As we are all focused on Christmas at this time of year our minds often go to thoughts of gifts and presents. We love to give and receive gifts but I there are some other things about gifts we may want to think about this week. They include the “gifts” that God has given us. There are so many we couldn’t talk about them all but let’s look at a few—the gifts that the Father has given to us.
Of course at this time of year our minds reflect on the gifts of Christmas—the babe in the manger, the wonder of the star, the glorious messengers with the heavenly proclamation, and the grace of humble shepherd who received that wondrous announcement of the GOOD NEWS that God delivered through Mary’s womb that night. The deliverance of the baby from Herod’s sword, and the wise men that God warned to return home another way. I love the Christmas theme and how it reveals the love and splendor of God. As Luke and Matthew share these wonderful stories I am moved to tears to think that God Himself would come to earth to save sinful man—how could he love us so much? How could Jesus love us so much as to leave heaven’s splendor for a body of flesh and a life in a broken world among broken people? To fathom all His love and grace to us just overwhelms my soul.
He is the GREATEST GIFT—THE SON!!!!
As Luke proclaims in Luke 2:11 ‘ For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord!”—Jesus came to be a Savior for us, but we also see that the Savioris Christ the Lord. A baby who came a King but gave Himself a ‘Sacrifice” for us all. We needed the saving and God sent His son to Save us. Praise His name for all He has done for us.
As we ponder on these things God has given us beyond the manger, lets look beyond the stories of Christmas. In Romans 8:32 Paul tells us “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ Then John records for us the words of Jesus in John 14: 21 “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself unto him.” Part of this “manifestation” that Jesus imparts to us is His own Spirit to dwell within us. The other side of this is in John 15:5 ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” After telling his followers to wait in Jerusalem for the Spirit (referred to as the promise), he told the disciples in Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (And after this he ascended into heaven right before their eyes!!). By His Spirit we are empowered and enabled to be “new creatures IN Christ”. We see in Isaiah 48:17 “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” God by His gift of the Holy Spirit leads and directs our steps.
As I think of Psalm 119:133 “Order my steps in thy word, and let not any iniquity have dominion over me”, and 1 Peter 1:15 “But as he which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”, I am reminded that we can overcome sin only by God’s grace, power and Spirit.
The Holy Spirit also imparts to us individual spiritual gifts that we might be God’s hands and feet here on earth. Each believer receives a gift at his salvation (1 Cor. 12) and we are to manifest the work of God in and through us each day and everywhere we go—NOT just at church. Although our gifts are given to benefit and grow the church, the church is to reach the world, as each member is a living witness of Jesus to the world around us. May we remember that, as we are out and about during this hectic shopping and giving season? Let Jesus be seen in us.
As we think about the gifts that God has given us may we be thankful for all that we have the opportunity to do here in this world. We can make a difference for Jesus and let the world know that a Savior has been born and He is still in the life changing business—and that is Good News!!!! Remember that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”….Phil 4:13.
How blessed we are to have received the gifts of—
The Holy Spirit
The Gifts of the Spirit
The Love of God
The Word of God!!!
Thanks be to God—Praise His Holy name… May His blessings overflow in your life this week and may the love of God, in you, spill over in all your steps.