Misplaced Gift

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned — Romans 5:10-12

My friend Vince Hefner tells about a memorable Christmas present he received when he was a kid.

When Vince and his brother were in their preteens, they worked for a man in their community. They cut his grass in the summer time, raked his leaves in the fall, and did any other manual labor that he wanted done throughout the year.

Vince says that he and his brother were in demand because they were dependable, courteous and cheap!

One Christmas season their boss brought the boys some gifts to thank them for their hard work. He brought them some clothes, a few games and a basketball. 

They were very grateful, thanked the man for the gifts and took their new possessions to their room.

Vince and his brother tossed the clothes on the floor, opened up the games and placed the basketball (still in the box) in the corner of their room with the intentions of playing basketball the next day.

Without realizing it, they placed the basketball in front of an electric heater…and it stayed there all night long.

The next morning they woke up, took the basketball out of the package, but noticed something strange about their new gift.

Their basketball had grown a huge, bulging protuberance on the side that was lying against the heater. The basketball was no longer round, but round with a kind of appendage attached to it. The brothers tried to dribble the ball, but every time the bulge hit the ground, the basketball would bounce in the wrong direction.

They didn't want to throw the ball away, so they placed it in the back of the closet, hoping a nice, cool place would change it back. It never did.

Looking back on what happened, Vince said: "We had placed a great gift in the wrong spot and without thinking we took away the value and purpose of the gift." 

At Christmas, God gave us the most wonderful gift anyone could ever hope for, His Son, Jesus -- born to save us from our sins.

So many, though, place Jesus in the wrong spot. 

My prayer is that this Christmas, and always, you will allow Jesus to be Lord and Master of your life.

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!