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published12/06/19 05:30:00PM

Are You Gift Wrapped for Jesus?


                                       Are you gift wrapped for Jesus?      

By: Richard A. Cox, Jr author of I, We, Us: A Journey of Personal Growth and Development

My wife and I were walking through the mall looking for Christmas gifts as I observed the crowd of shoppers. Everyone was so busy and excited about purchasing gifts for family and friends. For a moment, it made me think, 'What is the gift I'm giving to Jesus?'

The greatest gift I can give to Jesus is my life. Jesus wants a totally surrendered life. In Romans 12:1 (AMP) it states, "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship."

God wants His daily access to us to be used as His instruments on Earth to accomplish His work. When we give our lives to God, we allow Him total access, 24/7, to our minds, bodies and souls to be used as He sees fit.

The purpose of Jesus being born was to place us in right fellowship with God, gained after the fall of Adam. Jesus is the gift, not of something external to God, but the gift of God Himself, the divine truth told in a human life. In John 1:14 (KJV) we find, "… and the Word became flesh and dwelt upon us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth."

God wrapped Himself in flesh and came to Earth. He became the ultimate living sacrifice as the Lamb of God - dying for the remission of our sins. He gave us His greatest gift of His only begotten son, (John 3:14(KJV) "for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.")

Are you gift wrapped for Jesus this year? Do you wear the garment of praise when you enter the House of the Lord? Do you wear the armor of God outside of the church to protect you against the wiles of the devil?

Here are some of the ways we can wrap ourselves as a gift for Jesus:

  • 1. Truth - God has wrapped us in the truth of His Word. In 3 John 4 (KJV) it says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
  • 2. Praise - God has wrapped us in the garment of praise to give Him Glory and Honor all the days of our lives. Isaiah 61:3 (KJV) tell us, "to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion…the Garment of Praise for the spirit of heaviness."
  • 3. Protection - God has wrapped us with His armor of protection. Ephesians 6:11 (KJV) declare us to, "put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

We can bring a Christian perspective of the true meaning of Christmas in our homes and not just at church. Here are some actions that can indicate how our hearts are wrapped as a gift at Christmas by:

  • 1. Discussing the birth of Jesus and explaining why we celebrate Christmas.
  • 2. Giving meaning to our actions for decorating our homes and giving gifts.
  • 3. Picking religious Christmas cards that will minister to our family and friends
  • 4. Looking for opportunities in the community to give our time to volunteer.
  • 5. Making time to watch Christmas television programs with the family.
  • 6. Playing Christmas CDs in our home to create an atmosphere of the holidays.

Jesus welcomes our little gifts and gestures because He recognizes them as signs that His joy has touched us. Jesus wants YOU! It is not something that is tangible but intangible. When we received Jesus in our hearts, we received God's greatest gift that keeps giving and giving and giving all year.

 

Stay gift wrapped for Jesus - available to be used anytime, anywhere - patiently waiting for Him to unwrap us for His service. Let Jesus unwrap your talent, creativity and vision for His Glory. Today decide, if you are not a Christian, to give yourself as a gift to Jesus this Christmas. If you are a Christian, keep yourself wrapped as gift for Jesus to use.

 


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published08/03/19 09:41:00AM

Proper Perspective


Proper Perspective

”So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18

 

              The luster of a new car is lost after a while.  The same holds true for a new house or any inanimate object.  Why is that?  They are just things.  Yes, things that we work hard to attain and some things that we need to live; however, there is grave danger in believing those “things” make us who we are or add to our spiritual wellbeing. 

              I love to look at new cars, new houses, the latest technological gadget, but I keep in mind that they will never bring me the spiritual satisfaction that only God can.  There is a feeling of accomplishment and pride that comes when I attain something new mixed with the reality that it will serve a purpose for a season and eventually succumb to moths or rust (Matthew 6:19).

              So, are things bad?  No, God provides us with things to enjoy and live this earthly life.  He wants us to be blessed, but blessed with balance.  Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are the three categories of sin that we are all susceptible to.  If the proper perspective in regards to things is not applied we will fall prey to one of if not all those categories.  I spend a lot of time in the gym working out staying in shape.  Our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) after all so we are required to take care of it.  Yet in the grand scheme of things our body is a thing also.  A wonderfully designed and made thing, but it gets old, sick, and eventually dies. 

              Proper perspective is the remedy to keep our lives balanced, but proper perspective is not a trait that we all have.  When the purpose for life is not realized proper perspective is nothing but a pipe dream.  We are here for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) and our lives should reflect that.  This includes putting into proper perspective the things we have or goals we have achieved within the grand scheme of God getting the glory. 

              No man or woman will ever take things with them when they die (Mark 8:36), but what was done for God with those things prior to death will last.  I am often reminded of this because I often think about dying, but not in a morbid sense.  Ecclesiastes 7:4 (NLT) reads, “A wise person thinks a lot about death,  while a fool thinks only about have a good time.”  I challenge you to ponder that for a moment.  If all a person thinks about is “having a good time” the bible says they are a fool.  I’m sure you are familiar with abbreviated expression YOLO which means “You Only Live Once”.  It’s mainly utilized when people are going to do something they have never done before and it’s an “adventure” or it holds some kind of risk.  The expression is very true from a worldly physical view; however, the actual truth of the matter is that we all live forever and we all have one opportunity in the life we currently live to receive eternal life with God or apart from Him.  So, if we only live once on this physical earth with the bodies we now possess, let’s live for God and make the most of the time, gifts, talents, and things He has bestowed upon us for His glory. 


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