From the Evangelist Desk.
Call that a Present!
Have you every been embarrassed when you have received a present from someone, and you have either forgotten to get them one in return, or the one you got then bore no reflection one the wonderful gift the gave to you? I can remember sometimes in my life saying woops and feeling guilt and remorse that I had not bothered, or did not get them something worthwhile.
Recently I had a occasion when someone was embarrassed about seeing me because they knew that I had something costly to give to them, and they had only something small for me. But I did not care because it’s the thought that counts.
Then I thought to myself that this person had spent time choosing the present for me, checking my size and colour likes and dislikes and all that sort of thing. Me on the other hand went to visit the hole in the wall, and pressed a few numbers, wrote a card and put the financial gain from the hole in the wall into the card envelop with the card. So whose present meant more?
I took no time out at all really, I took the quick option, knowing that I could afford to give financially. Short cutting the system I would say. Just taking the easy way out, no thought, well hardly any, the only thought was can I afford this amount.
They on the other hand had taken the time and trouble to try and understand my size, colour likes and style. They had then spent time travelling to a retail outlet and purchased the said item.
I am put to shame.
When reading the Bible, as I do every day, my eyes fell on Luke 6, shown below. And thought how unworthy I am. I meditated on verse 38 and wondered how often I had just visited the spiritual hole in the wall to take something out just to say I am a Christian? How often have I truly given either of myself or of what I have? How often have I thought long and hard what needs to be given?
I then reflected on the times when I have offered a gift to the Lord, either for the sake of others, or for the church, or whatever, and then how that has been returned to me, pressed down, shaken together and running over.
I can see myself now sitting on a chair, with a really large package of some sort on my lap, huge weighing me down. I look at the package and see that there is a tag on it saying ‘To Rick, thanks for all that you have done for me. Love God’. What a feeling of humility I suffer. I feel overjoyed that I have been blessed with such a large gift, but feel humility because I have given so little in return.
But then what I have given has been a gift of thoughtfulness, listening to what the Lord has said that He would like. And then spending time and effort to make sure that He gets it. May not cost a lot in money, but it does cost a lot in love.
I must also remember that there is not a gift within the universe that I can give to the Lord that he cannot get for Himself. And that no gift is either to small for Him or to large for Him, as long as the gift is given with sincerity, love and honesty.
New International Version (NIV)
36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
So in summary, there is no such thing as a quick fix as far as a gift is concerned. Not to the Lord especially. We must think through, what would he like and when would he like it. We must also make sure that it is a gift from the heart, not just the wallet/purse.
Lastly remember that gifts are not just for Christmas, Birthdays and Easter. Gifts are given as a token of love and loyalty. Everyday the Lord wants to give you gift that really matters and will make a difference in your life.
Keep well and may God Bless and Keep you all.