If any of you have read Gary Chapman’s famous counseling book, The Five Love Languages, you know that in it he teaches that we all show and receive love in five primary ways: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Gifts, and Acts of Service. At different times I went through the process of discovering which ones were highest for me, and “Gifts” always popped up near the top which actually surprised me,
The reality is that I enjoy getting gifts as much as the next person, but I never thought of it as a significant way for me to feel loved. Once I thought about it more, I realized that I scored so high not so much because I liked getting gifts but rather because I loved giving them. To me gift giving is a long and painstaking process because I try to put a lot of thought and care into each item that I purchase or create. To me it is not so much about the material gift but the thought behind it. I like for the recipient to know that I KNOW THEM and know what they need or what would make them smile.
When I get it right it is an incredible feeling. When someone reciprocates in the same thoughtful way, I feel grateful… blessed… seen… understood… known. Things like my wife making my mother’s signature Wacky Cake for my birthday or a friend taking me to a Bills’ game means more than words can describe. And when it comes to Christmas, I have been given many thoughtful gifts over the years. My favorites are homemade items from my kids.
That being said, the greatest gift that I have ever received was being wrapped 1,974 years before I was even born. Jesus, the Messiah wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger, was the greatest gift because His birth gave my birth, and yours, meaning! Subsequently, His death and resurrection have made it possible for me, and you, to be reconciled to our Heavenly Father and ultimately KNOW andbe KNOWN by the Creator of the universe.
“‘Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.’ ‘No, we don’t know, Lord,’ Thomas said. ‘We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!’” (John 14:1-7) (NLT).
Friends, if you have not yet unwrapped this most precious gift, then I encourage you to do so today. If you confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, not only will you be saved, as Scripture says in Romans 10:9-10, but you will be given the gift of renewed hope by the One who knows you better than anyone else and Who has the power to give purpose to your life.
“We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:24-28) (NLT).