23.3 John – Gift

Gifts are great.  I’m not talking about the mass-consumerism obligatory gift giving that society means.  I’m talking about the emotion involved in having taken the time to find, or better yet make, a heartfelt gift and presenting it to another person in love.

For example, my wife is a quilter.  She loves to craft an item of beauty that can be used (not just displayed) and last a lifetime.  But what she loves to do the most is to pray while constructing a quilt.  Each clip, each stitch, each block, is a physical manifestation of prayer offered to God for the individual or family receiving the quilt.

I think this is how we are as gifts from the Father to the Son.  It isn’t just the finished product of our lives that will live with Jesus for all eternity, but it is the snipping and clipping and stitching work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It is the joining together of blocks that make up family and community and church.  It is the embellishment of different colors of stitches through the stages of our lives and the special flourishes that make is into a gift.  I think it is even the prayers offered in the times the Holy Spirit has to rip out stitches, not because of his mistakes but because of our resistance to the direction we are supposed to go.

Our lives may look like a bunch of mixed up, mismatched and ragged pieces, but the work of the Father through the Holy Spirit shapes us into a gift that is a blessing to His son.

My Answers:

6.
They are a gift from God.  Jesus invested them with the words that were a gift to Him from God.  They are shared by Jesus and His Father

7.
a.
Because it is through the believers in Jesus that the light of Jesus’ divinity shines in the world.  The disciples are a gift and a testament.  They are the witnesses

b.
By living in the image of Christ, by praise Him, to spread the message, to rejoice greatly, to be refined by fire, to praise, glory and honor Jesus and – through so doing – to reveal Him to others

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