Saturday, November 5, 2011

What Are You Giving?

It has been quite a while since I have had the urge to write anything.  To be quite honest, I am surprised that I am feeling compelled to write currently.  I have been up since 2:30am this morning and working all day at the St. Lawrence  Market in downtown Toronto selling vegetables.  It is now 8pm at night and I should be (like the dog beside me ... love you Murphy) passed out.  Still, I feel led to share something that just sunk in.

I was thinking about this Christmas season that is fast approaching.  I know that I am a Christmasaholic, but something has really struck me.  This is the time of year when we really start putting our thinking caps on about the gifts that we are going to buy for people.  I know that some people wait until December 24th for this thoughtful act, but others of us, prepare long in advance for just the right gift for that special person.

In Ephesians 3, Paul is writing to the non-Jewish community about a special gift that God had prepared long in advance for us.  He tells about in verse 16 how he prays to God asking him "to give [us] a gift from the wealth of his glory."(GWT).  He continues to pray that God "would give [us] inner strength and power through His Spirit.  Then Christ will live in [us] through faith".  What a powerful statement.  That God would give us His wealth ... not a financial gift but something far more valuable.  A gift so powerful that it raised Christ from the dead and it is within us. (Romans 8:11)  How awesome is that!  It is the power to move where in our own human ability we cannot.

However, Paul doesn't stop there.  He continues,
 "I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation.  This way, with all of God's people you will be able to understand how wide, long, high and deep his love is.  You will know Christ's love, which goes far beyond any knowledge.  I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God." Ephesians 3:17-19
 I think so often we miss this concept of love.  In 1 John 4:7-21, it expands on the meaning of how we are to be rooted in love.  It is a connection with God that is a commandment and not an option.  In Luke 10:25-37 we are shown exactly how much of this we are to have not only for God, but also for one another.  It truly is the greatest commandment.  But we are not to do it alone.  We are not to be a bunch of one person armies going around loving God and one another.  We are to be THE CHURCH!  That means that we need to LOVE our God!  We are to love our church members!  We are to love our coworkers!  We are to love our neighbours!  We are to love our enemies!  When we do this collectively, God reveals the width, length, height and depth of His love for us.  Everyone needs to do their part.

Do we really get it?  DO I REALLY GET IT?

Back to my favourite season ... This Christmas ... am I going to allow the "wealth of God" to empower me to love all those around me and share my ultimate gift from God?  I hope I get it.  I really hope I give it.

Never Lose the Passion,

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