Regifting: 3 Gifts Worth Giving Again

Let’s face it. Every Christmas we get that gift we know we won’t use. Before we completely rip off the paper, we know who’s going to get it next. Thestreet.com lists the following as the top ten gifts most likely to be regifted: candles, picture frames, gift baskets, perfume, fruit cake, wine, cookbooks, bath soaps, books and (drumroll please), pajamas (really?).

If you know Jesus, he has given you 3 gifts you should regift. As a matter of fact, you may need to wrap them up today and give them away. Christmas isn’t the only time to do that. You can give these again and again all year long.

Grace

John, writing about his best friend and the Messiah, said, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16 ESV) Charles Spurgeon said: “Nothing but the infinite can ever satisfy me; I am such a great sinner that I must have infinite merit to wash my sin away; but we have had our sin removed, and found that there was merit to spare; we have had our hunger relieved at the feast of sacred love.” The grace that found you in your sin, drew you in, washed you clean, and put you in God’s trophy case is worth regifting.

Forgiveness

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 ESV) Toward the end of his life, John Newton, former slave trader and ultimate author of that old hymn, Amazing Grace, said: “Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.” Who has hurt you, wounded you, slighted you? Will you give them the forgiveness that was freely, at a very high cost, given to you?

Patience

Maybe this one surprised you. Patience is not on most people’s short list. Thankfully, it’s on God’s. Peter, who knew very well the patience of the God who once called him Satan, wrote:  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 ESV) Who grates on your nerves, pushes your buttons, stretches you to your limit–almost every time. Ask God for the grace to be patient.

Regift. Today. Don’t wait. Seriously.

Why Are You Making Mud Pies?

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:5 ESV)

Mud-pie1

Jesus looked up into the sycamore tree and invited himself into the home of the most notorious sinner in all of Jericho. Jesus’s invitation reminds me of Joseph Hart’s 1759 hymn:

Come ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready stands to save you
Full of pity, love, and power

Come ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Saviour
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Come ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry until you’re better
You will never come at all

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Saviour
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Why are you trading the world’s empty pursuits for Jesus’s 10,000 charms. C. S. Lewis said it like this:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

The Leper’s Song

leperThe Request

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” (Luke 17:11-13 ESV)

Jesus’s Answer

When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. (Luke 17:14 ESV)

One’s Response

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:15-16 ESV)

In order to understand this leper’s response you must read the prior two days’ blogs. Everything in his world had changed. He came out of darkness into the light, out of the land of the dying into the land of the living. I think he very well could have written the following song of thanksgiving. Maybe you can identify:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come. ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will bring me home.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail and mortal life shall cease, I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine; but God who called me here below will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there 10,000 years bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’ve first begun.

And I think he would also have added:

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood his mercy reigns; unending love, amazing grace.

(The above lyrics were written by John Newton and Chris Tomlin respectively)