The Gift of Family

The Gift of FamilyIMG_0709

“For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven,

the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Matthew 12:50, KJV

The last Christmas my dad spent on the earth, his most precious gift was to have his family with him. He wasn’t sick, and didn’t know this would be our last time to celebrate Christ’s birth together, but family was important to him. If I remember correctly, we all did make it, including our extended family.

Family isn’t always defined by a shared bloodline. It is defined by—

  • a love that transcends the physical connections,
  • persevering through trials that would divide,
  • sharing joys and sorrows.

Those who belong to Christ enjoy the privilege of having two families—an earthly one and a spiritual one.

The earthly family is a temporary institution ordained by God from the beginning. He handpicked the family He placed his Son, Jesus in. The earthly is meant to reflect the eternal family of our heavenly Father. The eternal family consists of those whom Jesus says are his brothers, sisters, and mothers. We have experienced not only a physical birth but a spiritual birth into the family of God.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,

they are the sons of God.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;

but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,

whereby we cry,

Abba, Father.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,

that we are the children of God:”

Romans 8:14-16, KJV


AND BE YE SEPARATE, saith the Lord,





saith the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:17-18, KJV

Every person is connected to someone by blood. That makes us related but not necessarily family. Jesus has made it possible to be united to God, our heavenly Father, by the giving of his flesh and blood. He has made us related and family.

“Then Jesus said unto them …

Whoso eateth my flesh, and driketh my blood,

hath eternal life;

and I will raise him up at the last day …

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,

dwelleth in me, and I in him.

As the living Father hath sent me,

and I live by the Father:

so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.”

John 6:53a,54,56-57, KJV

The Father prepared for Jesus a body of flesh and blood uniting himself with his creation. Jesus gave his flesh to the Roman’s whip taking with that whipping our weakness and giving us his strength. Where once we were bound to sin’s weakness, Jesus gave us the power, his power, to refuse sin’s hold on us. He didn’t stop there, but went the whole journey to the cross, giving his blood to take our punishment for sin. In dying, his blood cleansed our spirit making us acceptable to the Father. Through his resurrection, we are guaranteed everlasting life with him.

Jesus unites those who receive him to the Father through his giving of his flesh, blood, and after his ascension, his Spirit.

“And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s …

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who hath blessed

us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ …

To the praise of the glory of his grace,


he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

1 Corinthians 3:23, Ephesians 1:3,6, KJV

I am thankful for the family I was born into. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but I knew I was loved. I am thankful for the family(even in all our craziness!) the Lord has blessed me and my husband with. More importantly, I am thankful my family, then and now, has known the heavenly Father as head of our family.

You may or may not be blessed with a family united by love and care for one another, but you can be through receiving the family Jesus Christ offers you. Without him, your family isn’t complete. With him you become a part of a very large family, still being perfected, but joined by the love of our heavenly Father forever.

How do you define family? Do you belong to the eternal family of God?


Gifts Within a Gift

A Gift Inside the Gift

“But while he thought on these things,

behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him

in a dream, saying,

Joseph, thou son of David,

fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife:

for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”

Matthew 1:20, KJV

christmas gifts
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

My husband handed me a beautifully wrapped box—the size a pair of winter dress boots could be hidden in—and yes, Tom knew how to tie up a present in style. A twinkle in his eyes and a simple smile told me he was pleased with his purchase.

Maybe it wasn’t the boots I had wanted but something more?

Nope. With the last of the paper ripped off, I opened the box revealing the exact pair of boots I had shown him and in the right size. I gave him a big hug and gushed my thank you’s on him. That’s when his smile grew larger.  

“You might want to try them on,” he said.

“Okay.” I slipped on the left one, then grabbed the right boot. I shoved it over my foot, but—frowned and pulled it off. “There’s something in there,” I said reaching deep into the toe. I pulled out a small gift. “What’s this?”

“Open it.”

Inside the large gift Tom had hidden his surprise—a little black velvet box with an engagement ring inside. My squeal rang through our house as tears filled my eyes. Over twenty years had passed since Tom asked me to be his wife. There hadn’t been enough money for an engagement ring—only two matching bands and a declaration of committed love.

The teen girls in our youth group had given Tom the idea. As I thought on what gift our Father prepared for us in the giving of his Son, I remembered the surprise of finding a gift inside the gift, and knew what gift to highlight.

When Jesus, the Son of God, conceived of the Holy Ghost, came into the world, Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Within this tiny package of human flesh dwelt another gift to be given after the Son’s death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father.

“And I will pray the Father,

and he shall give you another Comforter,

that he may abide with you for ever;

Even the Spirit of truth;

whom the world cannot receive,

because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:

but ye know him;

for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

John 14:16,17, KJV

The gift of the Holy Spirit is received by those who—

“Repent, and be baptized every one of you

in the name of Jesus Christ

for the remission of sins,

and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

For the promise is unto you,

and to your children, and to all that are afar off,

even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Acts 2:38-39, KJV

And within this Gift, many other gifts dwell.

“But ye shall receive power,

after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you …

Thus I say then, Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh …

But the fruit of the Spirit is

love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,

goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance …”

Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:16; 22-23, KJV

  • Power to witness;
  • Power over the flesh;
  • love,
    • joy,
      • peace,
        • longsuffering,
          • gentleness,
            • goodness,
              • faith,
                • meekness,
                  • and temperance.

This list is in no way complete for we are told—

“Now there are diversities of gifts,

but the same Spirit …

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given

to every man to profit withal.

