Category: Bible Reflection & Challenge

His Story Gives Everyone Hope

His Story Gives Everyone Hope

Everybody has a story to tell and can make some people hopeful. But not every story gives everyone hope; only His story does. If there is one story that made great history, it’s none other than what God has done.

The Bible tells us that God sent His only begotten Son as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). Man was in a state of condemnation as a result of Adam’s rebellion. But God loved us so much that He did not want us to perish.

So, He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross on our behalf (John 3:16). And the Son humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).

Indeed, His story is nothing like anybody else’s.

Bible Verse: Romans 15:4, NKJV

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Here, the apostle Paul was referring to the divinely revealed Old Testament as that which was written for our instruction.

It’s true; Christians live under the New Covenant and are not under the authority of the Old Covenant. But God’s moral law has not changed and all Scripture is of spiritual benefit. See 1 Corinthians 10:6, 10, 11, and 2 Peter 20-21.

Paul’s description of the benefits of Scripture certainly includes the NT but speaks primarily about the OT sacred writings. Without the clear and certain promises of the Word of God, believers have no basis for hope.

A World of Hopelessness

Hopelessness is at an all-time high. Between depression, anxiety, drug abuse, pain, sex abuse, etc, there is no doubt that many souls are looking for hope. The problem is hope cannot be found in this world.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1 says that hope can only be found in the unseen. Nothing that can be seen or touched or tasted is worth trusting in. Everything in this world will be burnt up and destroyed. They don’t have any eternal value.

So many people place their value and identity in things of this world. It’s because they do not realize that those things cannot give them what they are looking for. They are looking in all the wrong places.

Hope is Found in His Story

Romans 15:4 says that hope is found in His story. God’s story is written down in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. He wrote down the literal history of how He is giving hope to humanity. God did this knowing that only some will receive it.

Even though we cannot see God, that does not mean He isn’t there. He is good at working behind the scene. Yet we can see the evidence of God working as John 3:8 says.

Although John 3:8 is referring to evidence of salvation, God also works in our everyday lives. The problem is with us because too many people doubt God is there and thus cannot work. We should trust God even if we do not see the works of His hands. God gives evidence after we believe, trust and hope in Him.

Closing Words

In this world full of chaos, everybody longs to have even the smallest glitter of hope. Hope keeps us going in life despite all the trials and difficulties. Without hope, we would all give up and let the enemy win without putting up a fight.

We all want to live a life full of hope and encouragement. But how do we achieve this?

Believing the Bible as God’s Word is the first step to a Hope-filled life, rather than a miserable existence. Life is hard for everyone, but that does not mean everyone is hopeless.

Life is difficult but God gives joy to those that learn from the past. This is the history found in the Bible so that we all can enjoy HOPE no matter the circumstances.

Do you have that kind of hope? Are you striving to share that HOPE with hopeless people?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

HOPE In Numbers – Holding Onto Promises Everywhere: How to be Reminded of God’s Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert

HOPE In Numbers - Holding OnHOPE In Numbers - Holding Onto Promises Everywhere: How to be Reminded of God's Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert erywhere: How to be Reminded of God's Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert In a world where hope seems lost and Christians seem to lose grip on their faith, there are numbers that tell a different story.

With Hope in Numbers, we can transform every number we see into a well-timed Bible verse and promise from God. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s Word.

In fact, the world has done all the work for us by placing numbers on every street corner, license plate, price tag, sports jersey, and time of day. Anywhere there is a number, that is where hope can be found.

Hold tightly to these truths found in God’s Word and see your life blessed in every situation. This is a rebellion to get God’s Word back into our schools, workplaces, and in the hearts of those in our communities.

HOPE stands for Hold Onto Promises Everywhere and in this book I will show you how you can be reminded of God’s Word everywhere you go. You will never see numbers the same way again!

Developing a Sympathetic Heart

Developing a Sympathetic Heart

In a world marred by sin and evil, everybody needs someone who truly understands what they’re going through. But we can only be that someone if we have a sympathetic heart.

What does it mean to have a sympathetic or understanding heart and how do we develop such?

Bible Verse: Hebrews 4:15

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus, our High Priest, does not only know what we go through. More importantly, He feels it too. It means that He can “sympathize with our weaknesses.” The ancient Greek word translated sympathize means “to suffer along with.”

Jesus' Crown of Thorns and Nails

One who hears of a tragedy that happened in another city would feel a measure of grief. But it’s nothing like the pain we would feel if it were the city we grew up in. Jesus added humanity to His deity and lived among us. When you have been there, it makes all the difference.

In times when you think and feel that nobody understands your pain, always remember that Jesus does. He is kind, loving, and compassionate. If there’s someone who would know and understand exactly how we feel, it’s the Lord.

Do Not Be Insensitive

All people are indeed sinners and there is plenty of proof of that fact, but does that mean we should be insensitive. Just the fact that God is holy and people are sinners would be enough excuse to be insensitive to the plight of humanity.

God did not have to give us the opportunity for a relationship with Him. We chose to break His law. That was not His responsibility to resolve and yet, He became human and died and rose again to have a relationship with us. Jesus gave us the perfect model of how to build a relationship with other people.

Everyone needs relationships. Without relationships, people become bitter. Everyone needs someone to relate to them. Are you willing to relate to them?

Jesus did all the hardest work to save people. However, that does not mean Christians don’t need to put effort into understanding, relating, and caring about where people are coming from. Being insensitive towards others shows a lack of love.

It is easier to receive instruction or a challenge from someone that tries to relate to you. How well do we try to relate to others?

Always Act Without Prejudice

Many Christians say that the gospel is for everyone, yet many of those same people have no desire to relate to other people. Why?

