The Christmas gift and the cat ... (James 1:17)
Last week in our bedroom we were awakened by our cat’s frightened scream. I jumped up and turned on the lights, and saw our cat lying under her favorite chair. Then I saw something that took my breath away – our sweet little cat was dead. Both of us were shocked, because she had just been on our bed, and my husband had been scratching her head. We then figured what probably had happened: Our cat was in the garage a few months back and this time (not like last year which I wrote about in another Gini’s Heart) she was bitten by a rattlesnake. The cat seemed to recover from the bite after a lot of medicine, but it must have weakened her heart so that she died of a heart attack.
I have been thinking how much, “I miss her!” She was so perfect for us; it was like we gave God a cat order and He filled it. I remember 7 years ago, when we had picked her out at the animal shelter but couldn’t take her home because she was so young. During that time we decided that we didn’t want another cat, so I called and told them to give her to someone else. I thought that was it about a cat. Then I got a call about 6 weeks later from the shelter. The woman said, “Sorry it took so long but your kitten almost died. She is fine now, so come and get her.” I started to say, “Hey we didn’t want a cat, but then God whispered in my mind to go and see her.” To make a long story short, we all fell in love with her and she became very much a part of our family.
As I was thinking about the past, I realized it was God that gave this special little cat to us, and made sure we received this gift from Him. I prayed, “Oh God, I love you so much for giving me gifts that are just right for me, even when I think I don’t want them. What gift has God given to you that you did not want, but it turned out to be the perfect gift for you?
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers (sisters). Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:16-17 (NIV)
God had created this prefect little creature for us. He knew she would be good for our family, but He also knew when it was the right time for this good gift to be taken away (Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 and Jeremiah 29:11-13).
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
God is the giver of all good gifts, and without Him the only gifts we would get would be ones that would sooner or later bring hopelessness or destruction to our lives. Remember in Genesis 3 what Satan gives!
As the Christmas season is upon us, let us remember that the most perfect and good Gift given to us is God’s Son, Who is Mighty God and Everlasting Father!
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 Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)
God’s Son is our most precious Christmas Gift! This is because as God, He permitted Himself to become a baby who grows up to be executed for our sins (Philippians 2:6-8)..
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire...All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:1-20 (NLT)
Let us not forget what Jesus, God’s Christmas Gift, did for us! He died on the cross - to save us from our sins.
...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins...Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:20-21, 23 (NLT)
Read Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, also Isaiah 53, John 1:12-13, Romans 8:31-39, Ephesians 2:1-9, and 1 Peter 1:17-21 and write a card thanking God for His Christmas Gift to you.
Because for Jesus’ birth, life and death, we can receive all of God’s good gifts to us, Merry Christmas my dear friends, Gini