The Gift that Extends Beyond the Current Season

The Gift that Extends Beyond the Current Season
 
gift

It is that time again when many look forward to receiving gifts, bonuses and surprises. Additionally, it is that time when many are tasked with the question, “What do I purchase my child, spouse, parent or the special friend?” Finding the right gift is not always easy.  However, I share with you what I consider the best gift that one can give or receive which, incidentally, extends beyond the current season to every month, week, or day thereafter this; and it does not cost one anything. All one must do is receive it.  What could that gift be, and how can it be obtained? John 4:10 describes it simply as “the gift of God.” To clarify, a Samaritan woman who was asked by Jesus for water to drink shifted the conversation to the subject of nationality and therefore, Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (ESV John 4:10).
 
Why Such a Gift?
The “Gift of God” which is true, real, and most relevant is found in the person of Jesus Christ who essentially constitutes the total package for humanity.  Anything that one could ever need or desire is found in or could be supplied by Jesus. That may or may not be money, true and lasting happiness, purpose, friendship or other material needs. No wonder a familiar hymn carries the words, “Jesus is all the world to me.”  How true! Consider what he brought to persons many centuries ago.  He restored life to the son of a woman who was being carried to the grave (Luke 7:11-17).  He brought healing to a paralytic man (Mark 2). He offered sight to the blind man who for many years of his life never saw anything, but Jesus changed all of that (John 9).  Additionally, He placed importance upon children who were being run away by misunderstanding disciples, who thought Jesus was just too busy for little ones (Mark 10:13-16).  But how mistaken! Also, He fed 5,000 men besides women and children who otherwise could have starved without such an intervention (John 6). He offered hope and an alternative to a Jailer inclined to commit suicide (Acts 16). These all speak to the relevance of “the Gift of God” at work in behalf of men, women and children. Imagine, “If we knew the Gift of God” and would fully embrace Him, life will take on new meaning. 
 
The Relevance of This Gift
If God can do the above, then certainly He can do what is required for us today.  That involves not just supplying our needs but, above all, giving us a sense of hope and an assurance of a better tomorrow.  Essentially, Jesus is able to provide food where cupboards lay bare; He is able to give healing to those stricken with diseases of all kind.  He can defray the expense of a college student as well as provide a much-needed house or a car for that matter.  In fact, Jesus can do any and everything that we may encounter today or will ever encounter.  Personally, I cannot think of anything close to that. The Bible makes it clear that there is “nothing too hard for Him to do for us.”  If you can think of any issue that constitutes a challenge or difficulty, remember “with the Gift of God” it is not an issue for God. As some say locally, “It is a piece of cake,” meaning “no challenge.”
 
What Should Be Our Response to the Gift of God?
With a gift so complete, relevant, timely, and all encompassing, shouldn’t there be rejoicing and merry making?  And such could only be the case when one embraces Christ.  In the words of the popular Christmas hymn, we should all exclaim, “Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel has come to thee O’ Israel.”  In addition, one should be led to shout, “Joy to the world the Lord has come.” Then, the response should advance to one of worship. In fact, the following songs convey the message of worship: “O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us endure Him, Christ the Lord.”  And this is best coupled with the lyrics, “O come to my heart Lord Jesus there is room in my heart for thee.” Is there room in your heart or on your agenda for Jesus? A simple prayer inviting Jesus to come into your heart can make all the difference to a purpose-less and dull state. Don't you want that joy now and forever? It can be yours now! As Jesus declared to the woman at the well who eventually embraced Him, He says to us today, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (ESV John 4:10).
On behalf of my wife and the Adventist Community, I wish for you spirit-filled holidays and a blessed and purposeful New Year!