In the book of Hebrews, just like Jesus is our High Priest, all Christians are also priests that can intercede for others. Yet we tend to be narrow-minded and insensitive toward those that are different from us. How is that Christ-like? The Lord was tempted just like every person and overcame every prejudice.

Why are Christians not able to overcome every prejudice as well? We need to remember that a very prejudiced Jew named Saul hated gentiles. But he got saved and God changed him so much that he became the Apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8).

Galatians 2:8, NKJV

“For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.”

God gave His Son to suffer and die on the cross so that everyone who believes will receive eternal life (John 3:16). Whether male or female, Jew or Gentile, small or great, low or high, and whatever race you belong to, Jesus died for you.

As recipients of God’s amazing grace, let us sympathize with the lost and give them the gospel. Let us avoid prejudice at all costs and help them come into a saving relationship with the Lord.

Final Words

Being a born-again believer does not make us any better than others. Every Christian was a sinner saved by grace. If God is not patient and compassionate, we would still be wallowing in our sin and rebellion.

Do we believe that we can come up with an excuse to be indifferent, insensitive, or hateful toward anyone? How sympathetic are we?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Radical Compassion: Finding Christ in the Heart of the Poor by Gary Smith

Radical Compassion: Finding Christ in the Heart of the Poor by Gary SmithFor almost ten years, Gary Smith, S.J., lived and worked among the poor of Portland, Oregon.

With this memoir, he invites us to walk with him and meet some of the abandoned, overlooked, and forgotten members of our society with whom he has shared his life.

Just as Smith found a deeper, truer understanding of himself and the heart of God through his work, these people and their stories stand to transform us.

“Although its subject matter is bleak, the book is not. Smith has found love amid the despair. His book is touching, at times hopeful, and the kind of book that is hard to put down, that fascinates, horrifies, and rivets one’s attention.”

Appointed to Die Once

Appointed to Die Once

One reality that nobody could escape is death. The Bible says we are all appointed to die once and after that the judgment. There comes a time when Christians and non-Christians alike will give an account to God on how they lived.

Bible Verse: Hebrews 9:27

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”

I used to hear people ask, “What is something you know but at the same time you do not know.”

Tricky question, isn’t it? Think about it; you know for certain it will happen but you don’t know exactly when.

Psalm 90:10, NIV

Death and Judgment

To die once is a general rule for all mankind. There have been very rare exceptions. For instance, Lazarus died twice (John 11:43-44). Those, like Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by a miraculous act, died a second time.

Another exception will be those who don’t die even once, but who will be caught up at the Rapture  (1Thessalonians 4:17). Then there’s Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11) who did not die but were taken up alive.

The word judgment is a general term encompassing the judgment of all people; believers and unbelievers. Those who are in Christ will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). Unbelievers, on the other hand, will face God at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15).

The Uncertainty of Life

How many people know when they will die? Some die in an accident. Others die from a long-drawn-out illness. Still, others have their life taken from them.

Nobody knows how long we will live on this earth, hence the reason why life is uncertain. We do not know what a day will bring.

In James 4:14, the Lord’s brother exposes the presumptuous folly of the practical atheists he condemned. These people thought they knew what the future holds for them. But it’s God alone who knows what will happen tomorrow or the day after.

When James said, “life is like a vapor,” he is referring to either a puff of smoke or one’s breath that appears for a moment in cold air. It stresses the transitory nature of life. See James 1:10; Job 7:6-7; 9:25-26; 14:1-2; Psalm 39:5, 11; 62:9; 89:47; 90:5-6, 10.

James 4:14, NKJV

Preparing for Eternity

Are you prepared for eternity? How many people are prepared to meet God?

Since there is nothing more sure than death and taxes, how are you preparing for eternity? Or are you just wasting your time?

Every person has a finite amount of time. So, use it wisely. Don’t use your time to glorify yourself. Rather, use it to glorify God. God wants His creation to glorify Him. Sadly, most people in this world want to do their own thing.

Hence, the consequence of disobeying God is found in Hebrew 9:27.

No two people indeed disobey God the same way, but that does not mean anyone is good compared to God. Jesus said in Matthew 19:17 that none is inherently good except God. We are all sinners before God, hence the reason why we all face judgment after we die.

Have you taken care of that sin debt before God by repenting and asking for forgiveness through the finished payment of Jesus Christ? If not, why not now?

Closing Words

For those of us that are saved, are you spreading this glorious news that Jesus came to save sinners? Are we using our finite amount of time to glorify ourselves or God?

Jesus is coming. Can you honestly say that you are prepared to meet Him? Romans 12:1-2 says we are to sacrifice our will to do God’s will; are doing just that?

Too many Christians look at salvation as fire insurance rather than a lifestyle change. When we glorify ourselves over glorifying God, we are acting just like unbelievers.

Do you believe that is what God wants for us? Absolutely not! Jesus died to make us new as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says. Are we living like that is true?


Recommended Resource: 

Preparing for Heaven: What Dallas Willard Taught Me About Living, Dying, and Eternal Life by Gary Black Jr.

Preparing for Heaven: What Dallas Willard Taught Me About Living, Dying, and Eternal Life by Gary Black Jr.In his acclaimed books, renowned writer, speaker, and philosophy professor Dallas Willard explored the nature of Christian life in God’s Kingdom.

Yet one topic remained undisclosed: Willard’s understanding of heaven and eternal life. In the months before his death, Willard engaged in moving and insightful conversations about the meaning of life and the life to come with close friend and theologian Gary Black Jr.

These inspiring dialogues were steeped in biblical theology as well as practical wisdom grounded in the here-and-now.

In, Preparing for Heaven, Black reveals not only Willard’s profound and liberating vision of life after death, but he also deftly unpacks the implications these realities hold for our lives today.

Black shows how Willard understood our mortal lives as preparation for what comes next—that death is not the end of one life and the beginning of another, but rather a transition through which we continue the transformational work begun on Earth.

