James 1:14 (AMP) — “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above. It comes down from the father of lights.

“The creator and sustainer of the heavens, there is no variation, no rising or setting. In whom no shadow is cast by His turning for He is perfect and never changes.”

When I think about the Christmas season, the practice of gift giving, I can’t help but focus on the true gifts we receive from God.

As a young girl I would sometimes end up disappointed by the gift I would receive from Santa. If I didn’t get just what I had asked for on my list, I felt jilted. I had kept my bargain and been good all year long and, after all, isn’t that how it worked?

Rhonda Sexton

As I grew older and began understanding the concepts I was learning in church I realized, while Santa was a good man who gave gifts to good children, Jesus was the Son of God who gave life, love and hope to all who asked — whether they deserved it or not.

That is a gift, no strings attached, just ask and receive His love and be blessed by peace and guidance for all of your days. So why does this gift seem to be in short supply now in our world?

We turn on the news and discover we are farther away from Peace on Earth than ever. Maybe we have taken our eyes off the true gifts in this life for too long.

God has created this world for us perfectly. The sun, oceans and land work perfectly in accord to how they were created to perform. The earth still yields forth seeds that are planted exactly the way they were designed to.

If you plant a kernel or corn, a corn plant will grow up. Nothing else will spring up, not a carrot or an apple tree, so you can be assured it will be corn.

We were designed to have a relationship with our Creator, to follow His ways and lean on Him to guide us and develop us in His wisdom. God didn’t want robots, so we were given the ability to create, too.

In our learning that we could create things with our thoughts, we have become what we think is self-sufficient. We have created this world we seem to hate so much and blame Him because things aren’t going our way.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that we can realize the true gifts we have cannot be created in a factory or ordered off Amazon. We have been given so much more.

Our families are not just people we have to deal with. They are who God has given us to help us find our path to Him. We are to help our family members find love and purpose in life so they can do God’s will.

We are to lift one another up and encourage each other to be strong on this path we are all on. It does get hard at times and we all feel frustrated, but if we can somehow look through the distractions we have created to the real issue, I believe we can make a change.

Keeping our thoughts and eyes on the gifts that are given from God alone keeps us from getting swept away in the illusion. It helps us to not selfishly want more stuff and instead to desire to be better… be more than we thought we could be.

I know it seems impossible to change the world, to create peace on earth, but I believe if we all took this small step, we can do it.

One step and one person at a time.

(Rhonda Sexton is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in Neosho with her husband and children. She can be reached at info@rhondasexton.org or 417-389-1222.)

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