Now that the world has celebrated Christmas — one of the most famous annual events — some people want to know specific details. Details such as what did you get for Christmas? How big was it, how many did you get and was it what you wanted? While most people treasure one gift above all; are just grateful for simple things such as health, family and friends; maybe the excitement of having their football team win — whatever the gift, the question is one of gratitude. Thanks and appreciation is in order to the one who gave the gift.
The most important thing in the midst of all the excitement and joy of opening up our gifts and trying them on, spending it at the mall or taking them outside for a spin, is… Were you faithful to show your appreciation to the gift giver?
Some Biblical historians believe that the actual act of giving gifts during Christmas originated from the various magi who gave gifts to baby Jesus. These magi trekked across the desert following the brightest star, giving baby Jesus gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh. So in like fashion, we also give gifts to family and friends, loved ones and strangers all to commemorate Christmas and spread the joy around.
Throughout the upcoming New Year, we are still appreciative of all the gifts we have received. Regardless of the months that pass by, we still have fond thoughts of receiving these gifts and might even find ourselves saying “thank you” again to the one who gave them to us.
Growing up, my mother trained us to express our thanks to each person who gave us a gift and this year was no different, as I checked off the task of writing thank you notes on my to-do list. But how to you express thanks to the Son of God for His gift to us? Kinda seems trite to write a little note in exchange for eternal life.
How does one say thanks for …
The Gift of His selfless act of leaving heaven and coming to this earth just for us;
The Gift of secure salvation;
The Gift of redeeming reconciliation;
The Gift of never-ending grace;
The Gift of endless mercy?
We say thanks by our extravagant gratitude.
Let’s look at people who were faithful to give extravagant gratitude as examples of what we can do not only now, but all year long:
• Isaiah, the prophet who predicted the future Messiah, gave his extravagant gratitude by proclaiming the holy promise, hundreds of years prior to the event. — “Behold a virgin shall be with Child and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
• Gabriel, the angel of God who announces the birth of Christ to Mary gives his extravagant gratitude saying, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” “And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the highest and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”
• John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus, gave his extravagant gratitude by leaping in his mother Elizabeth’s womb for joy when he heard Mary proclaim the good news of Christ to his mom.
• Angel of the Lord exclaimed his extravagant gratitude by proclaiming His arrival to shepherds, saying, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” “And this shall be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the manager.”
• Multitude of Angels expressed their extravagant gratitude by joining in with this angel praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will toward men!”
• Shepherds echoed their extravagant gratitude by coming with haste into Bethlehem to Mary, Joseph and the Babe Jesus. When they saw Him, they made widely known the saying that was told them. Then they returned to the fields glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told to them.
• Simeon gave his extravagant gratitude also, being a just and devout man waiting for the Consolation for Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him, “For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which you have prepared before the face of all peoples A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles And the glory of Your people Israel. Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign which will be spoken against, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
•Anna gave her extravagant gratitude by giving thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
The extravagant gratitude included praise, thanks, rejoicing, glorifying, proclaiming and gratitude to God and sharing it with others.
As we start our New Year and our long list of resolutions, let’s follow in the footsteps of these and be faithful to give praise, rejoicing and proclamation in honor and extravagant gratitude to the greatest gift Giver there ever was!
How do you give extravagant gratitude to the gift Giver? By receiving His Gift of Jesus.
1) Give yourself to Him completely
2) Make Him the Lord and master of your life
3) Bow the knee in humility and obedience
Gospel of Luke - chapters 1 and 2
Gospel of Matthew - chapters 1 and 2
Sacred Matters - Rim Reporter: Online devotional articles bimonthly http://www.tradesnsales.com
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About the author
Simone Lake is a pastor’s wife and full time minister, serving in various areas. Her primary areas include Bible teacher and conference speaker (both in U.S. and internationally). In addition, she writes devotional articles in several publications, is a short-term missionary, author, prayer leader, Bible mentor and chaplain. She holds a master’s degree in theological studies (MTS) and attends Church on Randall Place where she serves in various capacities alongside her pastor husband.
Simone and her husband enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking the Grand Canyon, mountain bike riding and walking their Border collie dog Scout.
Read more about Simone’s Bible studies, speaking engagements and upcoming events at: