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Monday Morning Manna: Gifts: Wanted and Unwanted
Some jokingly say there were actually four wise men who brought gifts to baby Jesus, but the forth was rejected because his gift was a fruitcake. Have you ever had a Christmas gift rejected? The expression on the face of the recipient tells you the gift is not what they wanted, or needed. Maybe it was the wrong color, incorrect size, or unacceptable model. Perhaps they tried to cover their disappointment, but you knew. If so, you have some small idea of how God must have felt when Jesus was sent to earth, and then rejected by many. John observed about Jesus that “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11). Furthermore, if you ever gave a gift that appeared to be unwanted, you have an idea how God feels today, when someone rejects the gift of salvation, personified in Jesus. I think this Christmas I’m going to try to be more appreciative of the gifts I receive, whether from God or others. I’m going to even try hard to be appreciative of the fruitcake gift that invariably shows up at our house. And I’m going to make an extra effort to give God that which would be pleasing to Him. How about you?

Dr. Dan Crawford, Senior Professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, is the WestCoast Baptist Association’s Spiritual Life & Leadership Mentor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DrDanRC and Facebook www.facebook.com/dan.crawford.

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