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  • Shawn Thornton

Only the Best Gifts

Tuesday - January 18th

Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 1:3-14


He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

Ephesians 1:8 NLT

Since 1939, Neiman Marcus has published an annual Christmas catalog that receives a lot of free press. In the early 1950s, Stanley Marcus began including lavish and odd gifts in The Christmas Book. This new practice has captured the attention of the media for decades.

When journalist Edward R. Murrow approached Marcus in 1952 to see whether the store had anything special that may interest his radio listeners, the concept was born. Marcus immediately created an offering of a live Black Angus bull accompanied by a sterling silver barbeque cart. All further catalog publications that year were updated to reflect the $1,925 item. As a result, the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog has the distinction of being the most stolen item from recipients' mailboxes. At one point, a Chicago postmaster recommended that the company switch to plain brown wrappers.

A $20 million submarine, mummy bags containing an actual mummy, seats from the Brooklyn Dodgers' Ebbets Field, and a $1.5 million Cobalt Valkyrie-X plane were among the catalog's dream gifts. The costliest item was a Boeing Business Jet for over $35 million.

The odd and unusual gifts available for purchase in the Nieman Marcus Christmas Catalog might grab our attention, but they are not the best gifts. As followers of Jesus Christ, God has given us the best gifts we could ever imagine. God gave us our salvation, the indwelling presence and seal of the Holy Spirit, and an eternal home with Him in Heaven. That only names a few of the gifts God has given us.

In Ephesians 1:7-8, Paul connects our redemption in Christ to God lavishing His kindness, wisdom, and understanding on us. The moment God saved us, our sins were forgiven, and God clothed us in the righteousness of His Son. At the same time, he generously lavished us with complete access to His kindness, wisdom, and understanding.

As we live in the world today as the disciples of Christ, we don't wander aimlessly without access to divine resources. The Spirit God put in our hearts wants us to rest in Him for what we need to navigate life in this generation. He has lavished on us the opportunity to experience His kindness, wisdom, and understanding. As we walk with Him daily, all three flow freely from the heart of our God into our lives.

Our redemption accomplished far more than rescue from eternal punishment (though that is part of it). Our redemption provided us far more than an eternal home in heaven forever someday (though it did). When God saved us, he promised to walk with us in the ups and downs of life. He gives us the resources we need to flourish in life today! "God has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:8 NLT).

No sales catalog stocks the best gifts in life - only God provides the best gifts!


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