©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

A new year is a bundle of gifts waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed.

As we build up to midnight and the arrival of the New Year, we celebrate (or watch people party on TV).  We talk about what the new year may hold as if we are shaking a package, examining its shape and guessing its contents.  We celebrate the hope of what we may find in each new day.

When the countdown is complete and the ball drops, the shiny bow comes off the package.  The wrapping of celebration is tossed aside and we step forward onto the path of 365 days – or at least we hope that’s how many we personally are gifted in the new year.

As with other presents, why not look to each day with anticipation and excitement?

Have you ever wrapped several gifts and put them inside one large box or tucked them in tissue paper in a giant bag?  Imagine the days ahead as individual presents nestled side by side in this year!

Each day as our eyes open, we will have the opportunity to enjoy the gift of life that God has granted us.  We’ll have the chance to use the minutes in each day to make memories, encourage others and develop skills. The potential exists for us to increase our knowledge, laugh with loved ones, leave a legacy, help those in need, and tell the good news of Jesus.

How will we use today?  Tomorrow?

Rejoice in the Gifts

When someone gives us a gift, the first thing we do after unwrapping it is usually to exclaim over it.

I love this! Thank you so much! I’ve wanted this. This is awesome!

Our words cry out in gratitude to the one who gave it to us.  Sounds like a great way to start each day as we express our thanks to God!

Decide to Use Each One Well

After we open a gift, we usually look at it and decide how we’ll use it in a way that will bring us and perhaps others enjoyment.  Each day offers the opportunity for us to see how we can best use it.

How fun it is to receive a photograph from a long-distance friend using or wearing a gift I’ve given them.  Oh, how the Lord must delight in seeing us use His gift of a day in a way that brings him honor and reflects our deep enjoyment of the gift He’s given us.

The “Big Gift”

When people share about Christmas presents sometimes they’ll say, “And, the “Big Gift” was ________.”

While the gift of a new year complete with its individual days is something to enjoy, the gift God gives us through his son Jesus supersedes all other gifts.  In Christ, we are offered peace, mercy and forgiveness as well as a deep, abiding relationship with Him. The cross made it costly for Christ, but the gift is free to us when we accept it and open our heart to Jesus.

When does a gift bring us the most joy?  The enjoyment returns each time we delight in its presence.  As we do, we are reminded of the love of the Giver.

What was your favorite gift this year from a friend or family member? 

How will you use the days ahead this month to show your enjoyment in them and in the One who gave them? 

Have you told anyone lately about the gift of Jesus?  Have you opened it or is God’s “Big Gift” to you still on the shelf? 

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Psalm 23:6 NIV

Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  Psalm 34:12-14 NIV

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom…Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days…May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.  Psalm 90:12, 14, 17

Remember…Life Is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full!


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