Informative, challenging, and poignant, Willard and Black’s conversations and insights challenge us to reconsider our beliefs—that perhaps the line separating the afterlife from this life is not as absolute as we think, and that there is work to be done both now and in the glorious life to come.

As a result, we will find that our faith is more vibrant—and eternal—than we have dared to imagine.

What is Biblical Marriage?

What is Biblical Marriage?

Marriage as God instituted it is falling apart. The state has abandoned biblical marriage and redefined it to mean almost anything. Divorce and adultery are rampant.

Men objectify women by using women for sex. Women objectify themselves. Human trafficking and pornography are ruining relationships and the heart attitude of pride is just in the way.

So few people believe they have personal problems that are affecting their marriages.

Now, more than ever, we need to go back to the biblical definition of marriage.

What Constitutes a Biblical Marriage?

Bible Passage: Ephesians 5:25-33 (NKJV)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

The Husband Must Love His Wife

Although the husband is the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23), it is his responsibility to love his wife. He must love her with the same unreserved, selfless, and sacrificial love that Christ has for His church.

Christ gave everything He had, including His own life, for the sake of His bride, the church. This is the standard of sacrifice for a husband’s love for His wife (Colossians 3:19).

Also, the husband must love his wife as his own body. This is one of the most poignant and compelling descriptions of the oneness that should characterize Christian marriage.

The believing husband is to care for his wife with the same devotion that he naturally manifests as he cares for himself. And even more so, since his self-sacrificing love causes him to put her first.

In the end, a husband who loves his wife in these ways brings great blessing to himself from her and the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25, NKJV

A Perfect Marriage?

Since all people are sinners, nobody can have a perfect marriage. That does not mean we should not try. God instituted marriage at the beginning of time because man should not be alone (Genesis 2:18).

In the process of making women from men, God made an institution as a picture of the relationship He wants to have with His children.

God is willing to take the responsibility to save, sanctify and glorify anyone, but only if God’s children desire intimacy with Jesus Christ.

This picture of marriage is only a blurry illustration of the relationship God wants to have with humanity. It is about communion with God through Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can bring us to God as Jesus said in John 14:6.

He was also implying that communion and intimacy with God were only possible through Him as well.

Oneness in Marriage

In Ephesians 5:31, Paul quotes from Genesis 2:24 to reinforce God’s divine plan for marriage that He instituted at creation. By doing so, the apostle emphasized its permanence and unity.

The union of marriage is intimate and unbreakable. The word “joined” is used to express having been glued or cemented together. It emphasizes the permanence of the union (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:5-9).

Thus, in marriage, the husband’s life is so intimately joined to the wife’s that they are one.

Notice that Ephesians 5:32 uses the word “mystery” to describe the union between the married couple. When used in the NT, mystery identifies some reality hidden in the past and revealed in the NT Scripture.

Marriage is a sacred reflection of the magnificent and beautiful mystery of the union between the Messiah and His church. This was completely unknown until the New Testament (Matthew 13:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7).

Here’s a beautiful Christian wedding song.

Intimacy in Marriage

Sex is the highest form of intimacy by two becoming one (Ephesians 5:31), which results in reproduction/fruit. The same is true during intimacy with Jesus.

Please remember that intimacy in marriage and communion with God is wonderful for everyone involved.

Communion with Jesus results in the fruits of the Spirit that are listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Jesus reproduces His character by the work of the Holy Spirit unto sanctification and holiness as Ephesians 5:26-27 says.

Once again, the problem is that too many people and Christians enjoy their sin and don’t want to live like Christ in their life. For many Christians, the Christ-like lifestyle is too difficult. What they don’t realize is that God enables us to live the sanctified, holy life (Philippians 4:13).

Only God can enable holy living. Unlike the many women that make excuses to not be intimate with their husbands, are we willing to sacrifice our will and be intimate and commune with Jesus, so that we may become more and more Christ-like in every area of our lives????

What a Biblical Marriage is Not

There are a bunch of common occurrences that should never occur in a God-ordained marriage.

Popular counselors say that men need to shut up so they can stay married. Women control their husbands by withholding sex and dictating when the dad can see his children. That is narcissistic!

In some families, the husband is a narcissistic dictator and the wife and daughters are doormats. Men are opting out of marriage because there is too much risk and cost associated with it. Quite often, men are illiterate and have no idea how to spiritually lead a home.

Because many women are not interested in sex, they will use any number of excuses to say no. All of these different cases are extremely unbiblical as the above verses say.

Ephesians 5:22, NKJV

Growing to be Christ-Like

As we become more and more Christ-like, we are growing in oneness with Jesus. Are we growing in Christlikeness or growing stagnant? Are the Fruit of the Spirit growing in our lives?

If Jesus was willing to die and rise again, to save, sanctify and glorify us, why are we not willing to sacrifice our will for His? If your husband is willing to unconditionally love your sinful heart, why are you not willing to sacrifice your pride and excuses?


Recommended Resource: Your Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship by Scott LaPierre

Celebrate the Marriage God Made for You

Your Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship by Scott LaPierre Your most important earthly connection is with your spouse, and when you honor the person you married, you’re also honoring God. He created marriage to be one of life’s greatest gifts, and the instruction manual you need for a joyful, lasting union is found in His Word.

In Your Marriage God’s Way, author and pastor, Scott LaPierre, takes a close look at the principles for building a biblical marriage—one in which your relationship with Christ brings guidance and blessing into your relationship with your spouse. You’ll gain the tools to…

  • understand the unique roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives
  • recognize and resolve the conflicts you face with a heart of hope and compassion
  • follow God’s worthy command to love and cherish your spouse unconditionally

Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey or you’ve been on the road together for years, Your Marriage God’s Way will provide the helpful and encouraging insights you need to experience marriage as God intends it.

