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Wednesday, December 26, 2012
"The Gift of a Life"
"But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19
"Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart," the Bible says. She was treasuring up the memories of this miraculous event. Mary knew that this little child would not stay tightly wrapped in swaddling clothes, but He would soon grow in "wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." So she treasured up these precious moments because she knew what was to come. What she did next was very special. Mary and Joseph took the little Christ child up to the temple to have Him dedicated to the Lord,and to offer sacrifice according to the law. God had given Christ to them, and they presented Him back to God. In fact, when He was just twelve years old, He was heard telling His mother that He "must be about my Father's business." He was God's Son, and always did the will of His Father.
There is a very practice truth for us in this. Eternal life through Christ is God's gift to us; what we do with it is our gift to God. We have been given something so far beyond price that we cannot comprehend the great value of it. God has "freely given" to us all things in Christ. Now what we do with this "unspeakable gift" is our gift back to Him. These are some things we should consider:
1. Take time to ponder God's gift to you.
Think of this marvelous plan that God conceived to bring salvation to you. He sent His Son to us through miraculous birth, and suffered the penalty of sin for all of us, but also He made a way to bring the gospel to you personally. Think of that! How many people had to be obedient to God's will in order for the gospel to reach you? Take time to meditate on how marvelous it is to be saved.
2. Review your saved life up to this point.
Have you been living up to your position in Christ? Have you given yourself to service to God? If not, confess that to the Lord right now. If so, give glory to God for the great things He hath done in your life.
3. Set goals for the new year ahead.
God has given us a new gift of mercy when He gave us a new year. What we do with this year is our gift back to Him. Make some goals in your Christian life. Dedicate yourself to read God's Word daily and to spend time in personal prayer. Set some time aside this week to make plans for this new year. What more do you want to accomplish with your Christian life? Is it time for ministry? Can you be a greater witness? Is there besetting sin that has you in its grip? Decide now for victory in these areas.
Jesus came into this world in a marvelous way (a way that evokes the sentimental emotions of Christmas), but He "came into this world to save sinners." He had to get on with the plan of God. Treasure the memories of this season, and dedicate yourself to fulfill the purpose God sent you here to accomplish. Give God the gift of a new year spent living the Christian life to the fullest.
Happy New Year,
Study verses: Luke 2:19, 49, 52; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 9:15; 1 Timothy 1:15