Pause

The best gifts are those received from someone who knows us well. These are the kinds of gifts that we celebrate with great gladness!

Take time to consider the gifts you have received from the One who knows you best, and celebrate God's great goodness and generosity.

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Listen

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:1-3

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Think

Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). Loving Jesus means declaring his lordship, and when we do that, we’re gifted with the Holy Spirit, who leaves no room for imposters.

In the days of the early church, there were idols all around. Some would see the miracles of the early church and claim to have the same power from God, but not really love Jesus. They had not given up their idols. Paul was pointing out that the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus — not any idol. The Holy Spirit empowers us to love God with whole hearts.

Today, we still have idols. They may look different, but they are anything that keeps us from loving Jesus. We also still have the Holy Spirit. This Spirit can empower us to love God and God alone — bringing glory to Jesus in our lives and helping us obey the greatest commandment. What a gift!

Laura Rector

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Pray

Spirit, help me discard idols from my life and declare Jesus’ glory with all of my being. Amen.

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Go

Open your heart now as you would a brightly-wrapped package,
Confident that the Giver of Life has provided you the greatest gift,
The gift of life.
Live today as a celebration, a time of giving back—
To God
And to all the world.

Laura Rector

Laura Rector is a PhD candidate and adjunct instructor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She attends First Baptist Church of Pomona.

Tis a Gift to Be Simple

Ken Medema

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