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Pressures and gifts

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Christmas Presents

We’ve all felt that unspoken pressure when handing over a gift. Will they already have it? Will they use it? Will it be enough? Will it fit?! Perhaps this Christmas you’re feeling that pressure!

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17

God is a giver and the gifts that He gives are good. If he created the dazzling lights in the skies around us, then we can trust that gifts he places in our lives and in our hands will be good. We can be sure that the gifts he gives us will be of use to us. His gifts will be enough. His gifts will fit us!

God is the giver of good gifts. He is reliable, trustworthy and unchanging. Unlike some of the other things we’ll give and receive tomorrow! And don’t we see that and celebrate that in the ultimate gift that God gave?

Jesus.

The gift of Jesus didn’t come perfectly wrapped with a ribbon and a bow, but arrived on earth messy and helpless.

The gift of Jesus didn’t arrive with much of an advertising campaign, but was revealed to a few on the fringes of society.

The gift of Jesus didn’t come with a return policy or a gift receipt, he was sent by God as the only option for a broken world.

And did the world have this gift? Would they use it? Would it be enough? Would it fit?

Well, this gift of a Saviour wasn’t something the world already had. The gift of a sin forgiver was useful and necessary to a depraved humanity. The gift of God in human form was more than enough for us. This gift of Jesus perfectly fitted the gap between God and man.

We didn’t have it and we need to use it. It is more than enough and it fits. God’s good gift is Jesus and there’s no need for a return policy this Christmas. Let’s celebrate and walk in that today!

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on the 12th day of Christmas…

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Day 12
There were lots of people involved in the first Christmas story. From family to shepherds to angels to wise men to animals! There are lots of people involved in our lives who have made a difference to us. Perhaps we need to thank and encourage these people more.

Do
Write and hand deliver a Christmas Card to someone who has helped you this year. Tell them that!

on the 11th day of Christmas

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Day 11
In the madness and rush of all that happened that First Christmas, Mary and Joseph went home to start life as a new family. Christmas is often a rush for us, but we should be looking for spaces of stillness and times of silence. Perhaps you need to get away from it all for a short time.

Do
On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, take some moments in silence. No music. No TV. No Facebook. No phone. For a few minutes say thanks to God for the Christmas story.

on the 10th day of Christmas…

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Day 10
Mary was so thankful for what had happened her. She didn’t just take it for granted but realised what a miracle this was. This spilled over in her prayers to God.

Sometimes we might take Christmas for granted too much, and we should take more time to praise and thank God for what it really means.

Do
Write a prayer of thanks to God for what Christmas means to you.

on the 9th day of Christmas

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Day 9
As Jesus grew up, many people shaped and influenced His young life. It’s amazing to think that the Son of God had to learn from others in His life. How humble our God is!

Do
Think about who you could learn from more in your life? Ask to spend some time with this person over the Christmas period so you can be influenced by them more.

on the 8th day of Christmas…

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Day 8
The Bible says that Mary treasured up all the things that people said to them concerning Jesus. Other people’s words meant so much to her. It’s great when we can be an encouragement to other people through the words that we say.

Do
Encourage someone who has helped you by writing and giving them a card to say thanks for all that they have done for you.

on the 7th day of Christmas…

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Day 7
The wise men thought it was important to bring gifts to Jesus. So often we can just think of ourselves and not look for ways to help others. Maybe we need to think about how we can give things away more in our lives as part of our worship to Jesus.

Do
Save money by making a gift for someone this Christmas and then giving it away to a charity or project that will make a difference in the lives of others.

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