By Lisa Espinoza What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received? An “As Seen On TV” gadget that never worked like it did for the guy on TV? A necktie featuring patterns that likely originated at Woodstock? Eau de toilette that evokes memories of the last time you cleaned the bathroom, or perhaps a piece of fancy cookware—even though you haven’t technically cooked since the 90’s? I’ll never forget my first birthday as a mother-to-be. My dear husband, a man who typically spoils me with fantastic gifts, presented me with baby monitors. Bless his heart, he meant well. He just didn’t quite understand what I needed at that point. Men, there’s just no better way to say to your pregnant wife, “Honey, you’re not a woman any more…you’re a mom!” than to present her with baby supplies. Or maybe that’s just me. When it comes to giving gifts, God really knows how to spoil us. He knows exactly what we need, and he fills that need with His own Son. He knows we need hope that doesn’t waiver, that is the same today, tomorrow and forever. He knows we need peace that pushes past our circumstances and deep into our hearts. He knows we need love that sees our failures and embraces us just the same. This month, we celebrate the gift of Christ who is our hope, our peace, the One who loves us beyond comprehension. Week 1 “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17 One day this week, sit down with a cool glass of water. Read over this scripture slowly, then take a drink of water. Think about how this water is providing your body with necessary hydration, helping flush impurities, refreshing you. Now meditate on how Christ is living water for your soul. Week 2 This week, ask God to help you notice where you can bring His peace, hope and love to others. Maybe He will place some unmistakable opportunity right in your path—a stranger who needs a car battery charged or a family in need of groceries. He may open your eyes to a child in your very own home who needs reassurance, a teen struggling to find identity, or someone at work who would get a glimpse of God’s love through your simple offer to pray for them. Week 3 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 In the midst of holiday preparations that can sometimes seem less than “peaceful,” take time this week to reframe your activity. Rather than looking at your busy-ness as something that prevents you from spending time with God, make your activity a prayer to God. I don’t mean pray about your activity. Instead, offer the activity itself to God as a prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving…all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Week 4 What gift would you like to give to God? A quiet walk together, a poem, a phone call to a friend who needs encouragement? Maybe God has been asking you for something and you’ve been resisting. What better time than now to offer your “yes” to Him as a gift. Whatever your heartfelt offering, be assured your heavenly Father will respond, “That’s just what I wanted!”
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