Happy New Year!
"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift." (2 Cor 9:15)
Two weeks ago, I told the story of how I had received a beautiful watch for Christmas last year. It was, however, far more than a simple timepiece, and it took me a while to learn what all of its dials and buttons were for, and even longer to figure out how each of those little "features" could benefit me.
What I failed to tell you was that the watch was also two big. I think that 3 of my tiny wrists could have easily fit in that band, and thus, until I made a trip to the nearest jeweler to remove over half of the links in the band, there was no way I could wear it.
Unfortunately circumstance dictated that I didn't make that trip to the jeweler, and my beautiful watch, fully unwrapped, fully understood, sat in its box for the next two weeks.
When I did finally take my watch to the jeweler, I then found myself faced with yet another dilemma: I went so long without wearing a working watch that I had gotten out of the habit of looking to my wrist to know the time; and since my old watch didn't have all of the bells and whistles of this new one, I am totally not used to using the watch for the other things it was good for. It took time and effort on my part for me to fully begin to utilize my beautiful Christmas gift.
Over the course of the past two weeks, we have examined the major parts of Jesus' ultimate gift to us, described to us by Paul as "indescribable." We have learned that Jesus' Christmas gift includes the following:
1. Salvation: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).
2. Salvation that is an individual gift, for each of us: "For unto us a child is born..." (Is 9:6a)
3. Not just individual salvation, but the conquering sin and death, forever: "...unto us a SON is given..." (Is 9:6b)
4. Jesus will one day be OUR government, and He will reign with order and justice and peace: "and the government will be upon His shoulders..." (Is 9:6c)
5. We have access to the wisest counsel possible: "And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor..." (Isaiah 9:6c)
6. We have an image of God the Father: "And His name will be called...Mighty God, Everlasting Father..." (Isaiah 9:6d)
7. We have access to ultimate peace: "And His name will be called...Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6e)
8. We have access to God's Spirit: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me..." (Is 61:1a)
9. We have healing for our broken hearts and freedom from our spiritual poverty: "Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted..." (Is 61:1b)
10. We have freedom from the chains of sin and addiction: "To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound..." (Isaiah 61:1c)
11. We have access to incredible comfort and joy in the face of mourning: "To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." (Isaiah 61:2b-3a)
12. We are considered righteous, because we are covered by Jesus' robe of righteousness: "That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." (Isaiah 61:2,3)
That's quite a list, isn't it? And although I love my new watch, I have to admit that the fullness of Jesus' Christmas gift for us is oh, so much bigger and better than any earthly gift, my watch included. But if we never put that gift to use, then it is no better than my watch, sitting in its box with a band that is too large, waiting for me to decide it was important enough to take to the jeweler.
And in the same way that I then kept forgetting to look at my watch for the time, date, etc. once it was properly sized, just claiming Jesus' "Indescribable Gift" as our own, even when we are claiming it in its entirety, does not guarantee that we are making full use of it, for we have old habits that need to be broken.
We need to program ourselves, so to speak, to use Jesus' gift, and the secret to doing so lies in spending time with God and meditating on the items on this powerful list so that they can become part of our spirits, so that we can know them as Truth, and so that we can partake of their fruits.
My New Year's resolution for 2016 is to fully unwrap Jesus' "Indescribable Gift:" To spend time learning what each of its parts can and will do for me, and then to spend time meditating upon these gifts so that I can utilize them to their fullest.
I've noticed that my husband smiles every time he sees me looking at my watch. Doesn't it always make the giver the happiest when we utilize their gifts to the fullest? And isn't this what makes God the happiest as well? When He sees us fully utilizing His "Indescribable Christmas Gift?"
If you've missed any part of this Christmas/New Year's message, you will find them published online by clicking here: The Indescribable Gift . Or if you do not have access to the Internet, just email me here, and I will send them to you. May God bless each of you in 2016 as you fully unwrap Jesus' "Indescribable Gift."
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.