December 16, 2014
“And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13)
Do you know, or do you remember what it is like to live your life, day in and day out, without hope? In the great love chapter of the Bible, the Apostle Paul tells us the three lasting, eternal values in life are faith, hope and love. Love is the greatest of these eternal values because God is love. Faith is an eternal value because faith brings us to God. Hope is also one of the three great eternal values because hope brings us to the faith that brings us to God. In the heart of every human being, God plants hope, the conviction that something good exists in this life and someday that good will intersect our lives. That is what the author of the Book of Hebrews means when he tells us that faith gives substance to the things for which we have been hoping. (Hebrews 11:1).
As followers of Jesus Christ, we must realize that we have Good News that can give hope to the hopeless, and we must not let unbelief silence us. If we never share the Good News of the Christmas that was and the Christmas that shall be, we should ask ourselves if we really believe the essence of the Gospel of Christmas. Because we really believe in the Christmas that was, we should share that Good News with the people Jesus told us He came to seek and to save (Luke 19:10). We show that we really do believe in the Christmas that shall be, when we tell hopeless people that God is going to give us another Christmas.
Like the wise men, we should ask the question, “Where is He?,” seek Him until we find Him, and then worship Him and give the gift of our lives to Him. Then, like those shepherds, we should tell everybody the Good News that Christmas has come and Christmas is coming again to this otherwise hopeless world.
Dick Woodward, from A Christmas Prescription
September 26, 2014
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
The founding elder of the first church I pastored was a home builder. He did excellent work. When a couple wanted him to build their home he took them to a beautiful home he had built and said to them, “By the grace of God this is my workmanship.” Ephesians 2:20 says to all followers of Christ that our risen living Christ would like to point to each of us and say: “This is My workmanship!”
We are all a work of Christ in progress. In addition to that thought this verse states that when we came to faith and were saved by grace through the faith our Lord gave us, He created us for good works. In fact we’re told that before He saved us He already planned that we would do those works for Him.
I don’t know about you but that truth excites and inspires me greatly! We’re so selfish and self-centered that when we come to faith our focus is often on what trusting Christ to be our Savior will mean to us. Many followers of Christ have the attitude “What have You done for me lately?” The Apostle Paul had the right vision when he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and asked the question, “Lord, what do You want me to do for You?”
As a follower of Christ have you been asking and seeking to know what works your Lord and Savior planned for you to do when He saved you by grace? Are you asking each day, “Lord, what do You want me to do for You?
Dick Woodward, 08 March 2010