Tis Better to Give Devotional
Read This: Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. John testified about him and shouted out, “This one was the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’” For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. (John 1:14-16)
Think: Some of us turn into real scrooges around the holidays. We struggle with the whole gift giving thing, feeling like we’ve sold our souls to the materialistic, commercialized disaster that we feel Christmas has become. For others, Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year but for all the wrong reasons. It’s become the one time of year that we can feed our shopping addiction with reckless abandonment—after all it’s for other people, mostly.
But how does Christmas, and gift giving in particular, all come back to a humble savior born in a manger? The truth is that Christmas is a celebration of the greatest gift of all: God in human flesh coming to live and die so that anyone who wants to can be reconciled to God and have eternal life. Before we ever knew God or acknowledged him, he had a plan to give up his Son so we could be saved. So whereas Santa comes to bring presents for all the good kids, Jesus came to die for the bad kids. The truth is so much sweeter than the myth.
Giving gifts to each other reflects God’s gift to all of us. Jesus didn’t come wrapped in pretty paper with a giant bow; he was born in a simple stable to a simple family. Isaiah 53:2 says, “he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him.” God’s present came in a simple package and yet there is no greater expression of God’s love and sacrifice for us. It’s not about the size of the gift or the amount of gifts or even if there are gifts at all. Christmas is about having a generous heart like the Father’s.
Ask: How can you keep the giving and getting of Christmas presents in check so as not to take away the glory from the real Gift this season?
Pray: Prayerfully consider how you and your family can best reflect God’s love in your gift giving—not just to each other, but to people all over the world who are experiencing hardships.