THE GREATEST GIFT EVER

DESCRIPTION: If you had the ability to wish for the greatest gift you would like to receive what would it be?

VERSE: For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Even though Christmas has been only a few months back, I am certain some of us have a special memory of a gift that you received last Christmas. And some of you are already dreaming about what you would like to get this year. But I come upon this story I read a while back and thought it would be fun to share today with you from Mairangic Church http://www.mairangichurch.org .

A lady wanted to buy some Christmas gifts for her special friends. In the busy weeks before Christmas, time ran out on her & so she gave up her idea of buying gifts. She decided instead to send each friend a Christmas card. It would be a bit cheaper than gifts & easier. She was very pleased to find a pack of 50 cards. She liked the picture on the front. “That’s perfect’” she thought to herself. Once home she quickly signed all the cards, “With all my love” & mailed them to her friends. Two weeks later after New Year, she happened to look more carefully at one of the left-over cards from that pack of 50. She was shocked to read the printed message inside the card, which obviously she had not noticed before. It said, “This Christmas card is just to say, a little gift is on its way.”

It may sound humorous but sometimes when we desire to purchase the special gift for our loved ones and friends, we forget to look at the small details. Possibly we didn’t clearly hear what the person really wanted or perhaps when the picture was brought up on Google we didn’t spend enough time looking at the item. And if you’re like me we lost the paper in which I wrote the item on and to embarrassed to call, text or email to get the special gift description again.

Whatever the answer is, we still have the gallant quest to search and find the special gift for our special person. Many of us will spend hours shopping and making certain we get the very best for our loved ones, and money is no object all we have in our heads is the look on their face when they unwrap this special gift from us. That is probably best part of this quest, “the gift was from ME, and no one else.” This makes the quest even more important as we don’t want to hear someone bragging that the best gift ever was purchased by someone else!

I have been on these quests many times looking for the best gift for my family members and too often found that the one perfect gift was purchased by every body in town or the item was no longer available to be purchased. How sad, and now I had to come up with another idea. Even if I purchased the loved one with a gift card, I am certain that if someone else had not beaten me to the store for the item, my loved one would have the same if not worse reaction when searching on the internet, the item was no longer available. No one would be more unhappy than me. I was given the special request and failed at my task.

This bring me to another person who was attempting to fix a gift issue as well. You see he was perplexed with creation that he created perfectly with the intent to worship and love Him. But when He created them, He gave them free will; that is the ability to choose right from wrong and He would not press His will or desire on them – – ever. Everything was going well until one day the rules was broken. Oh, I forgot to tell you that there was rules for the creation to live by on earth.

We all have heard the story of Adam and Eve and the eating of the forbidden fruit. And because they ate from the tree that was forbidden they did not die, but were cast out of the wonderful garden and to face the perils of Earth as all humanity has been given this same task. It seemed the opportunity of free will caused so much wrong in the world that God (CREATOR) had to come up with a plan to save his creation because God could not look at the Sin that had surfaced all over the Earth. God loved His creation but hated the sin.

So He said to Himself, I will save the family who loves me and have them build an ark and bring the animals on this ark and cause a great flood and start all over again. You might say he hit ALT/CONTROL/DELETE on His computer and started over. We all have done that again when a perfect laid plan didn’t work out, RIGHT. Again that is part of free will for all of us today. The ability to start over – – even if we were responsible for the error to the situation.

Well, as we all know about the Noah and the Ark story, we know Noah’s family and the animals were saved but when creation started to be born all over again, the same free will caused mankind to revert back to the sinful desires and God had the same problem again. I am certain knowing that God could have seen that the problem would be happening again, could have just went on a nice long vacation and never attempted to love mankind ever again – – but He didn’t have that in his heart for any of us, so He created another perfect plan. This plan would work for sure, and He was certain-because He was creating a plan that would ERASE ANY SIN FOREVER.

WOW! This would have been hard to grasp that every time I made a mistake, no matter what it was, I could be forgiven and that mistake would never be remembered ever. In our verse for today the special gift was God’s son. And it was not just His Son – – but His only Son He owned. You see, God was willing to send His precious only Son to Earth to become part of us, live with us, and die for all the SINS from the beginning to the END of time. The time limit for all of us to accept this special gift was from the beginning to the end of our life.

We recently remembered this story of the sacrificial death as we celebrate Easter where the plan that God’s Son Jesus surrendered His life for all the sins of humanity. You see there is a plan in place for each one of us to be reconciled back to the Father so we can have eternal life and not be separated from God ever, while we live here on Earth and when we die we can live with Him-in Heaven forever. And we can have all this because of His special gift. He made all this possible because of His great love for all of us.