Trauma and the Gospel

Trauma and the Gospel

Over the last few years, I have realized that trauma happens a lot in our sin-cursed world. It is nearly impossible to avoid being affected by traumatic events. Sometimes they are caused by someone else and sometimes we cause the trauma.

Paul, the author of 2 Corinthians, before his name changed, experienced trauma when he was an accomplice to the murder of Stephen in Acts 7:58. Despite his trauma, Paul still wrote that broken sinners can be made new in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

A New Creation in Christ

What it Means to be “In Christ”

The words, “in Christ” comprise a brief but most profound statement of the inexhaustible significance of the believer’s redemption. This includes the following:

  • The believer’s security in Christ who bore in His body God’s judgment against sin.
  • The believer’s acceptance in Him with whom God alone is well pleased.
  • The believer’s future assurance in Him who is the resurrection to eternal life and the sole guarantor of the believer’s inheritance in heaven.
  • The believer’s participation in the divine nature of Christ the everlasting Word.

If you have repented of your sins and received God’s gift of salvation, then you are “in Christ.” Thus, you get to enjoy the above-mentioned benefits of redemption.

Becoming a New Creation

A creation or creature is something that is created at a qualitatively new level of excellence. Nothing can come from nothing. It doesn’t matter how many times you hear atheists say that “something can come from nothing.”

The fact remains that something has to be created to exist and there has to be a creator.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB), the word creature refers to regeneration or the new birth. See John 3:3; Ephesians 2:1-3; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 2:29, 3:9, 5:4.

This expression encompasses the believer’s forgiveness of sins paid for in Christ’s substitutionary death (Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 4:24).

Saul had an encounter with God and became born again by the power of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

If you surrendered your life to Christ, you are a new creation.

Old Things Passed Away

After a person gets born again, his old value systems, priorities, beliefs, loves, and plans are gone. Evil and sin are still present, but the regenerated Christian sees them from a new perspective and they no longer control him.

The change in the renewed Christian’s life is not always automatic. It may take days, months, or even years. But change is most visible for those who were living notoriously before encountering the Lord.

As one Christian said, “Change is inevitable for those who are in Christ.”

Romans 12:2

Things Have Become New

The grammar used indicates that this newness is a continuing condition of fact. The Christian’s new spiritual perception of everything is a constant reality for him. He then now lives for eternity, not temporal things.

James, the brother of our Lord, identifies this transformation as the faith that produces works (James 2:14-25).

It’s not always easy to give up the “old man” and its “old ways” but every believer must strive to live a sanctified life.

God’s Gift of Eternal Life

Jesus indeed came to earth to save all, but not all will receive it.

Saul did not have that free gift at one point in his life, then received it later and became Paul. Do you know for sure, that you have received that free gift of redemption from the trauma of sin? If not, why not get it settled now?

Now for those that have experienced that free gift of redemption, how should we respond to those that are broken and traumatized? If we are born again by the power of Jesus Christ, shouldn’t we live as Jesus lived? Mark 6:34 says Jesus had compassion on all the broken and traumatized.

Concluding Words

Jesus died to save all broken sinners; the embodiment of the Gospel.

Our Lord lived it out by coming to earth from heaven, living a perfect life, and dying a traumatic death even though He was innocent. He rose again and ascended back to heaven where He is showing compassion to all the broken today.

How well are we showing compassion to the broken and traumatized today?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Publisher’s Description

Do you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • How to love God
  • How to love others
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

How a Husband Models Christ

How a Husband Models Christ

The husband is said to be the head of the family. But as wonderful as that may sound because that means he’s in charge, it also comes with a huge responsibility.

While the wife should submit to her husband, her husband should love her as Christ loved the church.

Bible Verse: Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”

In his exhortation to Christian husbands, the apostle Paul used the Greek word agape. But why did Paul use this kind of love to describe a husband’s love for his wife? Why did he not use eros, which from the word itself refers to love driven by desire?

This is because agape love has little to do with emotion. Rather, it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another. In effect, Paul was telling the Christian husband to continually deny himself for the sake of his wife.

God's Love is Unconditional

How to Love Your Wife

I was recently reminded that being a husband is hard. It can feel hard because it feels like I am giving up my needs for my wife. That can be very frustrating at the moment and it is not a good place to dwell in. Those frustrations are feelings based on reality but Jesus feels the same way about the church many times. Many Christians ignore His Word and we do what we want.

This is the reason why the Christian divorce rate is almost the same as the divorce rate of unbelievers. Many times neither the husband nor the wife are following God’s word. Human nature does not love as God wants us to love.

When men do not feel respected or listened to, they most definitely will not want to love. Thus creating a circle of disrespect and a lack of showing love among husbands and wives.

This is where husbands are commanded to remember Jesus and His sacrifice toward His bride, the Church. Christian husbands have the responsibility of modeling Jesus to his family and those around him. The Christian husband must forgive the disrespect and show unconditional love despite their actions as Jesus did.

Love Your Wife Unconditionally

The Bible says that despite our sinfulness and rebellion, Christ loved us. That’s unconditional love, which God demonstrated by sending His Son to die on our behalf (John 3:16, Romans 5:8).

If God loved us unconditionally, husbands should also love their wives unconditionally.

Unconditional love means giving up our expectations when they are not met. This does not happen very often because our sinful nature does not want to give up any of our rights, needs, or expectations.

As men, we are anything but humble. It is human nature to think we are important but we are nothing compared to the importance of Jesus. He created everything and maintains everything (Colossians 1:16-17). Christ empowers whomever He wills and is the master planner of everything.

At times, He allows us to mess up so that we can learn from our mistakes. Yet, He loves us enough to commune with us. He could have let humanity condemn itself to hell but He chose to allow us to be redeemed (Titus 2:11).

Husbands Modeling Christ

Model Christ in Your Marriage

Back to the application of the gospel in marriage, the husband should model Christ’s unconditional love to his wife. But this unconditional love should not be confined within the husband’s immediate family. He must also show unconditional love to the people around him. This is where God exposes our inability to love as God loves us.

I pray that all husbands humble themselves before God so that we would be enabled to live according to the Gospel.

We read the following in Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT).

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”

Closing Words

God is glorified when we live as He directs us in His Word.

As a reward and motivation for obedience to His Word, God will reward husbands who follow His example. We will be given crowns in heaven and a kingdom during the millennium. All things considered, nobody has any concept of how wonderful eternity with the creator of the universe will be.

Don’t you want to hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant?”


Recommended Resource: Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Publisher’s Description

Do you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • How to love God, love others, discern God’s will for your life, and be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

God’s Prescription for a Healthy Body

God’s Prescription for a Healthy Body

When talking about health and fitness, there are thousands if not millions of books available in every bookstore. But does the Bible have something to say about this subject? Does God have a prescription for a healthy body?

Health enthusiasts believe that the key to a healthy body and a longer lifespan is a healthy lifestyle. But while most people are aware of this, they may not always agree on what defines a healthy lifestyle.

Should we completely eliminate carbs from our diet and eat only proteins and fats? Do we need to exercise daily?

Bible Verses: Proverbs 3:5-8

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.”

This might very well be one of your memory verses.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

In this passage, King Solomon advises his son to trust Yahweh because he knew that God is trustworthy. Solomon experienced first-hand the faithfulness of his LORD. But this is not just some kind of ordinary trust; it’s “trusting God with all your heart.”

To trust God with all your heart means giving God all your conscious trust. It’s not trusting God 50% and trusting yourself 50%. Trusting God with all our hearts means trusting Him completely.

God’s Specific Response

Verses 5-8 is one complete thought.

Yet, most people often pay more attention to verses 5 and 6 since they are very encouraging. We forget that when we follow God’s word, God also responds in specific ways. In this instance, verse 8 is God’s response while verses 5-7 are the conditions for God’s response.

If I would rewrite these verses to make them more understandable they might say something like this:

“Trust in the Lord with all of your motives, and don’t just try to figure life out. In all of your actions consult Him, and He will guide your path. Don’t be haughty: humble yourself before God, and sin not.”

Truth be told, nobody can figure everything out in life anyway. Life is unpredictable and difficult for everyone. Why do we assume we don’t need to consult Him? He has the end written as much as the beginning.

Money indeed makes some things better but it also can burn a hole in anyone’s pockets. Therefore, don’t trust money.

Trust God Above Anything Else

The only being in the entire universe we should trust with everything, including our health, is God. Do you desire to be healthy but no matter how hard you tried, you have repeatedly failed? Why not take it to God?

One day while I was browsing on Facebook, I saw a very encouraging post of a Christian health blogger. In her video, she shared her weight loss struggles for years. It was only when she surrendered it all to God and allowed Him to guide her that she finally succeeded.

Today, she uses her success story to help and encourage others who are struggling to lose weight and achieve a healthy body. She is proof that no amount of determination can compare to the power of God.

Trust God and you will succeed

People will fail you whether you like it or not. That means your attitudes and motives toward life, people, and your choices. But we can win every battle and struggle. We just need to trust God and allow Him to direct us.

God never said it would be easy, but He can enable you and me to do His will.

Trusting God will stop you from planning, acting, and directing your own sinful plans, while humbly consulting God. As a response to trusting God, He will give us health to our body and strength to our bones.

Final Thoughts

I think it is interesting that God gave us this prescription for our own health 3000 years ago. Yet so few people are willing to fill it. They are more willing to spend monumental amounts of money to go to the doctors.

Why take prescriptions that only work half of the time or cause other problems? There are also some possible side effects such as abortion. And what about the pharmaceutical industries that utilize dead babies in those prescriptions? Do you really believe God approves of the worldly medical industry?

Why not follow God’s prescription?


Recommended Resource:

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Publisher’s Description

Do you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth, a disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • How to love God and love others, discern God’s will for your life and be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ.

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

We All Have A Choice

We All Have A Choice

The argument that human beings do not have free will since God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient is false. God created us out of love, hence He has given each of us the freedom to either love Him back or not.

In this short Bible reflection and challenge, I want to encourage you to keep safeguarding your freedom of choice.

Bible Verse: Psalm 119:108a

“Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD.”

David presented these words to the Lord as if they were a sacrifice brought to the altar. The psalmist knew that he had the opportunity to give offerings that were right and pure and requested God to accept them. These freewill offerings are meant to show David’s love and devotion to the Lord.

In the same way, when we present our sacrifices to Lord, we do so freely. God will never force anyone to violate the freedom of choice He has given them. It’s all about choice!

Our God-given Freedom of Choice

God has given all of us a choice. Don’t let people take that free will away no matter what.

Today, so many people are trying to take it away from you like Dr. Fauci and the government. Then there’s the CCP, hospitals, doctors, pastors, parents, who are guilty of trying to take our free will away from us.

Just because they want us to act a certain way does not mean it is right or we are required to do it. God gave us free will so that we had the option to love Him. We cannot be made to love. Coerced love is appeasement. Actions might have consequences, but these should never remove the right to make choices.

God never forces anyone to come to heaven. Instead, He allows anyone to reject Him and walk right into hell.

Government Control

God does not take our free will away from us, but people do. The CCP is trying to control the world with a virus and fear. Dr. Fauci and Bill Gates are trying to control us. They do this with their money, experience, supposed wisdom, degrees, and supposed science even though they enabled the CCP.

