Friday, December 25, 2015

“It’s a lot more fun to give than to receive.”* Jesus

Friday   12-25-15  Home in Modesto 

Scripture reading:    1 John 1 - 5

S=Scripture  O=Observation  A=Application  P=Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S.  1 John 4:9-12  God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.  NLT

O.  God, Who lives so far removed from this sinful world, loved us, His rebellious, sinful created beings... enough to send His Son into this tangled mess.  He showed us what real love is.  Real love gives its best.  God gave us the only thing He could not create nor replenish... His only Son.  His Son is presented as “begotten,” simply a word that expresses He was not a “created” being.  God gave us His best gift possible.  I might think, “Yes, but He knew He would get Him back.”  True, but His Son would now never be the same.  The Lamb of God carried His mortal scars back into the heavenly realm... eternally scarred for me. (Rev. 5:6)

A.  Today is Christmas Day.  It is a special day of the year when loving parents spend all they can to gift their best gifts to the children.  Parents become givers, kids become receivers.  Real love gives. “God is Love”. (1.John 4:8)  God gave... sacrificially.  It is the very nature of God to give.  And once I have opened my heart to His Spirit, His love in me produces that same generous, giving spirit.  And then “behold” I discover the marvelous truth that is it is more fun to give than to receive.*   

P.  Heavenly Father, my sinful, selfish nature makes me like to be on the receiving end.  As a baby I scream, “Mine!” and grab it away.  Later I see things I wish I had.  Your Bible uses the nasty term “lust for.”  I think they would be fun to have.  I think I “need” one of those.  But in a few days they are stacked up in the garage with dozens of other trinkets that I thought I had to have.  But what a switch!  You make us into “givers”... because You are the best Giver of all.  And like Your Son, edged on by Your Spirit we give and give again... until there is no more left to give... so we give our very lives away and discover:  Now that is real fun!*  Amen.


* ...remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It’s a lot more fun to give than to receive.' " Acts 20:35  NUHV  (New Unauthorized Hiatt Version)

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