The words of Jesus are sometimes printed in red in the Bible and the gospels have whole chapters that are completely red. Hopefully they are also all read by all of us. The above quote from Acts 20:35 is one instance of the words of Jesus in red print beyond the gospels.
We just came through a season of giving and hopefully we have experienced the blessing that comes from giving.
I still remember the Christmas that my 4th grade class made their choice concerning gifts for our party. I gave them the options of drawing names from the class to exchange gifts, or bring a gift for a "grab a gift or trade" game, or bring canned food for the food bank. They chose to bring something to put on the cart under the tiny tree for others. I was very proud of that group of kids as I delivered a heavy box of canned goods to the food bank for them that Christmas season.
I hope we realize it doesn't have to be expensive or even a commodity that we give. Often it is just a kind act or gesture of thoughtfulness that means a lot as a gift.
My son and his family were with us from Spokane for Christmas. As I was driving them back to Anchorage to catch their flight home, a train was headed north right along side the highway. My granddaughters were exclaiming, "Thomas the train!" evidently a character from one of their books or videos. As we pulled even with the engine and began to wave, the engineer blew the horn in greeting. It was a nice gift for some little girls in a passing car.
We had a red hot service on New Year's Eve at our church. The youth had just returned from a convention in Anchorage and were very excited. We left that service very late and got home to a cold house. The furnace had gone out. The next morning it was 56 degrees in the house and I reluctantly but hopefully dialed the number of our plumber. I hated to disturb him on a holiday but it was cold outside and inside. He came right over and got the furnace operating.
Jesus gave and gave during his ministry on earth. Healing, miracles, provision, deliverance, resurrection, and the list goes on. Fortunately for us, his giving continues today, since Jesus is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" according to Hebrews 13:8. He gives his Spirit, gifts and fruit of the Spirit, not a Spirit of fear but of power, love, a sound mind, hope of heaven, and much more. His presence is very satisfying along with the presents we receive from him. A verse in 1 Corinthians 1:7 tells us not to fall short of what he has for us as we wait for his return. Believe and receive his blessings as he makes them available to you again and again in 2010.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services are on Sunday including Bible classes for all ages at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. Thursday Bible study and children's church are at 7 p.m.
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