Dr. Fauci Questioned by the Senate

The same is true of governments and media by repeating Dr. Fauci’s narrative. We have seen how many times he flip-flopped on issues with regard to the Covid-19 virus. How many times have we caught this unelected official lying?

For goodness’ sake, he even lied to congress. Yet, there seems to be no accountability at all! I don’t mean to sound so political but we all need to wake up. Or else, one day, we won’t recognize the America we used to know and grew up in.

Church Leadership Control

Unfortunately, it’s not only the government that is doing this is to. Many people who self-identify as Christians are doing the same thing. Pastors try to remove our free will by rules for salvation and sanctification. Even though personal standards are just that personal and should not be regulated by an organized local body.

Sometimes parents are the worst because many times they think their rules are always right and are not allowed to be questioned. That is not biblical.

Standards can change and can be different for different people as Romans 14:5 says. God hates this attitude of control, manipulation, and coercion. May we love as Christ loves us. He died to save us while we were still sinners as Romans 5:8 says.

Final Thoughts

The Bible exhorts us to respect the government authorities and submit to them (Romans 13:1). However, when our God-given freedom of choice is in jeopardy, we need to push back. We are in the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic and we still keep allowing abusive government officials to control us. Why?

If you’ve been following what’s going on in Australia and Canada, you know that people are waking up. They have had enough of these unconstitutional vaccination and mask mandates. We need to act before it’s too late.

Here’s a short video and report of the Truckers’ protest against mandatory vaccination in Canada.

As many brave patriots keep on saying, “Our freedom of choice is from God, not the government. Therefore, we should not let them take away from us. We must also stop begging them to give it back to us.”

The bottom line is this: if our Creator who gave our freedom to us never intends to take it back, what right does the government have to do that?

Living Out Your Heavenly Citizenship

Living Out Your Heavenly Citizenship

Many people all around the world want to get to America and eventually become citizens. Why not? I’ve heard many Americans say that the United States is the greatest country on planet earth. And that the poorest people in the United States are the richest people in third-world countries!

So, I get it. People, especially from third-world countries see America as a ticket to a better life. So much so that there are thousands of illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border daily. I can’t blame them. Who does not want to live the American dream?

But if there’s one citizenship that every person on planet earth should want to have, it’s heavenly citizenship.

Bible Verse: Philippians 3:20, NLT

“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior.”

We must note that in his letter, the apostle Paul was addressing the Philippian believers. When he said, “We are citizens of heaven …” he was referring to himself and the church.

How did they acquire their heavenly citizenship? By acknowledging their sins, repenting, and trusting in Christ as their Lord and Savior.

If you did the very same thing that the church at Philippi did, then you are also a citizen of heaven. You may be holding a Philippine passport, British passport, American passport, etc. But you also have an invisible passport to heaven.

A Heavenly Citizenship

In the sight of God, there are only two kinds of citizenship: earthly and heavenly. Your earthly citizenship is temporary while your heavenly citizenship is for eternity.

God has already predetermined our race and nationality before conception. But that does not mean we can’t choose to become citizens of another country. God does not forbid you to move to another country and become a citizen there.

But God desires for everyone to become citizens of heaven just as He originally designed them to be.

Adan & Eve in the Garden of Eden

Before the fall, Adam and Eve held heavenly citizenship. Didn’t they enjoy intimate daily fellowship with God? However, things changed after they deliberately disobeyed God.

As a result, Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was broken and they forfeited their heavenly citizenship. The good news is that God wanted to restore that broken fellowship. He also wanted to open the pathway for all earthly citizens to become citizens of heaven.

John 3:16 tells us what God did to accomplish that.

How to Live as Citizens of Heaven

The moment a sinner repents and accepts the gift of eternal life from God, he acquires heavenly citizenship. But what does it mean to become a citizen of heaven? How should Christians live out their heavenly citizenship?

1. Do Not Live Like the World

Paul said this to the church in Rome:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind …” (Romans 12:2, ESV).

In the NIV translation, this verse reads, “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world…” This simply means Christians should STOP copying the lifestyle of the world.

Before coming into the knowledge of God’s truth, we were just like the people in the world. We conducted ourselves in the same manner and behavior, held the same beliefs and customs. And whatever the world dictates as acceptable, we also deemed acceptable.

Paul said the same thing to the believers in Ephesus but reworded and expounded on it. “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking” (Ephesians 4:17, NIV).

If we continue reading Ephesians 4:18-32, Paul enumerates all the things that the Gentiles do and tells them how they should live instead. To summarize, Paul said, “Throw off your old sinful nature and put on your new nature.”

Now that we’re no longer earthly citizens, we need to stop behaving just like the people of the world. Instead, we are to start living our new life in Christ as new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17).

New Life in Christ

2. Do Not Love the World

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15, NASB

This does not mean we should loathe anything and everything that is in the world. Remember, God originally created everything “good” (Genesis 1:10, 12, 21, 25).

For instance, marriage and family which are earthly institutions are good. Scientific and advanced medicines are good because they help cure diseases and prolong human life. Technology is good because it connects people who are miles away from each other.

Wealth and riches are good because they allow us to have a comfortable life. The Bible does not say money is the root of all evil. It’s the love of money that is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

The “good things” from God become “bad” only as a result of Satan’s perversion. So, there’s nothing wrong and everything right about enjoying God and the blessings He freely bestows on us in this life.

But let us be careful to not get too attached to this life and the things of this world. This is what it means to not love the world. It’s about setting our priorities straight.

The Word of God reminds us to not start obsessing about the wealth and pleasures of this world. This is because earthly pleasures are not from the Father (1 John 2:16-17, NASB).

