Here is a guest post from a friend of mine. Enjoy!
By Cole Mitchell
As we enter another Christmas season and consider all that we have to be grateful for, all that brings us joy and happiness, I’m certain that most of us look at our children and grandchildren as amazing gifts from God. Their innocence and exuberance reminds us of the joy and fun of Christmas. The way they enthusiastically await “the big day” and take so much pleasure in all of the activity surrounding the Christmas season is infectious when you brush up next to it. As a father, it brings me great joy to be a part of my son having a fun and joyful Christmas. Imagine the joy it brings our Heavenly Father when we get excited about the birth of His son Jesus.
In recent months, I’ve been encouraging, practically begging my 6-year-old son to participate in our nightly prayers when I tuck him into bed. He’s resisted in shyness and claimed he didn’t know what to say while leaving the verbal praying to me. Then about a month ago, once I finished my part of the prayer, I asked him to pray something to God that he was thankful for as I had many previous nights. Somewhat to my surprise, he uttered a quiet but powerful prayer that I’ll never forget. He whispered, “Thank you God for loving me so much and for giving me a daddy that’s so nice to me.” Needless to say, as a daddy, this little prayer brought me to tears, even now as I type it. I cannot fully describe the joy his words brought to me. What a gift he gave me that night.
As I’ve dwelled more and more on that special prayer, I’m realizing the simple, but powerful truth it contained. I’ve found myself meditating on how true these words are about God. He loves us so much as our Daddy. It’s not a choice He makes, it’s who He is. We’re told this in 1 John 4:16, “And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” This love is unlike any we can ever relate to in this life. Not even the love I have for my son, especially that night at his bedside, can come close to comparing to His love for us.
So, for me, the real gift this Christmas has already been given. Because I’ve accepted the gift of His Son, His gift to me, I am His child whom He loves as my eternal Daddy. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” The gift of God. Not a gift from God, but THE GIFT OF GOD. He is the gift! No warranty needed and no assembly required; just an open and receiving heart.
Jesus himself tells us in John 16:27, “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father.” God sent us the eternal gift of His love through His Son Jesus some two thousand years ago on that first Christmas. Jesus was then and is today The Real Gift that never stops giving; the gift of perfect, unconditional love from a Heavenly Daddy that’s been so nice to me.