Perfect Gifts

During the Christmas season, we are often focused on gifts. Giving and receiving. Let’s look at gifting in a little different way today.

What is the one thing you’re passionate about and do better than anything else?  It could be your life gift.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s creation and that He has specifically given us talents and gifts, that He ‘prepared in advance’, to use for the good of all. Although we want to connect this verse specifically to the Spiritual Gifts of Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 it is much more than that.

I think our life gifts include the spiritual gifts as well as talents, abilities, and skills that are part of what makes us unique.

In Exodus 35:30-35, we are told that God gave two men specific skills and talents for building the temple. They were to teach these skills to those who wanted to help with the project. In the 13th Century before Christ, (during the Exodus) He already had a plan and had given people the ability to carry out that plan. He’s been giving specific, unique gifts, talents, abilities, and skills to His people (us) ever since.

Among the life-gifts God gives are many that help the local church function. Talents and skills such as musical abilities (composing, singing, playing instruments, performing), crafting (painting, building, sewing, designing, needle arts), home skills (cooking, cleaning, arranging, gardening), business knowledge (budgeting, accounting)… There are so many more and God wants them used for His glory!

I want to encourage you not to get wrapped up in false humility concerning these talents. When we say to ourselves or others that ‘I’m not as good at this or that than ________________’, we deny what God has given us to use in our worship of Him.  It is good that we recognize the talents of others but we have special gifts, talents, and skills of our own. God wouldn’t have given them if He didn’t expect us to use them.

Your life gifts are needed! Use them!

My prayer for you is that your Christmas and the year to come are filled with GOD’s amazing grace, love, and blessings!

Marie

This post was originally written on December 9, 2020, and titled Life Gifts.

Witness

Do not be silent!

Witness that the LORD is King!

Show your love for Him!

Each Friday, Kaitlin, over at Five Minute Friday, sends a prompt that we can use to write for 5 minutes and then post on the FMF Link-up. I often choose to write a haiku and this one came very easily. I hope you enjoy it. Come join us! Marie

A Candy Cane Messiah

If we take the time to use “eyes to see and ears to hear” (Matthew 13:16) we can find the Spirit of Christmas in a lot of things and events. 

While creating a devotional based on the symbolism in the Candy Cane, I was struck by the choruses in The Messiah that match the symbolism of the Candy Cane.

As the story goes an Indiana candy maker wanted to create a candy that would be his occupational witness.  He wanted the birth, ministry, and death of Christ to be easily discernible.  So…

He used pure white candy to symbolize the purity, the sinlessness of Jesus.  In the Messiah the chorus – “And He Shall Purify” (Malachi 3:3) reminds us that our offerings to the Lord are to be righteous, without sin. 

The J shape represents the Name.  Isaiah 9:6 and the words of the chorus “For Unto Us A Child Is Born” resound with the names Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  When turned upside down the J becomes a staff.  The shepherd’s staff was crooked so the sheep that had fallen could be rescued.  Isaiah 53:6, and the matching chorus “All We Like Sheep”helps us remember that we are just like sheep.  We go our own way, every one of us, but we can be rescued.

The stripes are symbolism of the beating He took so we could be healed.  Isaiah 53:5 says And with His stripes we are healed”.  His blood was shed for our sins, hence, the red coloring.

As we celebrate this season let us remember the reason for the season is all around us.  HE is everywhere.  Look and listen.

Ah Lord God, bless us with the ability to see You in the trappings of this season.  Remind us that You are the greatest gift giver of all.  Help us experience the Reason in all we do.  You are the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace.  Let Your Glory be seen in us.  Let Your Light shine through us.  You alone are worthy!  Grant these petitions in the Name of Jesus. 

Revised and edited from original post. December 22, 2011

Sunday Psalms 8

Psalm 8

Father, Almighty God, Your name is higher than any other. Your glory shines above the heavens. Even babies and children know Your strength and power. You will overcome all that is wrong in this world.

Who am I that You are aware of me? I see Your perfect work everywhere! Why do You even care about me?

The One You love the most (Jesus) is King of all that is, was, or ever will be. You have given Him total control of all creation.

LORD, Your Great, Mighty, Holy name is higher than any other!

Sunday Psalms are the Psalms in my own words.  You can click on the Psalm number at the top to read it from the English Standard Version.

The Majesty and Glory resounds with the beauty of the words of Psalm 8. Listen here.

Sunday Psalms 7

Psalm 7

LORD, protect me! I will hide in You from those who want to harm me, then, I will not be alone in this battle.

LORD, forgive me! If I have caused this or done something wrong ~~ Forgive me!

If I have harmed a friend or taken what is not mine mine ~~ Forgive me!

If I have done any of this then let the enemy win.

LORD, fight for me!

You are my judge and my shield. You save those whose heart is fully attached to Yours. Guide all of my ways, all of my days. Save my soul!

I have repented of my sins unlike those who refuse to think they have done anything wrong. You fight against those who are evil, wicked, unrepentant, and those who lie. They will fall into their own pit.

Your righteousness demands my thanks! I will praise Your name!

Sunday Psalms are the Psalms in my own words.  You can click on the Psalm number at the top to read it from the English Standard Version.