A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything and Realizes That He Really Has Nothing

Coffee boiled in an open pot is one of the most fragrant and pleasing aromas (along with country ham frying) that I remember from my childhood. It still smells mighty good. Our parents made it every morning. I can't remember how old I was when I started drinking it too, mostly milk, sugar and a little coffee at first but soon black, hot and unsweetened. Our Uncle Lloyd always drank his from his saucer, hot from the pot, and he always kept a pot cooking on the stove. Michael Combs sings I'm Drinking From My Saucer Cause My Cup Has Overflowed that reminds me of Uncle Lloyd. As I got older and started driving I would take a thermos with me on long drives or all day fishing trips. Like Gomer Pyle told Andy, "It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold." He, I think had hot chocolate and ice tea in his. The old thermos bottles had a glass vacuum bottle inside a thin metal jacket. On many occasions after I dropped one, I could hear what sounded like crushed ice inside and knew that it was time to buy a new thermos.

 

In 1976 I graduated from college and started seminary in New Orleans. It was a long drive from Enterprise to New Orleans. My younger brother, Glenn gave me a gift shortly afterward. It was a two quart, stainless steel, Thermos brand bottle, model No. 2466, stopper No. 764 and the date of Jan 77 was stamped on the bottom. Today almost 39 years later I still use that thermos. The handle has been replaced with straps of inner tube. The cup is long gone. The stopper is almost worn out and I can't find a replacement. There is a little dent in the bottom where I recently tried to pick it up by the stopper and it pulled out and let the bottle drop. But it still keeps hot coffee hot! I don't know if it keeps cold things cold because all I ever put in it is coffee. Hundreds of gallons of coffee have I enjoyed from that old bottle. In fact I have drunk from it several times today at work and as I write these words.

This old thermos bottle is something I treasure and value. I like it because it is sturdy, durable, well made and functional. It has fully supplied my need for a thermos and is likely to last as long as I do. But more than anything else it is special to me because of who it came from and the love behind the gift. I was not aware or consciously thinking that I needed a really good thermos. I was in the routine of repeatedly buying another cheap one whenever my old ones broke. Glenn cared about me and he thought long and hard about something that I really needed but would never likely buy for myself because the price was high and my money was low. I probably could have survived without it, but who knows? He cared about his older brother and he demonstrated his love and compassion by giving me something I really needed and that I have frequently used with great satisfaction, contentment and joy. And every time I use it, I remember that my brother loved me enough to give me a great gift. And it makes me appreciate both him and the gift again. A man I work with donated one of his kidneys to his father a couple of years ago. I imagine his father feels the same way about the love gift he received.

One of the great truths about God is that He loves us. He loves all of us. He loves you. He loves all those people you and I have never met all around the whole world. And He loved us so much that He gave us the one thing we desperately needed above all others. He gave us the most precious gift He could possibly give. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ. And He gave Him to suffer, bleed and die for us so that we could live. And he did not love us because we were so cute, sweet and loveable. He loved us when we were dirty, filthy, wicked, evil, rebellious, perverted, hateful and mean. He loved us even though we chose to be his enemies. While we were still sinners, God loved us and Jesus died for us. That is the only hope any of us have. Without that gift we are doomed. Without that gift we are ruined. Without that gift we are dead. Without that gift we are condemned and guilty and helpless.

God loved us and Jesus died for us. That is the only hope we need. Jesus is the difference between living and dying, between heaven and hell, between hope and despair, between joyful gladness and endless miserable sorrow, between good and evil, right and wrong, righteousness and wickedness.

In giving us His Son, God gives Himself to us. What a wonderful gift! What a precious gift! What a needed indispensable gift! What a priceless gift! What an undeserved and unearned gift! And it is a gift that keeps on growing and keeps on blessing us more and more. Every day with Jesus truly is sweeter that the day before. Every day with Jesus we do love him more and more. Jesus saves and keeps me. He's the One I'm living for. For every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.

Romans 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the One who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The good news is that God has given us the most wonderful gift in the world and in that gift He gives us everything we need. . But a gift must be accepted and received to be possessed and enjoyed. God's gift is free but it is not cheap. The only way we receive Jesus is by giving ourselves to Him. Like in marriage, each receives the other only by giving themselves entirely to the other.

If we have received this greatest gift of all, we have the joy, privilege and responsibility to let the world know about the gift God has given to them. We must love them and want them to receive the gift because He loved us and because He loved them too. The gift is big enough for all of us. Are we big enough for Him?