There is other gifts that God gave us as well, they are packaged below:

* JOY, we discovered that joy, real deep-down joy, is to be found in a Person, and that Person is Jesus.

* PEACE, we discovered that true peace, the peace that does not depend upon the circumstances, is also found in Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

* HOPE, we discovered that true hope, hope for today and hope for the future, can only be ours when we put our trust and confidence in the Lord Jesus, the Hope of the World.

Jesus reminded all of us that the greatest GIFT we could give anyone was LOVE. I am certain He was thinking of what His father would have said because LOVE was the perfect gift to give anyone. Think of the last argument you had, if love would have been used in the discussion, perhaps there would have not been a disagreement. What about separation from a family member, if love would have been present there would have not been anyone leaving. This would be the same for divorce or quitting a job, or leaving your best friend behind and never talking to them ever again, all because there was no love in it at all.

The world would be a better place if we could erase all the problems around us, but if would give love to the problems, would the situation look better or worse? It is our free will to offer the gift of love to any situation. Most of us would say that the persons does not deserve our love, because they have not EARNED IT! But God’s love can not be earned it is freely given to all.

One last note on giving gifts to one another. Forgiveness is a great example of love that Jesus showed us and delivered to all humanity from His father. But the reason love was the greatest was because to love some one is also forgiving them when they do wrong to us. Look at what Jesus said:

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” Matthew 6:14-15

Today and everyday is an opportunity to share the most special gift we could all offer anyone. Maybe today we could share an expression of love with a word or act of kindness. Maybe we all need to stretch our love by forgiving someone who we have separated from and what we are not implying is that we condone their wrongful actions – – but we still love them . You see no one is perfect and I am happy that God will forgive me and love me no matter what I do wrong – – because we are family. My earthly dad reminds me that it maybe difficult to forgive you for some of your wrongful doings, but when I ponder that God can forgive me for anything – – it JUST MAKES SENSE. I need to do my part and allow God to do what I can’t in this life. What the world needs now is LOVE!

HEAVEN’S FLOORS

Description: A portion of the Lord’s prayer from the book of Matthew has caused me to see an elighqment many of us may not sense or see greater possibilities we can be digging in deeper in our prayer closets.

Verse: Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

All of us have learned the Lord’s Prayer, perhaps in our youth and perhaps later in life. It really doesn’t matter for this note, but perhaps this message will cause you to seek God in a different manner as you think about verse 10 in this very often quoted prayer. Bill Johnson’s book, “When Heaven Invades Earth,” is an eye opening book that challenges every reader to grasp this statement from the author:

Heaven invades earth when there is an agreement here (on earth) to what exists there (heaven). “” Bill Johnson

It was eye opening that not when I seek the kingdom of God first, all the other things will be added into my life (Matthew 6:33), but God desires for all of us to have knowledge of heaven on earth, before He takes us home. This is a good prayer time in all of our closets to seek a deeper revelation of verse ten today to see His will on earth as it truly is in heaven with Him.

When we seek heaven to come to our level of thinking, it is possible to seek heaven to be part of our life here on earth. I have sensed God closer in my prayers when I know heaven is all around me. Have you ever grasped this thought? If heaven is all around you what can penetrate your surroundings? Is it possible for evil to exists where good is all abound?

“If I accept only good things can exists in heaven, (because God is boss) and evil cannot coexist, then if heaven is near me than evil cannot be present and only God’s best can operate. Good thought to write down and ponder.”

(This could be a great word to have in places where you can get this thought in your heart, BECAUSE it is God’s will.)

  1. Just imagine sickness cannot exists where heaven is located.
  2. Just imagine anger cannot exists where heaven is located.
  3. Just imagine hunger cannot exists where heaven is located.
  4. Just imagine poverty cannot exists where heaven is located.
  5. Just imagine violence cannot exists where heaven is located.

I am certain that you are all saying, sure only in heaven this is real and that is why we all look forward to go to heaven. RIGHT? But all the topics I mentioned above will not be in heaven because of only one word – – LOVE. So if we were all obedient in the one thing that Jesus said before he went back to heaven.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34

If love was prevalent in this world, the famous song “We are the World,” would be a true testimony that we got a true grasp of the commandment to love one another. There is a deeper wealth in studying this command in loving one another that would cause all of us to crying for God’s forgiveness from the top down. None of us should be excluded from the simple task to loving one another. Think about it, work would be a greater place to go and the boss would be whistling happy songs instead of gloom and despair!

