Today I received many special gifts from some students who are staying at my home. They came from China, so the gifts are special because it represents the Chinese culture. I was very happy to receive so many gifts that I even thought at the time that I did not deserve much. It is very nice to receive gifts when we do not expect, because it gives us a taste of recognition and gratitude.
I know it is very good to receive something, especially when we are not expecting anything, but it is more important to give than to receive. Often we give and expect to get something back; in this case, we are not giving, we are doing an exchange instead. Paul mentioned in Acts 20:35 that Jesus used to say: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I know we live in a world where people are not taking time to think of others because they are too busy with themselves. We need to reflect on the things we can give. I was talking to my friend this weekend about children, about the most import things that they need to receive from their parents nowadays, we both agreed that what they need is time and attention! Your financial conditions do not limit you to give something to someone because you can give your time, something that you no longer use and so on. What can you give today? Stop for a moment and think, we have much more to offer than we imagine. God bless you.
A miracle can be described an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore recognised as divine intervention. As a Jesus follower, I always associate miracles with him being God. I love to read the Bible and read repeatedly about the miracles he performed in those days. This makes my mind wonder how people around him at that time reacted towards all those miracles. I believe they had the best experience of their lives! Nevertheless, don’t we experience miracles nowadays?
This week I was talking to a friend about miracles, and we agreed that we really take for granted the miracles that happen in our lives every day. Sometimes we wait for a cure for an illness, for a big change in our life, for the impossible to happen, and we believe that if all these things happen, we can call them miracles. We are so focused on these big things that we leave on the side the other miracles we experience; like waking up every day! The miracle of Life! We need to remember everything we have been through in life, and I guarantee that all of us have experienced miracles along the way. Jesus is not here physically, but he is still performing miracles in our lives, and we need to stop and see it! I hope we all can be more grateful for the things we have and be more sensitive to experience the miracles within us.
Have you got the feeling that this year went too fast? I wouldn’t be surprised if you did, because Christmas is already around the corner. Every year is the same, thousands of people worldwide asking the clock is ticking so fast. Then begins the countdown to the most expected day of the year. The high street shops prepare for the busiest week of the year. Everywhere you go you see people offering more and more things to you to buy. You might think twice, like me, and say; “this year I will spend less” or “this year I will help a charity”, but end up being caught up, spending more than you should, and not helping any charity.
Most of us know that the meaning of Christmas day is not consumerist. Rather, Christmas is the most important day for humanity. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Christmas is about the love of God for all of us. He sent Jesus to save us and bring us close to him again. But nowadays we do not live this love of God, we only think of ourselves. Right now there are thousands of people suffering in the world: people fleeing their countries because of war, children and elderly people being abused and neglected, people with incurable diseases! And do you know what they want most this Christmas? It is not expensive gifts, designer clothes, or a bountifully filled table. They just want PEACE! My request to you this Christmas is to pray for all these people and, if possible, to help someone close to you. Often there are people in need of such little things around us that sometimes we do not realize the difference we can make to their lives. Be the most important present to someone this Christmas, make a difference. God bless you.