What is the most memorable Christmas gift you’ve ever received? It can be something tangible like a present that you can hold in your hand. But what about a gift that you instead hold in your heart? What about receiving the gift of grace and mercy when you don’t deserve it? Wouldn’t that mean more to you than just receiving things that eventually will break, decay, or lose its importance? And what about giving grace and mercy to your spouse as a gift?
We’re not saying you shouldn’t get your spouse a Christmas gift. Tangible gifts can also be important. But we need to give each other more than material possessions. We do this so we can maintain a growing relationship, which honors each other and honors God.
Giving Grace as a Gift
As we look for gifts to give our spouse this Christmas, let’s not forget to also share with them gifts of the heart. These are the type of gifts that keep on giving. They continue in importance, not only at Christmas, but throughout the year. After-all, isn’t that what the Christ of Christmas came to give us? We didn’t deserve the gift of mercy and grace that He gave us. But none-the-less, it’s available to all who believe in His name. It’s available to all who receive Him as their personal Savior.
On this note, we’d like to share with you the following (shortened) message. It was sent to us through a friend of the ministry. It’s written by Julian Marion:
SPREAD A LITTLE CHRISTMAS CHEER!
“Sharing is what this Christmas season is all about. When God sent Jesus Christ into the world, God was sharing heaven with us. Christmas is not about Santa; it’s about a Savior. Christmas is not about gifts; it’s about grace.
“Jesus will always be the reason for the season because He is Lord. The knowledge of Christ must effect a transformation in our lives that will in turn affect our attitudes and our actions. The words we speak will only influence others if our actions support our words.
“We live in a day and age, where people are weary and perhaps reticent when it comes to doing good. But this should not however, deny us the privilege of walking in obedience to our Lord.
“Jesus said, ‘For I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink. I was a stranger, and you took Me in. Also, I was naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came to Me.” Then the righteous shall answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? Or thirsty, and gave You drink? When did we see You a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You?’ (Matthew 25:35-38)
“Inasmuch as you are kind and charitable to one of the least of these, you are doing it as unto the Lord Himself.
“The Bible states that those who profess to love God and hate their brothers are in denial. After all, how can you hate your brother whom you can see, but you claim to love God who you cannot see?
The Message of Giving Grace
“Christmas is that time of year when the whole world is hearing the message of the birth of Jesus. It’s a time when people are tenderhearted. That’s why it’s the perfect time to plant seeds of love in the lives of others. Keep a sharp eye out for even the smallest chance to assist people. It’s amazing how others are ready to hear what you have to say when you say it in love.
“It’s easy to give people what they deserve. But it’s a privilege to give them mercy. As we ask God to begin a work of humility in our hearts, we will see just how powerfully His transforming love truly is. Remember, Christmas is only complete when we receive God’s gift —Jesus Christ.”
Giving Grace and Mercy
Let us not forget during this season of busyness to give each other the gift of mercy. Also, we need to be kind to each other. After-all, if you’re too busy to be kind—you’re too busy. You need to do some rearranging of your priorities, if that’s the case.
As we go through the rest of the days leading up to Christmas ask God to show you how to share with your spouse gifts from the heart. Look for ways in which you can extend grace and mercy. Over-look little annoyances that in the big scheme of things won’t amount to much 100 years from now.
The following are seven gifts of the heart we challenge you to put in the forefront of your mind to give each other this Christmas season:
Giving Grace and Other Gifts
• Give the gift of LISTENING. We are told in God’s word: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)
• Give the gift of BEING POLITE to each other. And make sure you are SELF-SACRIFICING in your motives: “[Love] is not rude. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
• Give the gift of BEING CAREFUL WITH YOUR WORDS: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
• Give the gift of BEING CONSIDERATE WITH HOW YOU SAY THINGS: “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)
• Give the gift of TRYING TO UNDERSTAND YOUR SPOUSES FEELINGS over a matter that’s important to them: “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2)
• Give the gift of RESTRAINING YOUR ANGER: “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” (Proverbs 29:11)
• Give the gift of SPEAKING ONLY KIND WORDS, AND BEING PEACEABLE: “Remind the people… to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” (Titus 3:2)
If you have children, give them a peaceful Christmas. Apply these principles to your life so they don’t have to pay the price for their mom and dad unlike Jesus Christ in their words and actions.
You are a living example to them and others of how a Christ-follower honors the Christ of Christmas during this holiday season. Make it a time when there will be “Peace on earth and good will toward men” —at least lived out in YOUR home!
Steve and Cindy Wright
— ALSO —
On the issue of giving grace, below are two additional articles you may benefit from reading. They can be found on the Crosswalk web site:
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