May the Lord, who made heaven and earth, bless you from Jerusalem. Psalm 134:3

You may not freely admit it, of course, but the value of the gifts you give is dependent on the level of love and intimacy you have with the person you are giving the gift to. Gifts given to casual acquaintances are really more like gestures than gifts. Gifts of great value cost you something. The greater the cost, the more valued the person you are giving the gift too.

One year funds were very slim around Christmas. I wanted to give the love of my life something special but simply didn’t have the funds to purchase what I’d hoped to give her. With a somewhat heavy heart I ‘settled’ on using my ability to take pictures and made a collage of some the special times we’d had in the past year. When she opened the package you’d have thought I’d given her the Hope Diamond! She still talks about that simple gift today and it sits prominently on her nightstand.

Why was that simple gift so precious? It certainly had no dollar value. It wasn’t fantastic scenery or a hand made painting. The frame was simple and cheap. The pictures were printed on a home printer. But I was reminded that Christmas that the value of a gift isn’t in dollar amount but emotional attachment and sacrifice. My sweetheart sees in that simple frame of pictures all the memories of some great times together. Each photograph is a reminder of our love. My putting them together was the perfect way to remember our year together. She knew that this gift came from my heart.

Do you notice where your Heavenly Father gets the blessings (gifts) he bestows on us? He is creator of heavens and earth. He could have given you gifts from anywhere in the world, or the universe for that matter. But where did he go to get those blessings? He went home.Jerusalemwas where the temple was.Jerusalemwas where Jehovah God ‘dwelt on earth’.Jerusalemis where the blessings God bestows on us come from. He didn’t give us gifts he acquired. He gave us gifts that were his own personal possessions. You don’t give someone your prized possessions unless your love for that person is tremendously deep. The Apostle Paul reminds us that his love is deeper that the deepest ocean and higher than the highest heavens. His love goes as far as east is from west. His love for you is so deep that he gave his only son for you and has promised to bless you here on earth and for eternity.

The Jews sang this song, the song of Psalm 134, as they leftJerusalemafter worshiping God in his ‘home’ theTemple. I imagine the words of this song still on their lips as the walls disappeared behind them. Truly we were blessed to be in his presence.

May each of us as Christ-followers say the same. While the earthly temple still resides in Jerusalem, today Jehovah God has made a new home. A home within each of us as a result of Jesus death, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the father. “May the Lord, who made heaven and earth, bless you from Jerusalem. Amen”

PRAYER: Father forgive me for taking for granted the many gifts you have given me. Help me to realize the great value you place on me. Empower me to live in such a way that your blessings in my life overflow to those near to me that need your touch. In Jesus name, Amen.