Devotions by Year

  • Even Bulls Can Learn To Get Along
  • Changed Minds
  • Today is the Day
  • Sometimes We See What's Not There
  • Why Do You Farm?
  • Misplaced Aggression
  • Feasting On Filler
  • 'Get Some Rest': Not As Easy As It Sounds
  • Lessons From Freddy
  • Just Tired and Reflecting
  • Safe Pasture
  • Sin: Just Like Fall Army Worms
  • Blood Cleanses
  • Just Cute Little Harmless Pups
  • Life: A Series of Pipping
  • Just Because He Loves Us!
  • No Excuses!
  • Oh! Now You Tell Me!
  • Live Like You Were Dying
  • But You Didn't Tell Me!
  • Time to Choose
  • A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything and Realizes That He Really Has Nothing
  • Celebrate the Harvest
  • Falling Stars
  • Easier To Lead Than To Drive
  • Weeds, Weeds, Weeds!
  • Grace Is Like Grits
  • We Can’t Do It ‘Ourselves’!
  • I Wouldn’t Make a Good Cowboy
  • What Are We Thinking?
  • Your Walk Talks
  • Activity is No Substitute for Reproduction
  • Who Would Have Ever Thought It?
  • Thankful for Boundaries
  • Cover It Up Or Fix The Problem?
  • What Will Your Legacy Be?
  • I Wish I Had Been There! I Wish I Had Not Forgotten!
  • If God Can Use a Dove....?
  • Hope In The Midst Of Hopelessness
  • I Don't Know You!
  • Like A Straddled Squirrel
  • Sounding the Alarm: This Is Not a Test!
  • Don’t Let The Urgent Keep You From The Most Important
  • We Never Know Who We Have In The Basket
  • Uh Oh--Jesus' Got Toothpaste On His Head!
  • A Moment of Silence is like Preg Checking a Bull
  • A Chicken's Right to Choose
  • Got to Leave Right Now! What Do I Take With Me?
  • He is Able—But if He Does Not!
  • Declarations of Independence: Properity or Destruction?
  • Blackie: One In A Hundred-In More Ways Than One
  • Who Is Holding On The Tightest?
  • That Must Have Been 20 Years Ago!
  • It's Almost Time
  • Keeping Me Awake At Night
  • Better Be Dressed
  • CHRISTMAS My Favorite Time of the Year
  • A Nation Without God is a Nation Without Hope
  • Bush Hogging During a Severe Drought?
  • When the Heart Dies—the Whole Body Dies With It
  • Depopulate and Eradicate (or) Expiate and Propitiate
  • If I Could Only Say One Thing and Had One Last Chance to Say It
  • Go Ahead and Jump Son—Daddy Will Catch You
  • The Final Dispersal
  • Chicken Piping—He Sees Them All
  • “Takes the Teeth Out”
  • Making It Harder Than It Is
  • HOPE IN THE PIT
  • Why Was He Born?
  • What to do when you don’t know what to do
  • A Dry And Thirsty Land Where No Water Is
  • If Only These People Will Change
  • Go Fishing—You Never Know What You Might Catch
  • Some Droughts are Preventable
  • Celebrating ‘True Freedom’
  • Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Victory Through Surrender
  • Responding Like a Sick Calf?
  • Our Life’s Investment: A Time for Reflection
  • Preg Checking: Open! Bred! I Ain’t Sure!!
  • Confidence To Face The New Year
  • Two Virgins and a Baby—The Irony and the Gift of Christmas
  • Precious Moments in the Calving Pasture
  • Working On a Building
  • What is the Foundation of Your Faith?
  • To Walk on Water—You Have to Step Out of the Boat
  • Only One Life to Live
  • The Uniqueness of a Mother’s Love
  • A Prayer That God Will Always Answer
  • Lessons from a Boar
  • When You Have Done All You Can Do to Stand: Stand Firm
  • Lowing in the Distance
  • Not My Dirty Feet!
  • THE RICH FAMILY IN CHURCH
  • Where did it go CFCI devotional
  • The Day ‘Tater’ Died
  • Life’s Lessons from the Chicken Yard
  • RESOLUTION OR SOLUTION?
  • Christmas Choices
  • BROKEN CISTERNS
  • Experiencing God in the Calving Pasture
  • FAMILY: On and Off the Farm
  • Unity is More Than Important—It is Absolutely Essential
  • God, I’m not ______________. I AM!
  • The Rod and the Staff
  • The Good Shepherd Leads the Way
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Blessed to be a Blessing
  • Mama Should Have Named Me Martha
  • FENCES: On the Farm & In Our Lives
  • The Harvest Depends on the Heart
  • The Gospel & Our Response to God's Grace
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