Sunday, December 16, 2012

Receive Your King

The following is adapted from the devotional I gave at my Relief Society's Christmas party.

“At Christmastime we talk a lot about giving, and we know—we all know—that it is more blessed to give than to receive. But I wonder if sometimes we disregard or disparate the importance of being a good receiver,” said President Uchtdorf at the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.

He continued, “I hope that this Christmas and every day of the year we will consider in particular the many gifts we have been given by our loving Heavenly Father.”

At Christmastime, we celebrate God’s greatest gift He has given us: His Son. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King!” exclaims the joyous hymn.

But what does it mean to receive Him? 

To receive something requires action: we must accept the gift being given to us. First we “prepare [our] hearts” (Alma 16:16). In fact, the next line in “Joy to the World” is “Let every heart prepare Him room.” We do that by making sure we have “good ground” for the gospel of Jesus Christ to take root in our hearts (Luke 8:5–15). Next, we must become as a little child (Luke 18:17). President Uchtdorf noted how children receive gifts with excitement and gratitude and advised us to have the same attitude toward the gifts Heavenly Father gives us. Once we receive Christ into our hearts, we must follow Him, stay rooted and established in the gospel, and abound in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6–7). 

When we receive Christ and His Atonement, Heavenly Father will bless us with even more gifts. One of the blessings we will receive is a change of heart. The greatest gift we will receive is eternal life.

President Uchtdorf shared another blessing: “Every gift that is offered to us, especially a gift that comes from the heart, is an opportunity to build or strengthen our bond of love. When we are good and grateful receivers, we open a door to deepen our relationship with the giver of this gift.”

Furthermore, he warned, “But when we fail to appreciate, or even reject, a gift, we not only hurt those who extend themselves to us but in some way we harm ourselves as well.” Some of the things that stop us from receiving Christ and His Atonement are pride, sin, and lack of faith. When we let these things stop us, we hurt ourselves and stop more blessings from flowing to us.

I invite you all to receive Christ into your hearts this Christmas. I close with the reverent words of another Christmas hymn.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav'n.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.

(“O Little Town of Bethlehem,” Hymns, 208) 

Challenge: Receive Christ into your heart.


DAD said...

i appreciate all the gifts I have received especially you! love DAD

Anonymous said...

You did an excellent job on this article.
Receiving Jesus Christ into our hearts brings many great rewards.