Today, of course, is Christmas Day. It is the day of the year set aside for giving gifts to one another so that we remember God’s most valuable of all gifts when He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to be our Savior.
Early this morning, as I waited for the rest of the family to rise and get ready for our gift-opening ritual, I considered the extravagance of God. Our God pours out His gifts on His creatures in so many ways. In His providence, God feeds all His creatures and supplies them with water and shelter. He is extravagant with the beauty He pours out onto His favored planet with sunsets and mountains and valleys and flowers and birds of every color in the rainbow. He gives us tastes and sights and sounds, and then He graces us with the senses of hearing and seeing and smelling so that we can enjoy what He has made. God is generous and patient with humans and “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).” God is patient with those who have rebelled against Him and who have broken His laws and commandments and withholds His judgment during their years of wandering and their years of rejecting Him and gives them time to repent (Romans 9:22-23; 2 Peter 3:8-9). Such extravagant patience toward those who deserve His wrath!
And then, as if that were not enough, “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ dies for us (Romans 5:8).” God’s love toward His people is not reluctantly given or disguised in obscurity, but it is vividly and boldly demonstrated in the giving of His Son to be sacrificed on a cross to atone for the sins of His people. The sacrifice of the Son of God is the central act of the entire Bible when God extravagantly demonstrated His love through Jesus Christ. This is the God we serve, the God who demonstrates His love for His people in the most extravagant way possible.
As I considered how God gives gifts, and thought about how He is extravagant beyond comparison, I realized that the way I give gifts is very different from the way God gives gifts. I made several resolutions as I repented of my giving habits.
Resolved: Show people you love them in tangible ways, and do this often, not just at Christmas and on their birthday. This is a LIFE LESSON. God demonstrates His love in tangible ways. Shouldn’t I do the same?
Resolved: The best use of money is in extravagant expressions of love. This is a LIFE LESSON. Make sure you don’t die with a bunch of money you could have used to demonstrate love to others.
Resolved: Seek opportunities to tangibly demonstrate my love for people in time, gifts, hugs, smiles, money, etc. Christmas is one time built into the calendar to be extravagant. Don’t miss these opportunities.
Resolved: Because I never know when my life or any other life will end, express my love TODAY. Do not wait till tomorrow to demonstrate your love. Tomorrow may be too late, and once you are gone or the loved one is gone, the opportunities to demonstrate love are also gone.
Resolved: To regularly pray to the Lord to change me and make me into a conduit for demonstrating love. PLAN WAYS to demonstrate my love. SPONTANEOUSLY demonstrate my love.
Let’s make 2021 the year that we demonstrate our love to others. Don’t let your love be a secret. Boldly let others know you love them. Let the love of Jesus Christ flow through you in extravagantly giving yourself away.
SDG rmb 12/25/2020