Today’s Scripture: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

A mother gave her daughter two sweaters for Christmas.  The next time she visited, the daughter made sure to wear one. As they entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, “What’s the matter?  You didn’t like the other one?”

Sometimes when it comes to major holidays, families seem to lay more guilt on each other than actually celebrate the season. Throughout the years I’ve had people tell me, “I got this expensive gift for my great uncle, but he only got me a $5 gift certificate to Walmart.”

The truth is, if you are giving a gift, you aren’t supposed to even expect to receive. That is the spirit of true gift-giving. Aren’t you glad that when Jesus died on the cross, He didn’t say, “I sure hope those people on earth appreciate this and give me a gift that is at least as good as I’m giving them.”

Of course, we could never give God even a tenth of what He’s given to us. That’s what grace is all about. So this very attitude is against the spirit of Christ.

Decide this year that all the gifts you give will be out of pure love.

That’s the real gift that keeps on giving.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder