Sharing by: Pam Crawford
“For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.”
Well, how was it? Did the gift meet your expectations? Forgive me, but I’m not talking about that “Black Friday” gift you received; I’m talking about the gift that has been passed down from generation to generation. Did you receive it? Maybe you already received it in years past, awesome! If so, did you bring it back out to share with others? Did you talk about it, show it off? Was it part of your celebration?
I told you last week that I wanted to experience this Christmas from the eyes of a child. What I decided to do was to view this Christmas as the glorious inheritance that it is. Then, I worked to share the gift forward with others. It’s much too precious, much too valuable to keep to oneself. If you haven’t been able to read my devotion writings over the past few weeks, I encourage you not to miss the packages I left for you.
As the days drew closer to Christmas 2011, I climbed up into my Heavenly Father’s lap to better understand the law and the promise. Then, I looked at what it means to be called “Sons of God.” I encourage you to explore Galatians 3:15-29 and 4:1-7. Please do not miss Gal. 3:29, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Dr. Charles Stanley from In Touch Ministries says that “among our priceless treasures is a living hope in Jesus Christ that cannot be taken away (1 Peter 1:3)." What's more, He pledged to supply our needs according to His riches (Phil 4:19). In other words, we already have all that we need for an abundant and victorious life. The question is will we choose to live like it?
The “Promise” entered the world over 2,000 years ago as the Word (John 1:1-2), as God himself. On Christmas day we had the opportunity to reflect on this promise and I pray it re-energized your passion for Christ. As heirs we have received the ultimate gift and now we ask ourselves, what are we going to do with it? Do we take it out of its beautiful packaging and make it useful. Or, do we pack it away and bring it back out next year when the season warrants remembering it. I hope you answered, we make it useful now. As we now look to the “New Year” celebrations, I pray we can look at the future with a new sense of who we are in Christ. It has made a huge difference in the way I view the unknown. Things are changing for me, but this advent I was given this reminder.
“We are called to proclaim
that hope is stronger than doubt,
that love is stronger than hate.
We are called to witness
that goodness is stronger than evil
and that the Word of God is LIFE.
We are called to proclaim:
we have seen the Lord.
Whatever we do must testify in the end that:
JESUS IS LORD.”
- Sister Carol Marek
May we look at this as an opportunity to experience God in new ways? His Word tells us that He is to be a priority in our lives. In the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17) we are given two very important warnings. We are told to have no other gods before God, and we are not to have idols in our lives. An idol is anything that we make more important than God. My dear friends, I have learned the hard way that when I disobey these instructions, things don’t go well for me.
God wants to be a priority in our life. He wants first-place. This is not a selfish act on His part. It is an act of love. When we are connected firmly to The Vine, we get the nourishment we need to grow into beautiful branches (John 15:5) for God’s Kingdom.Through Christ, we have so much to rejoice in, so much to look forward to. God never said this life would be easy, but He did say He would be there every step of the way. I am personally counting on Him as I desire to trust Him in all areas of my life. It’s time to move on from pure Spiritual milk (1 Peter 2:2) to some hearty meals of Spiritual meat (Hebrews 5:11-14). Before we go our separate ways, I have one more gift.
Thank you so much for being a part of my Spiritual journey. May God love on, protect, and encourage you every step of the way.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
In Christ by grace,