1 Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. … 3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.”… 9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” (2 Kings 7:1-9 , NKJV)
My Pastor had a very interesting question last week, “Does Christmas make a difference in your life?” No doubt, one or two honest listeners realized the deep meaning of the Christ child in the world probably did not make any tangible difference in their lives day to day. So, is it possible we left this gift under the tree; unopened? Opening God’s gifts is a very practical thing to do.
Let’s take away three key points from the scripture story above… First, verse 1 – the gift of God is the Word of God for you. Our first practical act should be to consistently read the Word of God with expectation. It is by this relationship with God that His Holy Spirit is able to communicate to you those promises most relevant to any challenge you are facing. There is a word spoken to everyone, but this same Word is quickened in your heart as meaningful. This is your gift.
Next, verse 3 – Now the prophet’s words were spoken to all the people. And to this select few occurs the ultimate revelation of truth, “Why are we sitting here until we die?” Second key point, that same Word of God of promise to you is true and real so, why not walk by faith? Why not take hold and receive this gift to you as promised? Why not you? Satan’s greatest weapon is to place the doubt before the gift of promise, so we wonder if God will deliver. Sometimes the action of walking by faith begins with something as simple as interrupting that doubt, “if I will receive this or not” with the truth… either way I have nothing to lose, so why not receive this now. To open is to believe the gift in my heart with total abandon… as if I have nothing to lose.
And finally, to walk this gift of God out by faith is again a very practical process that is, to believe is to “be the living expression” of the gift promised for others too. Our leprous friends in this scripture realized the gift spoken by the prophet was greater than their needs alone. And in that simple revelation you can see a very necessary next step to receiving God’s gifts. Not matter what your situation or trial or circumstance God receives Glory by your expression of faith and sharing of the truth with others; sharing the gift you are believing for with others. These words – James 1:2-7, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – express this very pragmatic truth. If you believe Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world (gift of Luke 2:11) then share that truth by living like Jesus saved you. If you believe God for healing (gift Exodus 15:26) then share that truth by expressing and expecting healing. If you believe there is more to your life and circumstance than just sitting here until you die (gift Deuteronomy 30:19) then begin today by choosing to live as every Word of God’s promises for all the world to see.
I pray you do not have gifts under the tree still unopened. But if this gift is to be opened; if this Christmas miracle is going to make a difference in this world it must begin with you; wherever you are, in whatever circumstance you find yourself; begin to walk by faith – become the living word of truth by expressing it to others in everything you are and everything you do.