Posted on July 10, 2018 by America's Keswick in Victory Call

Part of my job is to provide a weekly recap of what’s happening for the next 7 days in the ministry, and a list of prayer requests for staff and ministry friends.  A couple of years ago, Bill [Welte] gave me a book titled “Inspiration: 365 Days a Year” and told me to use one quote per week on the weekly staff handouts. The one I used for June 26th said, “Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.” (attributed to Ruth Ann Schabacker).

I got thinking about that. Have you ever received a gift that was so pretty you just didn’t want to unwrap it?  Some people really have a gift for wrapping presents. My older brother’s wife always has beautiful bows on gifts.  And my younger brother’s wife knows how to fold the wrapping paper into fancy fans and other designs. Sometimes I almost – almost! – hate to unwrap them.

But how silly would that be? The gift is what’s inside. If I set that box on a shelf and just admire the pretty wrapping, I’ll never know what the gift actually is.

And sometimes, once we open the gift, we’re less than delighted with what’s inside.  Have you ever gotten a gift that wasn’t really what you wanted? Or worse, was something you really DIDN’T want? I once received a pair of fuzzy bright orange slippers – which sat in my closet till I eventually threw them in a Salvation Army bin. Or how about the guy who, however well-meaning, gives his wife a new vacuum cleaner for her birthday?

We have a choice not just about opening the gifts we receive, but how we respond to and ultimately use those gifts.  As the quote says, each day brings us gifts.  We can choose to open them, or not. We can choose to appreciate them or not. Even the unwanted things that come our way – sickness, loss, difficulties – are ultimately gifts from God if we choose to see them that way. He allows everything that comes into our lives – both good and bad – for our good and His glory.

James 1:17 says,  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

And since our Father is only good, everything He gives or allows in our lives can only be good – even if we have a hard time seeing it that way.  What may not appear good in the moment, is ultimately for our good, if we choose to look at it that way.

And we know Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

In the end, it’s all about choice – we choose whether to accept the gifts God gives us. And we choose what we do with those gifts.

… “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Written by Ruth Schmidt Ruth Schmidt has worked at America’s Keswick since 1985. She currently serves as Administrative Assistant to Bill Welte.

The Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 5-8 |You can download our 2018 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Grace means undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God’s favor.” – Dwight L. Moody

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Psalm 146:5

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Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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