Gifted in Christ

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Jesus taught that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” No doubt, many of us have grown up hearing this proverbial saying from a young age. As an adolescent, it is difficult to understand and appreciate the wisdom Jesus not only taught, but demonstrated. Just as the hymn writer simply penned, “For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.” Jesus is the epitome of generous benevolence expressed to the most underserving. His earthly ministry is characterized by His gentle and intentional care of “the least of these:” healing, feeding, forgiving and encouraging the lowly of heart. But not only did Christ give of Himself, He ultimately gave Himself (Matt. 20:28). He is the greatest gift mankind could ever receive. And it’s only because of God’s profound matchless love and mercy that sinners such as we can stand right before God on the basis of Christ’s atoning sacrifice (1 Pet. 3:18). But how should we respond to the gifts God gives? Do you enjoy the gift and its benefits more than the person who gifted them? This can happen far too often, where we become infatuated with the gift to the exclusion of the giver. We live and move and have our being only because of God’s grace. We live as redeemed children of God, bought with price that no man can repay. And yet, how often do we pursue and enjoy these gifts while missing out on the greatest benefit these gifts were intended to provide—the joy of lasting communion. God loves and desires fellowship. His good and perfect gifts are the means to that end. May we not become so wrapped up in the gifts that God provides that we lose sight of the greatest gift—Himself. The giver is the ultimate gift. Let us enjoy Him and praise Him in how we live today. – Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

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