How many handmade gifts have you given over the years? I've given placemats, wallhangings, tree ornaments, a bed quilt and baby quilts. From crafters I know, I've been given a Christmas tree skirt, Christmas decorations and ornaments, baby quilts and blankets, Santa hats, jewelry, a turned wood bowl and a peppermill and salt shaker set (to name just a few things).
|Our tree skirt was given to us by my sister-in-law Nancy when we were living in Igloolik. See Santa's sleigh is being pulled by polar bears?|
There's something wonderful about a gift that was made especially for the recipient. As a group, we crafters are generous and love to give gifts we made ourselves. Even children love to give of themselves in this way. From their first scribbles proudly presented to Mom or Dad they understand how good it feels to give their own creation to someone special.
Even just picking out gifts from a store can be so exciting. Last year was the first Christmas Aiden picked out gifts for his Dad and me all on his own and paid for them with his own money. It was fun seeing how excited he was on Christmas morning as he waited for each of us to open our gifts. He was practically jumping up and down, just beside himself with the anticipation of seeing what we would think of these gifts he had picked out.
It's understandable we find such joy in giving gifts. The Bible says "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). God delights in giving gifts. Every day is a gift from Him, as is every breath we breathe. Sewing machines, quilt patterns, fabric stores full of beautiful fabric, all of it comes as a gift from God.
The gifts I've given have been appreciated, but they weren't needed. Mom loved the placemats I gave her, in fact she asked for a second set for when they have company, but she didn't need them. She would have been perfectly fine without them, using the placemats she already had. God, however, has offered to each of us a gift that we do need, and without this gift we are not fine. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Without Jesus we are trapped, unable to stop being sinners. But Jesus died to free us. His power living in us allows us to resist the temptation to sin. His blood shed for the forgiveness of sin allows us to stand before a holy God, forgiven of all the wrong from our past.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9). My salvation is a gift from God, not because I'm so good or so special or so hard-working. I didn't try so hard to make myself good that God decided to save me. Good thing too, because I'm terrible at self-improvement projects. Left to myself, I would certainly never reach heaven. My only contribution to my salvation was my acceptance of the gift God offered.
Have you accepted it? You don't have to wait until you're older, thinner, more financially stable or more "good." Jesus died for your sins. The gift of God - eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord - is available to you today, just as you are. All you have to do is believe, by faith, that Jesus died for you, and accept God's gift of eternal life.