Giving and receiving gifts seems to be the essence of most Christmas celebrations. Some folk like the “receiving” part more than the “giving”. For many, the act of giving can be challenging due to financial hardships. COVID 19 has caused millions of people to suffer income loss and they struggle to stay afloat in this very difficult season.
But giving doesn’t always involve money. One can give of oneself in many different ways. Sharing time with family, a friend or an elderly person in need can mean much more than a material gift. Running an errand, doing a chore or simply visiting someone can be a cherished gift to a family or individual who struggles with some of the basic necessities in life.
Donating articles of clothing you no longer need to a family in need is a gift. Children are easily satisfied with the simplest gifts. I work with orphans in Haiti and Africa and am constantly amazed as how happy and satisfied my kids are with just a soccer ball or jump rope. They have no access to the electronic devices our kids in America are accustomed to and, indeed, expect to receive. Ever give a young kid a cardboard box? It is fascinating to see them build a castle or use other creative ways to explore the box. Our minds are naturally creative and we don’t need sophisticated gadgets to occupy ourselves.
Gifts are defined as “wants” and “needs”. Too many of us “want” the latest iPhone, 75” TV or a new car. But do we really need it? How much more valuable a gift becomes when the recipient “needs” the product or service. A single mom trying to support her children, looks for a job but doesn’t have the proper clothing or a vehicle. This mom “needs” help. A gift to help her survive is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. A father, recently unemployed, looks for a new job but he “needs” guidance; perhaps to write a resume or learn where to search for work for which he is qualified. This dad “needs” a gift. It’s not a luxury.
2000 years ago, God gave mankind a gift; not because man wanted it but because God saw that man had a severe “need”. The gift of Jesus to mankind was not a luxury; it was a necessity. And even then, man wouldn’t recognize his own need and rejected God’s gift. What a profound fact. Man was (and is) so arrogant that he doesn’t even recognize his “need” for God.
America was founded on Christian principles and has enjoyed prosperity and freedoms more than any other country in history. America’s respect for and acceptance of God remains the core reason for her success. The freedom to worship allows individuals to explore their deepest spiritual resources and most find a belief in the existence of God to be a necessary and central foundation for a successful and productive life.
Yet, America faces very challenging times. Two major events in America’s history are costing her more than most individuals realize. When prayer was taken out of schools and abortion legalized, America began to turn her back on God. And now we are witnessing further deterioration in America’s spiritual foundation. There are forces seeking to destroy America’s history, eliminate any and all references to God and move our country closer and closer to a Godless socialistic society. The prophecies in the Book of Revelation describing a one world government are coming true. America is being weakened economically by social unrest and disease. The only way America will ever join a one world government is if she is so weakened that she has no other alternative to survive. If our nation does not repent and honor God, He will not heal our country and our fate will be sealed.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Accepting God’s gift in the person and teachings of Jesus Christ is the only way to heal our land and our lives. Jesus is a gift we all need and the healing process happens one life at a time. As CS Lewis and others have said, every person alive must decide if Jesus a liar, a lunatic or the Son of God as He so claimed.
I pray your answer is the later. I pray you will accept the Gift of God.
C Thomas Murphy, President
Child Hope Worldwide Inc