  • For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom,
  • to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
  • To another faith by the same Spirit;
  • to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
  • To another the working of miracles;
  • to another prophecy;
  • to another discerning of the spirits;
  • to another divers kinds of tongues;
  • to another the interpretation of tongues:

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit,

dividing to every man severally as he will.”

1 Corinthians 12:4,7-11, KJV

Only our heavenly Father could contain so many gifts within the gift of one small Child who said—

“And I will pray the Father,

and he shall give you another Comforter,

that he may abide with you for ever;”


“Bless the LORD, O my soul:

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name …

and forget not all his benefits:”

Psalm 103: 1, 2b, KJV

As we celebrate Christmas, may we remember to celebrate the Son of the Highest and give him thanks.

The Writer’s Heart: Good Gifts

macbook pro on brown wooden table
Photo by Andrew Neel on

A Writer’s Heart: Good Gifts

“Every good and every perfect gift is from above,

and cometh down from the Father of lights,

with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

James 1:17, KJV

The Lord gives only one kind of gift—that which is good and perfect. All people everywhere enjoy access to a great many of his gifts. Some don’t acknowledge our Father of lights as the giver—even though without his gifts they would not have the breath of life. Others receive his gifts with thanksgiving.

The best gifts the Father makes available only to those who will receive the offering of his Son, Jesus Christ. These gifts are given to share with others. Through this season of giving, one of the Lord’s gifts I want to share with my writing and reading family is the gift of prayer—using Isaiah 55:11 as my base.

 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:

it shall not return unto me void,

but it shall accomplish that which I please,

and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

A Prayer For You:

Heavenly Father, bless each author with the words flowing from your heart to the writer’s pen, pencil, or keypad. May each message bring a return of much fruit to your glory by accomplishing your pleasure in the readers’ lives. Send the message to those who will receive it. Give increase to your kingdom through strengthening and encouraging author and reader.

Guide us in all we write to bring you glory, honor, and praise by pointing others to your truth in love. Thank you, for this gift of writing. May we guard it and share it as you send it out. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.


Giving to Give

bloglove-699480_960_720“Finally brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted,

be like-minded,

live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

2 Corinthians 13:11, NASB

be like-minded—We have been given the mind of Christ in order to think and live like him.

Jesus, God the Son, came from his throne in his kingdom of light to a manger—a feed trough—in a stable housing donkeys, goats, cattle, camels, and sheep belonging to other weary travelers—and into a kingdom covering its subjects in darkness.

  • He left his home a king to live as a servant to his creation.

“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger …

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

who, although He existed in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant,

and being made in the likeness of men.

And being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled Himself

by becoming obedient to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

It is not so among you,

but whoever wishes to become great among you

shall be your servant …

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,

but to serve,

and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Luke 2: 11,12; Colossians 2:5-8; Matthew 20:26,28; NASB

Christmas is about a new way of life.

  • It epitomizes a life of service.
  • God has given His Son to bring us into His eternal family as sons and daughters in His kingdom of light.
  • He has given us the mind of Christ to know Him
  • and to live as Christ lived by humbling ourselves as His children
  • to serve Him by serving one another—even as He served us.

For Thought: During this season we exchange gifts, but what gift/s can we give without expecting anything in return for ourselves?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us Jesus that we may be called your sons and daughters. As your children may we live a life of service to you by serving others, giving of the love, the joy, and peace, the mercy you have given us—that your kingdom of light be filled with children of light.

Praise for So Great a Grace

2 Corinthians 12: So Great a Grace: Praise, Promise, & Prayer

assorted gift boxes on red surface
Photo by George Dolgikh @ on

This Week’s Scripture:

“And He has said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you,

for power is perfected in weakness.”

Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Did you know, in the King James Version of the Bible, the word grace appears 170 times in 159 verses? People seek it, receive it, and describe it more in action than word. Paul’s description seems understated when compared to how grace is revealed.

The apostle John says Jesus came—

“full of grace and truth …

of His fulness we have all received,

and grace upon grace …

For the Law was given through Moses;

grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ …

He has explained Him(God).”

(Excerpts from John 1:14, 16-18, NASB)

Vine’s Dictionary uses the words pleasure, delight, kindness, goodwill, Divine favor, and joy to define God’s grace—it is his inherent character to give gifts to his people. He delights in giving; It brings him pleasure to show us kindness. So much so, James writes—

“But He gives a greater grace …”

and reminds us,

“Every good thing bestowed

and every perfect gift is from above,

coming down from the Father of lights,

with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.”

James 4:6; 1:17, NASB.

How appropriate at this season we should take a look at God’s greater grace, His greatest gift, His perfect gift, sufficient for all our need.

Grace’s Promise & Sufficiency:

“For God so loved the world,

that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him should not perish,

but have eternal life.”

John 3:16, NASB

In Praise of God’s Grace:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

  • who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him, in love
  • He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

to the praise of the glory of His grace;

which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

  • In Him we have redemption through His blood,
  • the forgiveness of our trespasses,
  • according to the riches of His grace which,
  • He lavished upon us.
  • In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will,
  • according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.” Ephesians1: 3-9, NASB

For Thought: Without the sufficient grace of God what do you really have to celebrate in this Christmas season or any time? His grace is sufficient and available. He delights in giving—ask and receive.

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, may those who do not know the grace of God reach out to him today, knowing we can—

“draw near with confidence to the throne of grace,

that we may receive mercy and

may find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16.

May we all,

“be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus,”

2Timothy 2:1.

And may—

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

be with you all.”

2 Corinthians 13:14, NASB

May you all have a grace filled Christmas!

And if you don’t celebrate Christmas,

may each day be filled with the fullness of of God’s grace!