“You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
The gifts have been unwrapped. The mess has been cleaned up. Perhaps visiting friends and family have returned home leaving your home quiet for the first time in a while. The traffic has died down and the stores are emptier. Another Christmas has come and gone. And in just a few days, another year will have passed. With a fresh year approaching, I think it is a perfect time to ponder this question with me: Do I love God for His gifts or for who He is?
Yikes, right? That is a tough question to examine ourselves honestly about. Most of us probably understand the difference between enjoying a giver through his gifts and enjoying gifts instead of the giver. Maybe you have even experienced that in your own life.
The goal of everything God does for us is so that we can know Him and enjoy Him. He loves giving us gifts…and He wants us to enjoy them just like we want our loved ones to enjoy the gifts we give. We never have to feel guilty for enjoying God’s gifts. We do, however, want to make sure we are experiencing Him through His gifts.
So how can we ensure we are doing this? I believe this comes with recognizing that God’s gifts are expressions of His kindness to us. The gift of another day of life, the gift of health or healing, the gift of time with those we love, and the gift of food and shelter are all expressions of His grace. Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” If this verse is true, then as believers every gift He gives to us comes out of the truth that He didn’t spare His own Son. Jesus is the basis for every other gift.
Application: Take some time today to thank God for the amazing gift of Jesus.