The kids and grandkids arrived over the weekend, so we had our family “Christmas” on Monday.  Piles of Christmas presents under the tree and in front of the fireplace testified that God had blessed everyone’s work this year.

The big hit of this year’s gift-giving is a six foot helium-inflated shark with remote control which we take turns cruising around the house. He is propelled by a swishing tail just like a real shark. (Who thinks up this stuff?)The dogs aren’t too happy, but we people are amused and entertained.

After all the gifts were opened the living room was filled with discarded, boxes, wrapping paper and bows–the colorful debris from months of planning, shopping, wrapping and giving—and lots of grandkid stuff.

As I surveyed the happy scene, a passage of the Gospel of Like came to mind:

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (11:13)

To hear many people pray you would think God is a rich ole miser who is most reluctant to part with his treasure. But nothing could be further from the truth! Turns out God is a loving Father who lavishes blessings on those who seek Him.

God gives many gifts: healing, prosperity, opportunity, talents, spiritual gifts, peace, hope, and love. The list goes on. And on.

But the gift God most desires to give us is…His own Spirit!  … how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

The Spirit who convinces us of our sinful nature—of the divine righteousness of His Son as the only antidote to our sinfulness—of my impending doom apart from Him.

What an astonishing gift God gives us. His Spirit is dispatched from the heavenly throne of the Father to give me a new heart, a new world view and a new life. The Spirit comes to indwell me forever. The Spirit downloads God’s very character and His super-natural competencies.

As 2011 rolls over into 2012 consider what God has given us in His Son and Spirit. Priceless, exquisite, powerful, transforming, eternal gifts. Because He loves us. Because we need Him and them.

He has prepared these gifts for us for a very long time. He has looked forward for a very long time to the expressions on our faces when we finally received them.

May your New Year be Jesus-centered and Spirited-filled as you enjoy the God’s gifts of His Son and His Spirit in fresh and wonderful ways.


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