5: Gift

Gifts!

At this time, checkout lines in many stores are longer than usual — filled with parents shopping for kids, spouses and friends shopping for each other. Stores are sending out last minute emails so online shoppers can order gifts that would come in time for Christmas. Millions of secret Santa gifts, year-end bonuses are being passed around, and the gift bag and wrapper business is booming.

It’s no surprise that there’s so much giving at Christmas. The wise men brought gifts — gold, frankincense and myrrh when they came to see Jesus in the manger, and though the Bible did not attach any symbolic meaning to the gifts, it was clear that the gifts were accompanied by worship and they meant something to Mary and Joseph.

The birth of Jesus was the manifestation of God’s gift to humanity. A gift that had a purpose – to broker a pathway back to God. When anyone receives Jesus, they receive the gift of Life and light and peace and joy that sustains them through life’s journey.
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As Jesus is God’s gift to man, so you are to your generation. This season, disabuse your mind of self-doubt. Let today’s card remind you that:

You are a gift. You have a purpose.
You have a gift. That gift has a purpose.

In addition to the greatest gift, Jesus, that unique ability that you have (or that you despise as inconsequential) is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your worship and your gift to your generation.

What are you going to do with the gift that you are?

“Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11

Tomorrow’s toy is: Shield

4: Crook

My fourth toys is a shepherd’s crook.

The shepherds who visited baby Jesus must have had a crook with them — a long and sturdy staff with a hook at one end that comes in handy to manage their sheep as they forage. They use it to catch and pull back a wandering sheep, it becomes a weapon to defend against predators, it helps to balance when walking rough terrain and used to part tall undergrowth when looking for lost sheep.

“ — your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” Psalm 23:4

It’s no coincidence that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was visited by shepherds as a baby. That should say something to you — because of who He is, He is able to direct the course of life, catch you when you are wandering off into danger and defend you against predators. And He can wade through the entanglement of disobedience to find you.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and all his sheep are within his reach.

But the big question is,

Are you a sheep?

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“I am the good shepherd… and I lay down my life for the sheep.” — Jesus

Tomorrow’s toy is: Gift