Joy is the theme for this time of year, and so often, we mistake joy for something it is not. Joy is not a state of happiness or something that comes from an ideal set of circumstances. It’s not dependent on a relationship status or the size of your paycheck.
Children find great joy in receiving gifts and their parents, in giving them. I’ve always believed it is more blessed to give than to receive; after all, that’s what Jesus Himself said (Acts 20:35).
And yet, in one area, we are truly more blessed to receive – and in receiving, we find joy that no other person can supply.
The greatest joy we can ever receive is God’s indescribable gift of salvation (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Bible teacher and author Dr. Gary Chapman has written several books on what he calls The Five Love Languages, which simply stated, are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
If you’ve never read any of his books on this subject, I encourage you to find one and learn how to speak the love language(s) of the people you care most about (family, friends, siblings, boyfriends).
But let’s face it, girls. That special someone’s love, no matter how deep, will never completely satisfy us – because it wasn’t designed to do that.
Only God can satisfy us. He knows us more intimately and cares about us more completely than anyone else.
How does God speak our love language? That’s what I want to take some time to think about in my next couple posts.
With Christmas nearly here, it seems only fitting to think about how God meets our love language of “receiving gifts.”
Many of us could quote John 3:16 from memory:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (NKJV).
For God so loved… that He gave. There’s the best Christmas present anyone could ever want. And truly it is ours for the taking.
But we have to receive it. It seems strange, the idea of refusing the most wonderful gift ever given. After all, would we ever dream of declining a free apartment in the nicest subdivision, free diamond bling, a free lifetime spa membership, or a free Vera-Bradley wallet-full of cash?
The no-brainer answer is NO!
Ok, so why would we decline a free gift that promises an eternal home in heaven, the chance to walk streets of gold, a body that never grows old, and a place where we will have no need of money to buy things because all we could ever want is to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
That’s our gift – yours and mine – for the taking, offered to us by Jesus Christ. There’s no payment necessary and no strings attached. God’s Son already paid the price.
We have but to accept the gift.