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Advent - The Ultimate Gift

Updated on September 4, 2015

There will be many gifts, but only one that really matters

These daily Advent reading were written to go with the movie, "The Ultimate Gift." This movie helps us see 12 gifts God has given us. They are gifts we often overlook and take for granted. During this gift giving season, I pray you'll commit to looking at Scripture each day and read the short devotion found in the booklet to help you prepare to celebrate the Ultimate Gift of the Season."The Ultimate Gift" Advent Readings consist of 28 readings (one for every day in Advent). Below you'll see a sample from each week.

Week One ~ The Candle of Giving

The Gifts of Dreams, Work & Giving

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

There is a time for everything. Today we are taking time to light the "Candle of Giving" one more time. We are taking time to remember that God gives us many good gifts. There is a time to dream, plan and imagine; and the time and ability to do that dreaming is a gift. Our Savior gives us time to work and the ability to find satisfaction in our work. He enables us to bring our dreams into reality. Isn't it amazing how often our dreams are related to our work. Not necessarily a job that pays big money, but any kind of labor we do with our hands or our brains that brings us satisfaction. And finally, we are given the gift of being able to give. The three are so closely tied to each other. We dream it, we live the dream and then we give from the abundance of that dream. Sometimes our giving is tangible and on other occasions we give things that can't be seen or touched, like our time. Whenever or whatever we gift, the ability and time to give is a gift from God. You'll probably open a few gifts this Christmas, but remember, there is a time for everything, and tonight it's time to stop and consider how you'll use these first three gifts of Advent, always remembering that how you use them might very well be your gift to God.

Week Two ~ The Candle of Gratitude

The Gifts of Problems, Learning & Gratitude

Luke 1:26-55

Boy, did Mary run the gamut of our gifts in today’s scripture! First she had a big problem. An angel showed up to talk to her and it was troubling. Can you really even imagine an angel showing up at your house to have a conversation with you? But Mary did find that her problem was in fact a gift. She also discovered that everything she had learned during her few years about living a life worthy of God was also a gift. Not only was she taught, she absorbed (learned) the things of the Almighty, she was highly favored by God. Her learning was a gift. Lastly, she knew the gift of gratitude. “ My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” is the beginning of Mary’s statement of humble gratitude. She was grateful for God’s favor despite the hardships she knew she would have to face being unwed and pregnant.You’ll be saying or hearing “thanks” a lot during the next couple of weeks. Every time the word is spoken, remember this candle. Think about Mary and how she pondered everything in her heart. Bring to mind Paul and the way he learned to be always content. Embrace the gift of Gratitude this Christmas. Grow in Christ, grow in contentment and grow in gratitude.

Week Three ~ The Candle of Good Gifts

The Gifts of Friends, Family & Love

James 1:16-17

Good Gifts might not be an appropriate name for this third candle. Perhaps it should be "Greatest Gifts." On Tuesday we read about friends, but we also read about how friends show love to one another. We discussed the great gift of the family of believers and how blessed we are in that even if we have no one that we are related to who truly understands or cares, when we are followers of Christ, we have a family that spans across the globe.So far this advent season we've talked about 9 of 12 gifts. James reminds us that every good gift is from God. We shouldn't need to be reminded, but nearly every generation does. We get tired and busy and don't fully appreciate the gifts that God has given us. Even though we really do think that Friends, Family and Love are some of the best gifts we've ever received, these three gifts are generally the easiest to take for granted, to assume will always be there.Don't blow out your candles tonight until you're fully convinced you comprehend the value of these gifts and recognize that all the gifts we have are from God. Continue to watch the flicker of the flame until you can truly say, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15)

The Movie that Inspired these Readings

The Ultimate Gift
The Ultimate Gift

This link will take you to the DVD. The book is also available on Amazon.

 

Week Four ~ The Candle of Gladness

The Gifts of Money, Laughter & A Day

Psalm 126:1-6

As we light this Candle of Gladness, what could be a more appropriate gift to consider than the Gift of Laughter. And what a better cause for laughter than the Psalmist's jubilant proclamation: "The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy." There are a lot of things that bring laughter, many beautiful things that bring a smile to our face. Each of those are a gift from God. Our job is to recognize them as such, to appreciate them as much as the Psalmist appreciated being released from captivity and returned to his homeland. This season will probably offer you many occasions for smiles and laughter. You will undoubtedly have opportunity to say, "The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy." May each experience remind you that God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. May you enjoy this Candle of Gladness as you prepare to celebrate "The Ultimate Gift."

© 2011 Lynne Modranski

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