Tag Archives: grace

Throwback Thursday: The Gift

THE GIFT

 

And she brought forth her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths,

And laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7 (NKJV)

 

As we wrap our gifts this Christmas, focus on the gift that Mary wrapped in swaddling cloths, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the true gift of salvation to all who repent (Acts 2:38). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23). This gift of eternal life is more precious than anything we can wrap in shiny silver or gold paper. It is the gift that rescues us from eternal damnation. While Jesus Christ spoke to the woman at the well, He said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).

Even the faith we place in Christ and the grace by which God saves us are gifts. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8).

Salvation is so much more than eternal life in heaven. A Christian is never alone. God is always there providing for us, protecting us, and purifying us. He hears our prayers and calms our fears. His love for us is without measure.

Christmas is a very busy time. Make time for Christ this Christmas season. There was no room for Him at the inn when He was born, but Christ must be a priority in the life of a Christian. Praise Him and meditate on the excellent gift that He has given you.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You for the gift of salvation, the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. We praise Your holy name! Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read these verses and notice what each one says about the “gift of God”: Acts 8:20,

Rom. 5:15-18, James 1:17.

 HIKING THE TRAIL

As you find yourself in conversations about gifts, even at the check-out, tell people about the gift of God – Jesus.

 Copyright 2012 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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When Life Hurts

When Life Hurts

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

1 Peter 5:10 NKJV

This promise is for the dear saint of God who has suffered for a while. A long while. I hope that isn’t you. I pray it isn’t you, but if it is, I’m relieved you have found this promise today. God has you here for that purpose.

He knows you feel like He has forgotten you. He knows the rhythm of your battered heart. He has collected your tears in a bottle, or a gallon jug. God has a message for you today, my friend. Hope for the momma who has all but given up on that child. Hope for that sweet sister who awakes each morning, only to be reminded her husband is no longer there. Hope for the cancer patient who just can’t hear the words “cancer free.” Hope for the one living in tremendous pain, physical and emotional.

God is giving you that hope today. He wants you to hold onto this promise. Memorize it. Pray it. Hold God to His promises, because He is faithful. This season of suffering will pass.

Not today. Not the way you would prefer, but God loves you, and this too will pass.

We cannot understand why we hurt, nor why we struggle for so long. We certainly don’t comprehend the snowball effect while our trials enlarge as life speeds downhill. We can’t understand why a good God allows pain.

But we do understand God is good. We can sing “good, Good Father” with confidence. We know truth, and this promise tucked away in Peter’s first epistle is the nugget of truth you need today.

We have been called to suffer. No, Carolyn, Peter says we are called to God’s eternal glory. Same thing. God receives glory from our story. Our testimony gives Satan heartburn because we didn’t fall apart. OK, maybe we fell to pieces a time or two, but the master potter put us back together. Better than before.

This turmoil you find yourself in is the refining process, and you, sweet friend, will emerge as gold. That is His perfecting work.

When I consulted with Siri for the definition of establish, I heard certain terms that stood out: recognize, accepted, and “show truth. A day will come when you stand firmly recognized as proof of God’s truth. People will know you made it, and they will be reassured they can make it too because of God’s rich truth.

The weakness you feel today is being over powered by God’s strength. Suffering comes to make us stronger.

And settled. You will not always be tossed by the tempest, nor whipped by the whirlwind. Life will settle down.

Until our storms pass, we can trust in God’s grace. We can lean on His strength. We can remind our emotions of this truth and steady ourselves in God’s promise. A promise from a good Father.

Heavenly Father, we praise You because You desire good for us, but sometimes to achieve good, there must be some hurt. We want it to end. We want You to make everything right, but more importantly, we pray for Your will. And we claim this promise knowing that You will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Jeremiah 18:1-6.

HIKING THE TRAIL

PUSH through the pain. Pray Until Something Happens.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.