The Best Gift of All
John Telgren

The following is an excerpt from an article came across my desk this week from David Sargent. In this season of gift giving, there are some gifts that are priceless...

Having trouble selecting that perfect gift for someone? Someone has suggested the following:
  • Give the Gift of Listening Really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
  • Give the Gift of Affection Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
  • Give the Gift of Laughter Clip cartoons, share articles, funny stories, and a good joke. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."
  • Give the Gift of a Written Note It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or an "I appreciate you" note. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
  • Give the Gift of a Compliment Everyone needs encouragement. Mark Twain said, "One compliment can keep me going for a whole month."
  • Give the Gift of a Favor Go out of your way to do something kind for someone.
  • Give the Gift of Solitude There are times when we want nothing more than to have some peace and quiet. Be sensitive to those times, and give the gift of solitude to others.
  • Give the Gift of a Cheerful Disposition The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. It's not hard to be polite and courteous, to say "hello" or "thank you."

As I reflect on these things, it occurs to me that the greatest gift of all is the gift of life that comes from God. He offers it to us as a gift (Rom 6:23), but it wasn't free. In fact, it cost him more than we could ever imagine. It cost him the life of his only son, Jesus Christ. He gave his all for us. We cannot even begin to fathom the price he paid. No wonder it says, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift" (2 Cor 9:15).

In return God wants us to give offer ourselves to him. We are to be "living sacrifices" (Rom 12:1). This begins when we believe in our heart that Jesus died for our sins on the cross and was raised from the dead (Rom 10:9). The first steps are when we accept Jesus as crucified savior and risen Lord (Acts 2:36; 1 Thess 1:10). We offer up ourselves to God when we submit to him in baptism, putting our old selves to death and being raised up a new person (Rom 6). We are an acceptable and pleasing offering to God when our daily lives are a living sacrifice to him, full of faithfulness and loyalty to God (Rom 12:1-2).

Part of being a living sacrifice is to share the gift of God with others (1 Tim 6:18). Whether in prosperity or poverty, God instructs us to always be rich in good works and ready to share. We share in both material blessings and spiritual blessings, which includes the Gospel of our Lord.