Monday, December 12, 2011

The Ultimate Gift

My family and I went to a "walk through Bethlehem" on Saturday evening. I'm sure my parents would say I've been to one before but in my adult life as a child of God I have never been to one and it was pretty amazing. It was at a Church very close to our house and you litterally walked through the town of Bethlehem. We had a guide and everyone we stopped to talk to had a script, the story was, there was a rumor going around town of a baby born in a manger just like the prophets had spoke of many many years prior. When we finally got to the stable and saw the new born sleeping with "Mary and Joseph" watching over him, there was no script, no words to describe the scene. It was just hope. This story is not just a story, it's real but actually visiting and seeing the recreation made it more real than I ever would have thought. They didn't end the night with Jesus birth but went on to the cross and then to the empty tomb.

Jesus humbling himself as one of us and then choosing of his own free - will to die for all of us was the ultimate gift, one that knows no measure. One that can never be re-created, never be copied. His death was the ultimate sacrifice and His resurrection was the ultimate gift. It means that death is defeated, Satan has no power over us who are God's children, it means we are free...even if we don't feel it at this moment we are free and we are supposed to be working out our Salvation with Jesus every day of our lives.

My family and I aren't exchanging gifts this year. I'm sure the kids will get gifts from aunts and uncles and grandparents but the 4 of us aren't doing gifts. The reality is we don't have the money. At first I was a little disappointed and my husband wasn't a happy camper but the more I was thinking about it, the more I realized there's nothing on this earth that I need. God has provided for every single need I or my family might have. There's nothing in this world that I really want. No fancy earrings, no new clothes, new shoes. So maybe not doing gifts isn't that strange after all. All of the presents in the whole world will never measure up to what Christ did for me that day on the cross. If you need it to be more personal think of it this way..

As Jesus was carrying that cross up the hill He thought of you. He said, "I'm going to do this today because many many years from now there are going to be children that need me, so I'm going to do this today and then many years from now they will look for me and when they look for me they will find me and then they will know what I did for them.

That's the ultimate Gift you can think about this Christmas and then you can begin to celebrate Christmas every day because Christ's gift goes on and on, not just one day a year or one month out of the year, it's eternal, it's forever.

Today, I'm thankful for the Ultimate Gift...nothing else will ever compare to what Jesus continues to do for me every. single. day.


Jenifer said...

Beautiful. I grew up in the church and always considered myself a Christian. But I remember the first Christmas and Easter, just three years ago, after really truly rededicating my lift to Him. Oh it was so special. So spiritual. The holidays, which I have always loved, took on a whole new, fresh meaning for me. They haven't been the same since. It's all about God. Not time off work/school, sleeping in, baking, gifts, none of that. It's about Him. He is the ultimate gift!

Lisa said...

Beautiful, Mandy! There is no gift we can receive that compares with the gift God gave us in His Son.

Kim said...

That walk through Bethlehem sounds awesome, Mandy. I would love to do something like that.

Phather Phil Malmstrom said...

Absolutely beautiful Mandy. The Bethlehem tour sounds wonderful! Such a powerful representation of the most important event in history!

Have a Blessed Day Mandy!!

Kelli said...

Thank you Jesus for your birth, life and resurrection! I think that is a good gifts. It's hard to get the kids to focus on Jesus. Our eyes can't be distracted by the shiny paper...we must keep our eyes on HIM and why He came. He came to save!!! Merry Christmas Mandy!!

Megan Stephens said...

Hi Mandy, I came across your pretty blog and love the messages you're sharing. I'm organizing a blog tour for Christian author John Beehner and was wondering if you'd be interested in participating. Please peruse his website at and let me know. Hope to hear from you soon, Thanks and God bless!