One Prayer and Three Gifts – By Dwight Nelson

With the commemoration of Jesus’ birth now just a few days away, here’s a gift exchange you can enjoy with God like no other holiday present.

Here’s how the exchange begins: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). It’s one of those beautiful quid pro quo’s (you do this, He will do that). So tomorrow morning (or right now) give God the gift of your presence. I.e., draw near to Him. Seem too awkward? Actually it can be as simple as praying through a psalm. Someone once taught me to read a psalm a day as part of morning worship, and you too will discover that simply praying through a psalm can truly open your heart and draw you near to God.

But remember, God is offering a gift exchange—which means that for the gift of your presence with Him, He has a gift for you. Actually according to the promise you’re about to read, He offers a stunning trio of gifts! Count them: “If we draw near to God, He will [1] put a word in our mouth to speak for Him, even praise unto His name. He will [2] teach us a strain from the song of the angels, even thanksgiving to our heavenly Father. In every act of life, [3] the light and love of an indwelling Saviour will be revealed” (Prayer, p. 158).

Three precious gifts from Him to you every morning! First, you won’t have to worry ever again about having a testimony to give for Jesus—draw near to Him, and He will tuck that word into your heart each new day. Second, you’ll go through the day humming the words that the angels sing—what a duet, you and your angel make! And third, Jesus’ personal light and love will shine into you and through you to all you meet all day long.

No wonder Ellen White ends this triad of promises with this assurance: “Outward troubles cannot reach the life that is lived by faith in the Son of God.” Good news—no matter what the New Year will bring, you can live unreached by trouble, as you prayer-walk with Jesus—which beats any holiday gift, wouldn’t you agree?

Dwight Nelson is Senior Pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church, Andrews University

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Practical Application: 

What are some other “gift exchanges” that Christ might want to make with you this Holiday season? Take some time during your devotional time with God and ask Him? As you read your Bible, He will show you many wonderful gifts that He wants to give you! Let’s open our hearts to receive these gifts, but more than that, to receive Him!

Inspiration tells us:

“The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His Son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift. The Savior’s life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings, all are enlisted in behalf of man’s redemption” (Steps to Christ, p. 21). He did not give just any gift, “He gave the choicest gift of Heaven, and [as a result] the treasures of Heaven are at our command” (1st Selected Messages, p. 324).

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the amazing gift of Your Son! Thank You for the treasures of Heaven that come with this gift. May we not take You or Your Son for granted. Draw us close to You we pray. In Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen.