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Devotional - week of December 21, 2003


EXCHANGING GIFTS WITH JESUS

“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!”  Luke 12:49-50

At Christmas we think about the birth of Jesus. We worship. We have family gatherings. We enjoy delicious food. We give gifts to those less fortunate. We exchange gifts with loved ones. Let us consider exchanging gifts with Jesus.

As we think about the birth of Jesus, we also think of what His coming to earth means to us. We think of all He has given to us.

In Luke 12:49-50 Jesus says that He came to kindle a fire. This is certainly a reference to His sending the Holy Spirit to live in all believers.

The coming of the Holy Spirit into the lives of believers at Pentecost was accompanied with the appearance of cloven tongues, as of fire above each of the 120 in the upper room—indicating that the Holy Spirit is a fire.

The exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 for us not to “quench” the Spirit is another inference that the Holy Spirit is a fire.

Many of the benefits of having the fire live in us are recorded in the fourteenth and sixteenth chapters of John, the eighth chapter of Romans, and the fifth chapter of Galatians.

The gift of the Spirit was costly. Our reference passage indicates that through His birth and His death, Jesus prepared the way for the sending of the Holy Spirit.

What can we give Jesus in exchange for His gift of the Spirit to us?

An appropriate exchange gift is that of permitting the fire to burn brightly in us by not “quenching” it.

We are hurt and disappointed when we give a gift that is not appreciated.

We do not want to hurt and disappoint our Lord. Let us continue to be filled with the fire by living out the five imperatives of Romans 6:11-13.