“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it...Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience...Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fail after the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4: 2, 6, 11
I don't know about you, but this is the time of the year that many people I know come face to face with certain family members who say they are Christians, and who even maybe attend church on a regular basis, but at the same time lack real godly rest (peace) in their lives. God commands us to be diligent to enter His rest, but in going back to verses 2 and 6 above, we see that in order to find ownership of that rest we must be willing to accept all He has to tell us in complete confidence and faith.
For people who spend their lives in church, hearing quaint sermons about the “stories of the bible” on their weekly Sunday outings, there is no godly rest which is able to enter their lives because the words they hear do not go any further than the page of the bible in which they are written. God never intended for His words to stay within the bible for us to read and to re-tell as stories to just pass down
from generation to generation from pulpit to pew. Yes, God has preserved His word from generation to generation through its translation by those who have sought Him and have desired to keep His word accurate and readable throughout the world. But, the Holy Spirit has been given as a gift to us from Jesus so that we are never just left with words that do not preach their own sermons to us on a daily basis and in an intimate manner that calls us to live in faith towards the One who speaks through those words into our hearts.
Maybe you are a relative of a person who lives with their bible words on the page and does not see the need to do anything more with them. Disobedience towards the Lord is the only product of leaving God's word on the page and then going about living a life that is self-pleasing when the book is shut. And, the only way to move beyond this type of disobedience is to pray for God to make His words real to the reader and for the Holy Spirit to do His divine work to bring the words of God alive to the hearer.
So, if past suggestions of a living a more godly life or gifts of devotionals or religious materials have not yet lead your family member towards knowing God in a more intimate way through His word, maybe this next year the greatest gift you could give that person is a commitment to pray for him/her every day. Make it your purpose and prayer on a regular basis that this person may see their need for God's word in their life daily, that they may allow the Holy Spirit to work on their heart and change it through what they read, and that they may enter the rest that God has promised all who hear His word and accept it in faith that it will be as He says.
Giving the gift of God's peace and rest is the best gift to give and although it will costs you greatly on your knees it is a timeless gift that will produce fruit for eternity – better than any gift I could think of giving, even this late in the season.