“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” John 15:16
As Christmas approaches, the stores are filled with shoppers searching for those special gifts to give to their loved ones come Christmas morning. Each one hustling through the stores, carefully pondering their very precious purchases, “Should I choose this, or that? I wonder if he will like this… Could this be the perfect present for her?” Oh the care that is taken to choose just the right thing! As if the contents of the beautifully wrapped boxes ~ tied up just right, with a shiny red bows ~ could convey our love and affection for those who would receive them.
Our Father in Heaven is the giver of all good gifts and He, too, took much care in choosing gifts for our loved ones. Do you know that God so carefully chose you? That He thought of you before the foundation of this world to be just the right gift for your family and for His world? He did not have to wonder. The One who sees all from the beginning from the end, knew that you would be the perfect mom for your children, the perfect wife for your husband, or the perfect daughter for your mom and dad. You would be the neighbor the lonely woman next door would need; the missionary that would reach that tribe in South America, or the love that would reach that lost youth battling drug addiction. Can you even begin to imagine that God could see, as He formed you with His hands, every single life you would touch with His love throughout your entire lifetime?
Yes, she will be perfect! This child of mine will know my Son deeply, and she will radiate with a love that will do more than she will ever know. She will not know that the cashier at the grocery store looked forward to her coming in every week because there is just something about the way she notices her that warms her cold and lonely heart. She will not know that the coworker she kept witnessing to for years, despite the rejection, would turn to Me and all his family would be saved. She will not know the impact of her family line because she chose to walk humbly with her God. She will not be able to comprehend how the little touches she will make in lives over her short lifetime on earth will weave together into a beautiful picture of love. No, my child will not be able to understand what a wondrous gift she is in Jesus, but I do, and I choose her as my precious gift to the world.
James tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruit of all He created.” (James 1:17-18) Can you fathom that our Father looks down on us as a perfect gift that He has given?
Everything in my sin-stricken heart fights the notion that God could see me in this way and I have an enemy that would like nothing more than to steal my joy this Christmas season. How we might feel does not change the truth that when God looks at each one of us, He sees the image of His Son, and His Spirit within us. Perfect! A perfect gift to a lost and hurting world!
I long to be the gift God sees in me to my family: to my friends, to my community, and to this world. He chose me! And He chose you, to bear fruit that will last! When all the gifts from this Christmas are long gone, the gifts God chose to give in us and the greatest gift of all, the Lord Jesus Christ, will remain!
I plan on enjoying my shopping, and enjoying wrapping all the presents I buy in pretty paper to put underneath the tree. I want to enjoy the decorations, the lights, and all the good things that come with the holidays, but the Lord is impressing on my heart that this year, amongst all the traditions of the season, I can be a gift. Love came into the world so that I can be love to those around me. I can be present, whether at the mall, in the community or in my home, to notice how my Lord would have me be a blessing and a gift to those around me.
What I long for most this Christmas season is greatest gift of all! The one that was born amongst the animals in a stable so long ago, and laid to rest in a manger. God’s most precious gift ~ Himself; His fullness, wrapped in the form of a helpless babe crying out into the night on that first Christmas morning. That babe was our Saviour. Long before we were born, long before we knew Him, He laid there as the perfect gift; my perfect gift from above and yours. Given so that we could give Light; so that we could be light, the Spirit of God in human flesh, so that we might be human flesh with the Spirit of God in us. Gifts to the world, chosen in our most precious Jesus, to bear fruit that will last!
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6