Word for Word 12/20/17

Pastor Steve Oden
Pastor Steve Oden

The Greatest Gift

As Christmas time is here once again, many of us think of gifts. Many of us put much thought into what we’re going to give that special someone; we try to think of a gift that would bless or benefit them. The tradition of gift giving at Christmas, the celebration of the God of heaven taking on human flesh, is a small token of what God, our heavenly Father, has given to us. In a single gift, God gave everything He had so that we would have everything we need! This is the greatest message of hope there is, and it never changes. The Christmas message is a message of hope!

Jesus is God’s greatest gift. And how we love to reflect about how that gift came wrapped in swaddling clothes. It’s a story that never grows old. God sent His Son, not to give us religion, but to restore our relationship back to Himself. The receiving of God’s gift, His Son, fulfills our greatest need and longing.

I’d like to share a few Scripture truths to ponder during this gift-giving season.

GIFT: Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (eternal life)
GIFT: Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT of God.”  (salvation by forgiveness of sins)
GIFT: The Acts of the Apostles 2:38 “Then after Peter said unto them, repent (admit that God is right and that we are wrong), and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of Jesus, and you shall receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit.”  (the gift of God’s very own Spirit living in us)
GIFT: 1 Corinthians 12:1 “Now concerning spiritual GIFTS brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”  Embrace the numerous GIFTS of the Holy Spirt in unity and love that others may benefit.  Freely you have received, freely give.

I encourage you to search out and welcome these “new” GIFTS to the Body of Christ in Allmakee County. Pastor Bill Odermann, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Waukon; Pastor Bob Etzel, Calvary Baptist, Waukon; Pastor Sedar Wembonyama, United Methodist, Lansing and New Albin. 

GIFT: 2Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT,” (God’s gift of Jesus is so amazing it’s impossible to express in words).   Our heavenly Father is into giving us incredible gifts-the best gifts this world has to offer, but we must receive them, open them and use them!   The gift of Christmas; share the hope.

Steve Oden
New Life Christian Church


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