How can I repay the Lord for all the good He has done for me? I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.
— Psalm 116:12,14, HCSB
The holiday season is fast approaching with its interchange of gifts, and old and young are intently studying what they can bestow upon their friends as a token of affectionate remembrance. It is pleasant to receive a gift, however small, from those we love. It is an assurance that we are not forgotten, and seems to bind us to them a little closer.
Brethren and sisters, while you are devising gifts for one another, I would remind you of our heavenly Friend, lest you should be unmindful of his claims. Will he not be pleased if we show that we have not forgotten him? Jesus, the Prince of Life, gave all to bring salvation within our reach. Oh, matchless love! he left his royal home, his high command, and stooped to share our poverty and shame, that we might be exalted to share his riches and his throne.
It is through Christ that we receive every blessing. We may come to him in our poverty and need, and he will listen to our petitions, and supply our every want. We are dependent upon him every moment for grace and strength to maintain our integrity and to continue in his love.
Let us rejoice that our Saviour liveth to make intercession for us in the presence of Jehovah. As a people we have backslidden from God; let us return unto him, and he will return unto us, and will heal all our backslidings. Let us, upon the coming Christmas and New Year’s festivals, not only make an offering to God of our means, but give ourselves unreservedly to him, a living sacrifice.
While urging upon all the duty of first bringing their offerings to God, I would not wholly condemn the practice of making Christmas and New Years gifts to our friends. It is right to bestow upon one another tokens of love and remembrance if we do not in this forget God, our best friend. We should make our gifts such as will prove a real benefit to the receiver. I would recommend such books as will be an aid in understanding the word of God, or that will increase our love for its precepts.
All should take time for the daily study of the word of God, with earnest prayer that they may learn the way of life and salvation. That holy word is a sure guide…and if we are his obedient children we shall search carefully and prayerfully to learn his will that we may do it.
— The Review and Herald, December 26, 1882
I rejoice, O Lord, that You would leave Your royal home and stoop in humility to share in our poverty and shame, and that You now live to intercede for us. I give myself unreservedly to You, O Lord, asking that You heal my backslidings. You supply my every want, I bring You my offerings. Give me wisdom that my gifts to loved ones will prove to be a real benefit to them. Bind us all closer to You and to one another.