Cherishing All The Gifts of Christmas

Our salvation will always be the greatest gift we receive. But let's cherish all the gifts He gives and learn to use them to bless others.

Cherishing All The Gifts of Christmas

December 24, 2020

As I publish this post on Christmas Eve, my family will soon participate in one of our final traditions of the holiday~exchanging gifts

According to legend,  we give gifts to remind us of the first ones given to Jesus by the traveling magi. They offered three gifts, each of them a fitting tribute to the newborn King. (Matthew 2:11)

Gold, traditionally associated with royalty, confirmed their belief in Jesus and His sovereignty. Because temple worship often used incense, their gift of frankincense pointed to His future role as our High Priest. Finally, the magi presented Jesus with myrrh, a perfume used for embalming. This gift recognized the suffering and death Jesus would experience.

All of these gifts point to the true gift of Christmas: Jesus Christ. Not only do we receive this gift at Christmas, but as our Immanuel, we have the gift of Jesus forever.  

Since I came to faith during Christmastime, the season presents the perfect opportunity for me to remember these gifts. But I believe He gives even more:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)

After my conversion, He didn’t whisk me straight up to heaven; He left me on Earth with a purpose and the means to accomplish it. Our lifetime work is to discover, develop and distribute our God-given talents and abilities. When we do this, we find fulfillment, enrich the lives of others, and bring glory to God. 

For years I missed these gifts. Because of a narrow focus, I looked at this Scripture as an obligation rather than a blessing. I limited what I considered “worthy” talents and gifts and I mistakenly tried on “good works” which did not meet my skill set.

I’ve learned to think outside of the box. No list of gifts are all-inclusive. While we tend to think of talent as having an athletic, artistic or creative aptitude, our talents can be anything we either do well naturally, or have learned.  

As we move forward to the new year, I encourage all of us to reflect and consider what our talents may be, and how we might use them to bless others. 

Here are some thoughts to get us started:

Think back: Reflect on your life. What did you enjoy as a child? This may help you discern some of your natural bents. What compliments have you received in the past? These will highlight the skills or talents others see in you. What types of projects bring you joy? Nothing creates more joy than using our God-given gifts.

Think now: Ask the people in your life today: What do you see as my strengths and abilities? Consider your current life situation. What do you have time and energy to pursue right now? Look at the people in your circle of life. Is there a need you can meet with your current skill set?

Think ahead: As you reflect on your talents and skills, ask yourself: Are there other ways I can use these to bless others? Do I need to refresh or refine these skills with additional training? Are there other natural abilities I need to develop? What resources can I use to help me do this?

Our salvation remains the greatest gift we receive through Jesus. But let’s cherish all His gifts, and fulfill the charge given by the Apostle Peter:

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Peter 4:10 ESV)

As we continue our journey, I pray we learn to share all the gifts given to us by the One who faithfully leads us.

Cherishing All The Gifts of Christmas

December 24, 2020

Our salvation will always be the greatest gift we receive. But let's cherish all the gifts He gives and learn to use them to bless others.

As I publish this post on Christmas Eve, my family will soon participate in one of our final traditions of the holiday~exchanging gifts

According to legend,  we give gifts to remind us of the first ones given to Jesus by the traveling magi. They offered three gifts, each of them a fitting tribute to the newborn King. (Matthew 2:11)

Gold, traditionally associated with royalty, confirmed their belief in Jesus and His sovereignty. Because temple worship often used incense, their gift of frankincense pointed to His future role as our High Priest. Finally, the magi presented Jesus with myrrh, a perfume used for embalming. This gift recognized the suffering and death Jesus would experience.

All of these gifts point to the true gift of Christmas: Jesus Christ. Not only do we receive this gift at Christmas, but as our Immanuel, we have the gift of Jesus forever.  

Since I came to faith during Christmastime, the season presents the perfect opportunity for me to remember these gifts. But I believe He gives even more:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)

After my conversion, He didn’t whisk me straight up to heaven; He left me on Earth with a purpose and the means to accomplish it. Our lifetime work is to discover, develop and distribute our God-given talents and abilities. When we do this, we find fulfillment, enrich the lives of others, and bring glory to God. 

For years I missed these gifts. Because of a narrow focus, I looked at this Scripture as an obligation rather than a blessing. I limited what I considered “worthy” talents and gifts and I mistakenly tried on “good works” which did not meet my skill set.

I’ve learned to think outside of the box. No list of gifts are all-inclusive. While we tend to think of talent as having an athletic, artistic or creative aptitude, our talents can be anything we either do well naturally, or have learned.  

As we move forward to the new year, I encourage all of us to reflect and consider what our talents may be, and how we might use them to bless others. 

Here are some thoughts to get us started:

Think back: Reflect on your life. What did you enjoy as a child? This may help you discern some of your natural bents. What compliments have you received in the past? These will highlight the skills or talents others see in you. What types of projects bring you joy? Nothing creates more joy than using our God-given gifts.

Think now: Ask the people in your life today: What do you see as my strengths and abilities? Consider your current life situation. What do you have time and energy to pursue right now? Look at the people in your circle of life. Is there a need you can meet with your current skill set?

Think ahead: As you reflect on your talents and skills, ask yourself: Are there other ways I can use these to bless others? Do I need to refresh or refine these skills with additional training? Are there other natural abilities I need to develop? What resources can I use to help me do this?

Our salvation remains the greatest gift we receive through Jesus. But let’s cherish all His gifts, and fulfill the charge given by the Apostle Peter:

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Peter 4:10 ESV)

As we continue our journey, I pray we learn to share all the gifts given to us by the One who faithfully leads us.

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4 Comments

  1. Mysty Pfeffer on December 26, 2020 at 3:11 PM

    I love the focus of using our gifts to serve Him! The fruit we bare in that endeavor continues to multiply!

    Thank you, Shirley

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on December 27, 2020 at 2:15 PM

      Thank you Mysty! So very true~He does multiply our gifts, and their effects, when we use them in His service. Thank you for sharing! 💕😊

  2. Marcia on December 27, 2020 at 7:26 AM

    Thank you so much for your God-given insights… you are a blessing. 🥰🎄

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on December 27, 2020 at 2:13 PM

      Thank you Marcia! I’m glad you find them helpful. Your friendship is a blessing! 💕

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