him with those who need Him. That, by the way, happens to be the very greatest “gift” you could ever give them too!  Any other gift we might give someone is only temporal. But the gift of life in Jesus Christ, that is for eternity. It will never rust, corrode, or fade away, and can’t be stolen. It is “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you (we) greatly rejoice…” (I Pet. 1:4-6a). 
     “THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS INDESCRIBABLE GIFT” (II Cor. 9:15).
 
                                                            Forever His,
                                                                Pastor Dave
    
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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