The Ultimate Gift

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Love always means sacrifice.  
We sometimes want the splendor and the glory of offering
ourselves without the sacrifice of commitment.
 
“Charity (love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
There is a lot written about love and giving, especially in the secular world where those two actions can be minimized to something that comes from the heart…as Christians, we know that our hearts are sinful so how could something good ever come from that point?  I made an attempt in my last blog to discuss the act of giving but after reading it again, through someone else’s eyes…it really was not very clear.  We have to be careful in the words we choose when testifying to God’s wisdom and His great love that He bestows on each one of His believers.  And it is a great responsibility to witness to those who do not know of Him and His Word.
I start with a quote from Elizabeth Elliot who is an author and wonderful woman of God.  She has written many wonderful books that have blessed my heart and helped me to walk with my Savior.  I love what she says in regards to love itself.  This is the worlds way of loving.  I think, even believers, love this way because they do not truly know what God’s kind of love is on the most intimate level.  A level, David, a man after God’s own heart, knew very well according to the Old Testament accounts.
Christ’s love made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross.   (Romans 12 – excellent passage on this) He himself said no greater love than a man lay down his life for another.  In that same line of thought, it was also the ultimate gift. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. What did He require from us?  There is a paradox here for us to consider…to gain life we must lose our life and Jesus was our ultimate example.  His gift, free and clear…
God told the Children of Isreal in the Old Testament what was required of them…

And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?  Deuteronomy 10:12

And in the New Testament, Jesus himself used the scripture to restate the commandment.  This is the first commandment.  So it must have been very, very important to God for us to give back to Him by choosing to join ourselves with Him, identify with Him….

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  Luke 10:27

When we choose Christ as our Savior, we are saying, I will follow you, keep your commandments, give everything I have and all that is within me, including my thoughts.  That should be our gift to Him. Freely given with no thought of anything in return.

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