Part of the delight of celebrating Christmas is giving gifts–that makes perfect sense since God offered us a wonderful example by gifting us with His precious Son, Jesus. (John 3:16) Gift-givers experience a thrill that travels to the deepest heart level as they witness hope-filled, sparkling eyes anticipating what could be the recipient’s greatest desire. Oh, what joy our Heavenly Father must realize when a sinner finally understands and accepts that Jesus is that gift he or she has been desiring for so very long.
Although God sent His gift to us over 2,000 years ago, some still search for that “something” that will bring deep satisfaction, peace, and joy into their hearts. They don’t realize God’s gift is, and has been, sitting right in front of them, within reach and ready to be received since their birth.
Maybe they don’t recognize Jesus as a gift because the wrapper isn’t what they had expected. Maybe they reject the design on the wrapper. (Isaiah 53:2) Others may be convinced there is nothing more to life than what meets the eye–caring nothing about the importance and function of faith. (John 14:1) What grief must fill God’s big heart to see so many suffering life’s trials without the deep assurance of His Gift assisting them through it all. God’s gift, wrapped in flesh, sits unopened, useless to many while they search themselves into a frenzy.
What can be done about this situation? Will mere words of wisdom make the difference? Possibly. Will inviting the unsaved to church make the difference? Maybe. Will anything make a difference? Yes.
Prayers prayed with deep, loving concern will make a difference. Prayers that ask God to till the soil of each heart preparing that person to recognize and receive God’s most wonderful gift, those will make a difference. Mere words, invitations to church, and loving deeds leave an impact, when acknowledged and embraced, but each person must reach out and take God’s gift for himself or herself. Even the angels rejoice when someone receives God’s wonderful gift. (Luke 15:10)
After praying for years, including every single night for a season, my loved one accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior three weeks before he passed away. When I heard the news, I rejoiced with tears of gladness in thanksgiving to God for hearing and answering. One day I will see my beloved uncle in heaven as we sing around God’s throne. My family prayed and it made a difference. My uncle finally received God’s precious gift, Jesus, even though he had sought in all the wrong places for too many years.
We can’t give the gift; God does that. We can’t receive the gift for someone else; they must take it. But, we can pray. It will make God’s gift recognizable and desirable when we do.
Who do you need to pray for this Christmas season? Put their name on your mirror to remember to pray for them. It will make a world of difference as they contemplate God’s awesome gift.