Christian Family Fellowship

Scripture of the Week

Ephesians 4:26-27 (ESV)

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27 and give no opportunity to the devil.


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December 2002

Dear Christian Believers,

December Greetings and God bless you in the wonderful name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Soon all of Christendom will be celebrating the birthday of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God. We know that his actual birth date was in September, but that’s a whole other story.
I love the thankfulness and joy that is expressed this time of year for the birth of Jesus. I’m thankful for his coming, when all the manifold prophecies of his coming became a reality. It was no longer just a story that was told through the ages, or letters that were hand printed on the sacred scrolls of Israel, but it was the Word of God that became living and real in the life of that newborn babe.
I also think about God’s grace and love for us, HIS plan of redemption and salvation. I think of God’s gift to the world, His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. God had the perfect plan for all of us and it came in the form and life of this small little newborn. We have reason to celebrate, not just a few days in December but everyday. The birth of Jesus Christ is truly “grace” from God.

Galatians 4:4
But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, under the law.

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

It’s by grace he came, and it is by grace we are saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8) In I Corinthians 15:10 the apostle Paul says, “But by the grace of God lam what lam: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;...” It is by grace that we are what we are, and the question for us is, will the grace of God that is bestowed on us, “be in vain.” Paul said for him grace WAS NOT IN VAIN . Why wasn’t it in vain for Paul? He tells us in the rest of the verse, ..."but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.” Paul was actively involved in his response to God’s grace. GRACE is ... “what God does or has done for us, and it is independent of our performance.” Faith is ... “what we do in response to God’s grace.” Paul responded! Paul believed in God and His grace towards man. He believed that what God said was ours, is ours. Paul went after it. Whether it be healing, prosperity or whatever. Salvation is by grace and it is a gift from God. Paul believed that and made it known. He knew that he was not worthy of his ownself, but when God made it known to him, he went after it. There is a story about a young boy that was in a Vacation Bible School class and one day the minister met with all the class in the auditorium. The minister was up front, and the young boy was in the last row. The minister reached in his pocket and pulled out a dollar bill, and said to the class, “the first student that comes up and gets it can have the dollar” All the students came swarming up to the front, holding out their hand yelling, “give it to me, I’ll take it, let me have it” The boy in the back fought his way through the crowd and leaped up and grabbed onto the minister’s arm and climbed up his arm until he snatched the dollar out of the hand of the minister. The minister smiled and said, “well, one of you got it!” He went on to tell the class that salvation is like that dollar. Once God said it is yours, it is yours, quit asking for something He has given and go get it. By God’s grace He made salvation available through Jesus Christ. God has set it before all men to have, but man must go after it just like the young boy from the back of the room. Faith or believing is an action, a response to God’s grace. We are saved by grace ... THROUGH FAITH it is a gift from God

We celebrate the birth and coming of Jesus Christ, but do we accept God’s grace and respond to it with faith or unbelief? Is God’s grace in vain because of your lack of response, or is in NOT in vain in because of your labour of believing? Let’s not waste God’s grace for our lives. God’s plan was set in motion with His word of promise; it came into realization with the birth of Jesus Christ, his life and ministry, his death, resurrection, and ascension. Now it’s our turn to respond, by believing, and grasping all that God has given us by labouring in the charity and grace of God.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all

John and Mary Lou

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