A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

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Beyond the Gift

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23 KJV

John was worried.

He was familiar with the many bright and creative students in the mission school where he taught. He also knew how their poor families struggled to keep their children in school. He was particularly worried about one of them: a dedicated student named Ahmad, a new believer. The gospel message was a part of the curriculum, and John had encouraged Ahmad to trust Christ. 

So, why the worry? The local culture stressed gratitude and respect for teachers. Because Christmas was soon, John feared Ahmad might overreach.

As John’s students lined up to present their gifts on the day before the holiday break, Ahmad approached him with a translucent seashell. John knew these unique shells were found only on a distant beach and were expensive, so he reasoned that Ahmad had probably walked far to find it. 

“Thank you, Ahmad,” John said. “It’s beautiful. You must have traveled a long way to get it.” 

Ahmad said softly, “The long walk is a part of the gift.”

Giving gifts is undoubtedly a personal idea. As Ahmad demonstrated, it’s not always about the object itself, which is precisely what occurred when God gave the world His ultimate Gift: Jesus Christ. As Ahmad’s special gift included personal sacrifice, Jesus’ sacrifice and death were also personal.

We’ll never fully understand the Lord’s physical and spiritual ordeal in dying for our salvation. Yet we know that His death was not the end but the beginning—a very personal sacrifice, to be sure, but one for our benefit and His glory.

How can you thank God for His gift during this Christmas season?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Anne Adams

Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years.