Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Advent(Dec. 9): Surprise Gifts

 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for "good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 
Gensis 37:3-4, 50:15-17, 19-20

Joseph, sold into Egypt by his very own brothers to be a slave, sold to strangers far away, from the hug of his very own father"... but through it all, he still whispered the truth he saw:
“What someone else meant for bad, God means to make it good.”

"Many years later, Joseph gave his starving brother's food and they realized who he really was, Joseph embraced each of them with forgiveness.

You can stand around your Christmas tree with a family tree as messy as Joseph's...
Just remember...
Out of a family that felt just like a mess, God brought Jesus, the Messiah!!!

He would take the greatest sadness and make it into the gladness of the Greatest gift for us!!!"
"Part of the delight of a gift is the unexpected of the gift. You get a gift beyond your expectations when it surprises your expectations. God’s greatest mercies often come in the most unexpected packages."
Isn’t this what Christmas teaches us more than anything?
  • There are endless treasures (Ephesians 3:8) that have come to us in the Christmas child, but how often are we too busy to notice?
  • God wants us to have faith in His nearness, and that He will reward us when we earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
 Jesus doesn’t really factor onto the world’s Christmas list because the world doesn’t think Jesus really has enough 'Wow' Factor. 

And the thing is: Sometimes the gift you’d never choose is exactly the gift you need most. Sometimes the best gift, is the gift you’d never pick.
  • We want things we can touch — God wants us to touch Him.
  • We want things around us to make us feel good — God wants in us, to make us good.
"Sometimes the best gift doesn’t impress people — but it presses us into God.
 He gave us the One thing that can never be topped — to rescue us who feel like a mess at the bottom."
Because look at the expense of that Gift —- what could cost more than His Gift?  Every time you don’t believe that you mean that much to Him? Whisper, “Jesus. Jesus.”
The real meaning of Christmas — is that we’re meant for Him —- and we mean more to Him than we know.  (source)

"If you believe this miracle of Christmas, if you base your life on it, there is no end to the miracles that can come into your life. [Tim Keller]
Christmas is all about the ritual of mystery— surprise, wrapping, concealing, but then revealing. So, if you are looking for a "surprise gift" to give away and reveal this Christmas, remember, it’s always worth it to give the greatest gift: Jesus. 
Let's all unwrap this perfect, wonderful, surprise Gift!
Come back tomorrow, as I share Day 10 of the Advent the book, "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift".(All quotes listed are from the book, unless indicated.)
I will be sharing each story in this beautiful book, as well as some of the breathtaking pictures. Won't you join me? Stop by each day to see the stories shared. If you would prefer I email you each days post, please leave your email in the comments section or send me an email at 
and let me know. I will make sure each post is sent to you.
To view the whole series on one page, go HERE

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