Today think about what heaven would be like of the first floor of heaven was transferred to your current location. It may not possibly change your surroundings, but it is just possible it could open doors to better moments and better days ahead, BECAUSE it is God’s will for us to experience heaven here on earth, and POSSIBLY make it easier to LOVE one another better!

The word is alive and USEFUL only if we allow it to apply in every aspect in our lives. Sounds crazy, but I am praying for it in my world, and I am certain there is enough of God and HEAVEN for all of us. Just think if everyone was singing:

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

Zip-A-Dee-A

My oh my, what a wonderful day

Plenty of sunshine heading my way

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

Zip-A-Dee-A

We all would have a WONDERFUL DAY, and it is just possible if we would grasp that we could bring a piece of the floor of heaven to our world. God bless.

Celebrate And Keep The Story Going

CONTINUATION) THE RED BUTTON HAS BEEN PUSHED)

CELEBRATE WHILE YOU CAN

DESCRIPTION: Everyone loves to celebrate, but the truth of the matter is not everyone wants to celebrate what you see worth celebrating- – but it could be a personal celebration.

VERSE; He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Matthew 28:6

I hear cries outside, wait let me go and look and see what all the excitement is about. I went to my door and seen people gathering and there appeared that there was two different groups of people on the streets. Some that seem excited and some that were horribly upset. I thought for a moment before entering the streets, “Should I subject myself to what the quarreling was about?”

I opened the door slowly when I heard the debate amongst the two groups. “Our Savior has risen just like He said would, Praise be to God!” And others seems to be screaming their own proclamation. “There is no real proof, some of His disciples stole Him from the grave to make us all believe this story, liars all of you are liars!” Both parties seemed to only want to express their sides of the news, while others kept to themselves whispering to one another.

I hurried back inside wondering which party had the real facts and why one not believe the other, or was it really true the Messiah young man I mentioned the other day actually was risen from the grave, and that is the real reason for excitement from all the Christians this Easter holiday. It was obvious there was as much disappointment from half the crowd, as they were not excited that the words of the Messiah were true as He said or at least physically, it was true, that is if you don’t believe that the disciples removed His body. Why would they do that? Only a few of them actually was present at the cross of His death. Why would they come out of hiding now? Embarrassed or just trying to make a good front of their friend.

I mean I would have done something to help my friend, if I believed in Him. That would make sense why the others were excited. Wait I hear some women now talking out side. “We saw Him, we sawJesus outside the tomb. He told us to gather the disciples and He would meet them here real soon. Wow, if I doubted the story before, this seems like great facts. The women didn’t seem to want to influence the angry mob, but the others seem to quickly leave outside.

I doubt I would have access to where the group was rushing but decided I wanted to hear for myself. I quickly followed them as they went upstairs to a room. I made sure I was not seen and kept in the background and followed them into the house. They all were whispering to one another when all of a sudden a bright light entered the room, and there before my own eyes was this young man they called Jesus. He sat down in the front of the room as everyone immediately went up to Him and shared his hand and embraced the friend that they all thought had died, but now lived. Wow I was getting chills on my hands. But wait another man has entered the room, they say his name was Thomas.

Jesus looked up all of a sudden, and then says to Thomas, “ Please place your hands in the palm of my hand and feel the nail prints, and my side where they pierced me.” The man came up cautiously, and did exactly what was requested and then fell to his knees embracing with belief what he was now seeing. I too, saw the excitement and in just a second it seemed that Jesus was looking at me and I heard Him ask me, “Choose what you want to believe, it is your choice.”

I quickly ran out of the room when I didn’t want to become a spectacle or get into any trouble. As I got out of the room and was walking down the street, the question that I was just asked, “choose what you want to believe, it is your choice.” Quickly transformed me back into my familiar room with my opposition asking, “What is so difficult of the question? It really is an easy question.” I thought to myself as I followed this story, it was but the sense of urgency became more important to “Why and why now was it important.”

Then I remembered one of the other statements I had heard earlier. “He come that all might be saved, and none would be lost, and have life eternally.” It started to make sense that every one of us could profit by this story, this person and this death. It was a win-win for all of us. I turned around and said to my opponent, “I choose Him.” And my opposition replied, “great choice, you win.”

It seemed all the importance of choice was over, but when I thought the big decision was over, I was asked one more question, “Will you convince your friends and the rest of the world, to choose Me?” Immediately Jesus comes out in front of me and says, “I did it for all of you, please help them choose me, so no one will perish, and everyone will have the same chance to be with me in heaven, just like the man who was crucified with me on Friday.”