Friendship with the World

As citizens of heaven, we should not also be too friendly with the world. Friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God (James 4:4). Intimate friendship requires a commitment. When you choose to side with the world, you just chose to be in opposition to God. It’s because the world is currently ruled by Satan who is the archenemy of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).

You can’t be loyal to two opposing parties. As Matthew 6:24 (NIV) says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

Joshua said the same thing (Joshua 24:15), “Choose this day whom you will serve…”

The bottom line is, there is no middle ground, there is no gray area. When you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. If you are friends with the world, you become an enemy of God.

It’s a matter of choice!

James 4:4

3. Live as Pilgrims in a Foreign Country

“Dear friends, I warn you as temporary residents and foreigners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” – 1 Peter 2:11, NLT

Peter kind of echoed what King David said.

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.” – 1 Chronicles 29:15, NLT

A stranger or foreigner is a temporary resident or traveler in a foreign country, passing through on his way to his home country. This is what we are in this world. Thus, we have a different mentality about life as compared to the permanent residents of this world.

As travelers, we don’t live according to the customs and standards of the foreign country we are in. But for the sake of not offending the locals, we may temporarily adopt some of their customs if they are morally neutral.

For instance, women here in Saudi Arabia are required to wear abayas and keep their heads covered. So, foreign women must do the same when they come here. Also, during Ramadan which is the month of fasting for Muslims, we should not eat or drink in front of them.

4. Set Your Hearts & Minds on Heavenly Things

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:1-2, NIV

To set our minds on things above means we should think of heavenly things; we should meditate on the things of God and His Kingdom.

But what about setting our hearts on the things above? What does this mean? In the Bible, the “heart” always stands for our affection, aspiration, desire, and passion.

Paul’s encouragement to the believers is that their desires align with God’s desires and be passionate about them. And also for them to develop a heavenly mindset – a way of thinking that goes far beyond what humans perceive.

We must note that everything on earth is temporary. Everything visible will come to an end while what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Billy Graham Quote

Know Your Priorities

However, to desire heavenly things and think about the things of God does not mean we should not live in fullness. It does not mean you should not get married and have a family just because our Lord never married.

Or if you have a family, you neglect your responsibilities to them and claim that you are focused on God’s work. And if you’re a mother, you need to take care of your husband and children.

As a man or woman of God, your first ministry is your family. Take care of your family first before attempting to take care of God’s business in the church. You cannot be effective in the church if you can’t even take care of your own family.

It’s the same thing at work. Whatever your job maybe you should, by all means, give your best. Always give it your 100%. As Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) says, “We must do everything as working for the Lord…”

But as citizens of heaven, we need to always prioritize the Kingdom of God. We have to carry out God’s mandate known as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) – witnessing/evangelism and discipleship.

We are to keep building the church by using our God-given talents and resources to serve God and others.

Conclusion

Are you living as citizens of heaven?

We are aliens and strangers on this earth, heading as pilgrims toward heaven. We’ve got to adopt that mindset, which includes constantly remembering that we aren’t staying here for long. Our home is in heaven. We should live like it!

Although we are still in this world, we are not of this world. Many things could go wrong in this world but we shouldn’t get distracted.

As heavenly citizens, we are to remain faithful to God, live in righteousness, and anticipate the promised return of Christ. Philippians 3:21 tells us what happens when Christ returns.

“He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” – Philippians 3:21, NLT

This is the third and final phase of our salvation – the glorification of our bodies. This will take place in the event known as the rapture, our blessed hope.


Recommended Resource: A Place Called Heaven: 10 Surprising Truths about Your Eternal Home by Dr. Robert Jeffress

A Place Called Heaven by Robert Jeffress

If any of us learned we were going to move to a foreign country, we’d do everything we could to learn about that place so that we’d be prepared when moving day arrived.

As Christians, we know someday we will leave our familiar country and be united with God in heaven. And yet many of us know very little about this place called heaven.

In this enlightening book, bestselling author Dr. Robert Jeffress opens the Scriptures to unpack ten surprising truths about heaven and explain who we will see there and how we can prepare to go there someday.

Perfect for believers or skeptics who are curious about heaven.

God’s Example of Gift-Giving

God’s Example of Gift-Giving

Christmas is just around the corner. And get this … Christmas celebration is not complete without gift-giving! I believe this is the part that makes most people, especially kids, excited about Christmas. This is the highlight of most celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Don’t you love gifts! Everybody loves gifts! I do not know of anyone who doesn’t.

Giving presents and exchanging gifts have become parts of our practices and traditions. And that is not a bad thing! The problem is this, we tend to be choosy.

We want something fancy and expensive. We want to get the best of all gifts. Little do most people realize that God has already given us the best gift. I’m talking about the greatest gift we’ve ever received mentioned in Ephesians 2:8-9.

We are saved by grace

God’s Greatest Gift to Us

This gift of God has nothing to do with our efforts. We didn’t earn it, deserve it, or purchase it. God gave it through His sacrificial gift so our salvation would not be our boast, but His kindness.

What is this gift? Our salvation!

We may not realize it but this gift from God is unlike any other gift that we can buy from the gift shop. Some people may think it’s cheap because it is available to anyone who wants to receive it. But it’s priceless; you can’t put a price tag on it.

It’s because God paid for it with His life. Jesus redeemed us with His blood (Ephesians 1:7). To redeem means “to pay off,” “to buy back,” or “to regain possession of.”

Originally, we belonged to God. But because of sin, we were separated from God. We’re on our way to hell and are destined to spend eternity there. But God did not want us to perish so He sent His Son to redeem us.

God’s Greatest Gift to Us

First of all, Christ did not come down to earth to start a Christmas tradition that includes the giving of gifts to one another. Christ came to offer His life as a ransom for many. He came to give us eternal life.

By doing what He did, God also exemplified the true meaning of gift-giving.

