27 December 2007
As we are now in the last days of this year it is good that we dispose of some our ‘garbage’ if such we have in our hearts and lives. The apostle Paul stated it in this fashion: “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…” (Colossians 3:5-10). In other words we all need to take an inventory of our lives and make sure that we discontinue those habits and sins that hinder our running “the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, 2).
In the case of the gift and the giver, both are most important in spiritual matters. We are informed in John 3:16 that Jehovah God gave the greatest gift ever – His Son to die for our sins on the cross of Calvary. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:6-8, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Just ponder for awhile what is said here. We were not friends of God when He gave the greatest gift, His Son; rather, it was when by our own sins we were alienated from God (Isaiah 59:1, 2). Not only that, the Gift (Jesus Christ) also gave Himself for our salvation (John 15:13). The motive was pure love of the Father and the Son.
Because we have been the recipients of salvation, “the gift of God”, (Ephesians 2:8), we should give ourselves in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are teeming millions of lost souls who need to hear the good news of our Savior Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:1-3) which “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). There are lonely souls who need our attention and affection. “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble…” (James 1:27). The inspired writer in Hebrews 12:12 gave this exhortation, “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees…” Being alone does not always infer loneliness. The children of God have this precious promise, “Let you conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
10 December 2007
Now we look forward to the children returning home with their families. It is something else when our tribe assembles in one place. It seems that we ‘wear the house’ because the space is so restricted. What a wonderful sight to see grandchildren opening presents on Christmas morning. What a mess to clean up! How much food is required for so many hungry mouths waiting to consume grandmother’s delicious meats, vegetables, salads, pies and cakes? Well, it doesn’t matter. Her love reveals itself in the joy she experiences when she cooks for those who are so close to her heart. After all, what are grandmothers for? We want our grandchildren to have pleasant memories of Papa and Ma’s home during the holidays.
02 December 2007
“As ripe fruit is sweeter than green fruit, so is age sweeter than youth, provided the youth Were grafted into Christ. As harvest time is brighter time than seed time, so age is Brighter than youth; that is, if youth were a seed time for good; as the completion of a Work is more glorious than the beginning, so is age more glorious than youth; that is if The foundation of the works of God was laid in youth. As sailing into port is a happier Thing than the voyage so is age happier than youth; that is, when the voyage from youth Is made with Christ at the helm.”
~Pulsford, Adams & Bray Bible Commentary