Will You Keep Unwrapping?

This post is linked up to Bonnie Gray’s #OneWordAdvent LOVE:

And:

Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart:

What Love Is This

By Kari Jobe

You never change, you are the God you say you are;
When I’m afraid you calm and still my beating heart.
You stay the same, when hope is just a distant thought,
You take my pain and you lead me to the cross
What love is this, that you gave your life for me
And made a way for me to know you
And I confess you’re always enough for me you’re all I needI look to you, I see the scars upon your hands.
And hold the truth, that when I can’t you always can.
And standing here beneath the shadow of the cross.
I’m overwhelmed that I keep finding open arms.
What love is this that you gave your life for me
And made a way for me to know you
And I confess, you’re always enough for me
You’re all I need
Jesus in your suffering you were reaching, you thought of me
Jesus in your suffering you were reaching, you thought of meWhat love is this, that you gave your life for me
And made a way for me to know you
And I confess, you’re always enough for me
You’re all I need
What love is this, that you gave your life for me
And made a way for me to know you
And I confess, you’re always enough for me
Always enough for me
Always enough for me
Last Sunday my sister and I attended a Christmas service here at a local church in Wanaka and the theme of the service was “The Gift”, focusing our hearts on the gift we have been given in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He challenged us by asking us how we are receiving this incredible gift of love.
In John 1: 14 it says (NIV):
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Our Gift this Christmas is “The Word” that “became flesh and made His dwelling among us”. A Gift of “glory”, “full of grace and truth”. A Gift that in His suffering “made a way for [us] to know [Him]”.
If we dare to keep unwrapping our Gift, to really truly “open our eyes in wonder and belief” (Matthew 6: 22, The Message) as we do so, His “reaching”, “open” arms of grace will break open the shadow of darkness that tries to suffocate us, as He pours in His streaming Light, just as He did for the people of Israel in Egypt (Exodus 10: 21 – 23) .
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And as we rip open the wrapping, in childlike, excited anticipation:
Isaiah 30:18 (NIV)
he will rise up to show [us] compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
And as we unwrap, more and more of His Glory will become visible to us, each layer of wrapping being ripped to reveal a deeper and deeper truth that has the power to bring us to our knees in unbridled awe.
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“What love is this”:
– that He created a tapestry of skies, mountains majestic, waters wild and gentle, colours so varied, soft and deep, birds both powerfully gliding and playfully dancing, glistening stars too numerous to count (Genesis 1, Job 38 & 39),
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– that He created us in His beautiful image, to reflect His nature of LOVE (Genesis 1: 27, 1 John 4: 8),
Em and Mum
– that He gave us intimate communion, with both Himself and each other (Galatians 3: 26 – 27, 1 Corinthians 12 : 27) ,
– that when we broke our communion with Him, He called us unto Himself (Genesis 3: 9), covered our shame (Genesis 3: 21), made a covenant with us (Exodus 19 – 24 and Deuteronomy) and extended this covenant to cover each and every one of us, who accept Him (Ephesians 2),
– that no matter what we have done, or have failed to do, His grace is waiting there to accept us, His arms open wide to enfold us:
Ephesians  2 : 8 – 10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
John 1: 16- 18 (The Message)
We all live off his generous bounty,
        gift after gift after gift.
    We got the basics from Moses,
        and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
    This endless knowing and understanding—
        all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
    No one has ever seen God,
        not so much as a glimpse.
    This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
        who exists at the very heart of the Father,
        has made him plain as day.
Deuteronomy 33: 12
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”
– that He gives us the free gift of faith and in us accepting it, grows and transforms us to become more and more like Him:
2 Corinthians  3: 18 (ESV)
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
– that no matter the physical or mental suffering we face in this broken world, we are never, ever alone:
Deuteronomy 31 : 8  (NIV)
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
– that He has set eternity in our hearts, a yearning for that which only He can fulfil:
Ecclesiastes 3: 11 (NIV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
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Romans 8: 22
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
– that He extends eternity to us as a free gift of hearing His Word and believing:
John 5: 24 (NIV)
Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
Revelation 21: 4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
– that in our waiting and yearning for our Home, He holds us, carrying the burdens we give to Him in the trusting of His Word and in prayer, speaking peace and joy into the depths of us:
Isaiah 26: 3 (NIV)
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Philippians 4 : 6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 16: 11 (NIV)
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand
– that He surrounds us with His Body, His Community of Believers, who encourage, comfort, equip, strengthen and hold us through the Love that has taken residence within them:
Ephesians 2 : 19 – 22
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Philemon 1:7
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
1 Thessalonians 5: 9 – 15

God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’realive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

12-13 And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

13-15 Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

– that He has gifted us His Spirit-infused Word, to root us deeper and deeper into His Great Love that has the power to set us free as we step out in faith:
John 15: 9 – 10 (The Message)
“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
John 8: 31 (NIV)
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Ephesians  3: 16 – 19
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rootedand established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Will you join me in continuing to unwrap our One True Gift? Will you join me in ripping open the layers of wrapping in childlike wonder? Discovering more and more of His Great Love for us, as we join a host of heavenly witnesses in bended adoration?
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4 thoughts on “Will You Keep Unwrapping?

  1. Unwrapping the glory! What a beautiful concept, and may God give us eyes to see His glorious gifts to us during this Christmas season!
    Blessings! So glad to have found your blog today.

    Like

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