But You Need to Actually Open the Gift…

On Crazy Christmas Sweater Day as a high school teacher,  I often wore a sweater depicting my favorite scene from the movie, “Elf.” Pictured on the front is Buddy the Elf screaming with ecstasy “Santa’s Coming! I know him!” Raised (by Santa) at the North Pole, Buddy works in the Christmas department of a New York City store. Though an upcoming visit from “Santa” is a humdrum for the other staff, he spends all night excitedly decorating to welcome a person he both knows and loves.

I’m the same way around Christmas – but not for Santa. For Jesus.

You see, Christmas celebrates Jesus’ coming. And since I know Him that changes my whole motivation for celebration..

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.” (2 Peter 1.3)

Here we are promised that one of the greatest gifts we are given is the opportunity to get to know our Savior “personally and intimately.” How? By taking hold of the “everything” that is needed to live a life of godliness.

Literally we have received Everything!

Do you truly know Jesus or do you just know about Him?

The New Testament Greek word used here is pas which is translated “everything, all things, complete.” No exceptions. In the context of today’s verse, it refers to anything we need in order to grow spiritually.

It’s not enough just to have the gift, we must actually open it and use it.

When Crowfoot, Chief of the Blackfoot nation in Alberta, gave the Canadian Pacific Railway permission to lay train track from Medicine Hat to Calgary, he was given in exchange a lifetime railroad pass. A ticket he could use to go anywhere, anytime. Everything he needed for a journey.

For the rest of his life.

Chief Crowfoot was so pleased with the gift that he put it in a fine tooled leather pouch and wore it around his neck. But he never used it. He never took a trip on the train. He had everything but he didn’t avail himself of the gift.

Don’t waste the grace gifts God has given you. “In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2.3) Simply draw near, read His Word, talk to Him in prayer.

That’s everything.

under the mercy, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”

©2020 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com

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Have you been listening to and watching my
“Daily Advent Words” each morning on
both Facebook and Instagram?
My gift to you this year is a whole month of “Daily Advent Words” which I  share each morning December 1-31 on Instagram and Facebook
 (they are up and archived there.)
I hope you will watch/listen in the unfolding Light as we all learn to Shine!
to view “Daily Advent Words.”
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A Look Ahead to January.
Want to start the year strong —
individually or with a group?
I am offering an 8-week study on my interactive life journal “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” available January 3rd for individuals or groups. You can watch the 8 video teaching lessons any time, plus full outline downloads of each session and discussion questions are provided. You will need a copy of the book “Soul Strong,” but the video teaching is fresh material which complements the book. The study is FREE, but a small Love Offering is always appreciated.  Simply email me LucindaSMcDowell@gmail.com
 with “Soul Strong Study” as the subject line and I will send you the LINK on January 3rd.


  1. Sheree Harrington on December 16, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks, Lucinda! Blessings to you and your family this Christmas and in the New Year ahead. Thanks for your encouraging words throughout this difficult year!

  2. Maggie Rowe on December 16, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    LOve the Chief Crowfoot story – always learn so much from your wonderful posts!

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