It really matters how you wrap your gift and how you deliver it.
In John 12:49-59(NIV) Jesus is speaking, "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life."
So, not only did Father command the what, He also prescribed the how.
At church we've been going through Paul's first letter to the Corinthians (however, we read in chapter 5 that he'd written a previous one, one that is lost to us). The church he had planted 5 years earlier in Corinth was in bad shape! So, he wrote to rectify some things and to answer a few of their questions. This past week we were at chapter 12- the famous one about spiritual gifts.
So much could be said, taught and unpacked about these gifts, but I just wanted to share some thoughts:
One of the themes that threads its way through this letter is one of unity in the body of Christ. We are encouraged to celebrate the Spirit's diverse and creative expressions within our unity. And it is essential to understand that the gifts given to us, are meant to be given away. All the gifts (except the one of speaking in tongues) find their true value and worth as they are given to build up others. And as Jesus said, "Its more blessed to give than to receive"- we understand this as the economy of heaven. In giving us gifts to give away, God has put in place opportunities for us to be richly blessed! We can never out-give our Father.
Then we moved on to chapter 13- the even more famous passage on love - well known by Christians and pre-Christians alike. In 1 John 4:16 we read,"God is love". So, reading through the Love passage in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a and substituting God or Jesus or Holy Spirit in the place of "Love", we get a clearer picture of who our God is. Reflecting on the previous three verses in chapter 13 as it flows on from the list of gifts and their purpose, we understand that the gifts we give to others must be wrapped in love and delivered in love, so that the world can see who we are and who we represent.
A gift wrapped in love and given in love brings life and blessings to both the giver and the receiver.
Need a blessing? I think you know what to do.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13
Until next time...