So, what are the things that God wants us to take into consideration whenever we give to others?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Giving Should be Motivated by Love

God had one reason and one reason only for giving us the greatest gift of all and that is love. We have no reason to doubt this. You see, God did not have to give His Son but He did it anyway.

Why? It’s all because of His great love. God is not only full of love; God is love (1 John 4:16). Everything God does stems from His great love for us. If God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us, how can He not also give us all things (Romans 8:32)?

What about us? What is our motivation in giving? In goal-setting, they call this “finding your why.” In other words, what’s your reason for doing the things that you do.

Giving Should be Motivated by Love

Why do you give to charitable institutions and orphanages? Is it because your friends are doing it? If your reason is that you feel sorry for them, that means your heart is in the right place.

Why do you give in support of God’s work? Why do you give birthday presents to your friends or other people on any occasion?

By the way, giving is not only in terms of material things, like money or anything tangible. It could also mean spending time with your friends and loved ones. Or taking a break from your busy schedule to comfort a colleague or friend who’s going through tough times.

Giving Should Be Unconditional

Unconditional means “no strings attached.” It’s just like how God gave His Son to die on the cross for our sins. God was not expecting anything in return. All He wanted was to spare us from eternal condemnation.

But these days, when you offer something too good to be true, people are quick to ask, “What’s the catch?” And we can’t blame them. As they always say, “You don’t get anything for free. There are no free hand-outs and if there are, they’re most likely trash.”

When God gave us the greatest gift of all, He did so without condition. How do we know this? It’s because God did it out of love and God’s love is unconditional.

God did not say, “Hey, you need to be a good person first.” Neither did He say, “Turn away from your sin and then I will give My Son to die for you” (Romans 5:8).

God had expectations as some scholars argue, it’s that everyone would receive His gift by faith. And also, for them to share that gift with others. This is why Jesus gave the Great Commission.

But we need to emphasize that what God expects from the recipients of His gift is not for His benefit. Rather, it’s for the people who are still in darkness. Simply put, it’s about giving back or passing it on.

Do we give, expecting something in return? Isn’t it more blessed to give than to receive? This is why it’s always best to give to the people who are unable to give back to us.

This is not to say that the principle of “give and take” is wrong or bad. What is wrong is when a person who has the means to give prefers to be always on the receiving end.

Giving Should Be Unconditional

Giving Should be Sacrificial

When we hear the word sacrifice, it always involves doing something difficult and painful. It’s not going to be easy and it would take courage to be able to do it. It’s about setting aside your own comfort and happiness for the sake of others.

God modeled sacrificial giving 2,000 years ago. The Father endured the pain of having to watch His only Son suffer and die at the hands of His creation. But for man to be spared from hell, God had to experience pain.

We all know the story of Abraham who is about to offer his son Isaac on Mount Moriah? That was a foreshadowing of what God would do to His Son about 1,500 years later on Mount Calvary.

I can’t imagine the pain that a parent has to go through when his only child gets brutally killed in front of him. You are blessed to not have to go through this kind of pain.

Have you ever felt pain as a result of “giving” to your family or loved ones? You were saving for a new cellphone but your daughter needed money to pay her lease. Or you wanted to treat yourself to an expensive restaurant but your friend suddenly in need.

These are part of the sacrifice we have to make just so we can give to our loved ones or extend help to those in need.

Giving Should be Purposeful

Why did God give His Son to die on the cross? What was His purpose for sacrificing His only Son? For us to have eternal life! To provide salvation to all who will believe. Again, it’s for the benefit of the recipients.

If we read Isaiah 53:10, it says, “But the Lord was pleased to crush Him (the Son), putting Him to grief.” Doesn’t that sound brutal?

But God did not just do this for nothing. God’s giving of His Son was for the sole purpose of saving us from the horrors of hell. It should be the same thing with us when we give anything to someone. It should always be for the benefit of the one who gets the gift.

Is what you’re giving beneficial to the receiver? Is it something they need? Oftentimes, what people want is not necessarily what they need. This is why when we ask God for something that does not benefit us, He won’t give it (1 John 5:14). God will not grant our requests that are harmful to us.

Giving Should Be Purposeful

On our part, when we give a gift or present, we don’t give something just for the sake of giving. We should give it some thought. Again, this comes down to our reason or motivation in giving. When we give out of love, we will surely give what we think is best for the recipient.

No matter how expensive your gift might be if it won’t be useful to the one who gets it, it’s useless. On the other hand, even if the gift is somewhat cheap as long as it’s exactly what the person needs, it will be valued and appreciated.

Bottom line is, it’s not the worth that counts but its usefulness.

Final Thoughts

God modeled the true meaning of gift-giving. God has not only given us so much; He’s also given us the greatest gift of all.

God gave us His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And in the person of Jesus Christ, we find salvation, redemption, reconciliation with God, and eternal life (1 John 5:12).

The least we could do to pay back God for all He’s done is to strive to follow our Lord’s example. We are to share that gift with others as well.

So, to recap what God has taught us about gift-giving, remember the acronym P-L-U-S.

Christ's Example of Gift-Giving

 

Recommended Resource: Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ by Timothy Keller

From pastor and New York Times, bestselling author Timothy Keller comes the perfect gift for the Christmas holiday—a profoundly moving and intellectually provocative examination of the nativity story.

Even people who are not practicing Christians think they are familiar with the story of the nativity. Every Christmas displays of Baby Jesus resting in a manger decorate lawns and churchyards, and songs about shepherds and angels fill the air.

Yet despite the abundance of these Christian references in popular culture, how many of us have examined the hard edges of this biblical story?

In his new book, Timothy Keller takes readers on an illuminating journey into the surprising background of nativity.

By understanding the message of hope and salvation within the Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, readers will experience the redeeming power of God’s grace in a deeper and more meaningful way.