A Letter to My Grandchildren

 

Dear Ones,

I had the privilege to hold each of you within those first tender days you were born. My love runs deep and even though there are five of you, I’m amazed at how much love I have to spread around to each one of you. Now you are all in elementary school and I marvel at how quickly you are growing up.

I pray for you—prayers certainly for your safety and protection, but oh, my prayers are much more. I pray specifically that you will come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life. That you will be so filled with the Holy Spirit that you will desire a deep intimacy with him.

The world doesn’t always like to use the word sin, but it’s something you need to confront and deal with in your life. Because no matter how good you are most of the time (or bad on some days), we all do wrong things, think bad thoughts, and say unkind or untruthful words. That’s what sin is. The Bible tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If we skip a few chapters over in Romans you will see that God understands that and has a plan for us: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). You may be wondering what that means. Well, God is holy and because we (all boys and girls, men and women) are sinful, we cannot stand in his presence and have a relationship with him. So, God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to live on our earth as a man and die a painful death on a cross to bridge this gap with God. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We will someday die and if we die without accepting Jesus Christ as Lord we will not be with God in heaven. However, you can have eternal life in heaven with God the Father if you, “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

It may sound like a lot, but it’s very simple. There’s nothing you can do to earn or buy salvation. It’s a free gift from God because he loves you so very much. Even more than I love you. That’s what God’s grace is. Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Many times you will hear that there is more than one way to know God. But that simply isn’t true, as Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Remember the Bible is truth and all truth is from God. 2 Timothy 3:16 declares, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

While I desire to see bright and successful futures for you, I know only God can provide you with the true desires of your heart. As you rely on his guidance and follow his ways, you will find doors opened that you never fathomed or imagined. Seek his wisdom and pray for discernment. I also pray for these two things every day for myself.

Granddaughters, I pray you will grow into strong women of faith. Strong enough to say no to temptation—boys who want to use you, alcohol and drugs, and unwholesome entertainment. God has so much more for you—a compelling femininity—which will take you far as wives and mothers if that’s in God’s plan for your life.

And grandson, there’s only one of you in this bevy of girls. I trust this will foster in you an added dimension of sensitivity enabling you to softly submit to Jesus and make him Lord of your life. At the same time, may you grow into a strong young man full of respect for women and may you deal honestly with all people. This integrity will prove to be a true indicator of your masculinity.

I will continue to pray for each of you because I love you.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

All My Love,

Gramma

© 2018 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

 

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Rejoice in Our Redeemer

I send Christmas greetings and pray His blessings for all of my beloved readers.

Only by embracing Jesus and asking forgiveness for our sins will we be saved and have communion with God the Father. If you’ve never invited Jesus into your heart, this Christmas season is the perfect time to reflect on your sin and its consequence, which is eternal death, and to ask Jesus to deliver you from that. Faith in Jesus is the ONLY way. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NIV).

Knowing she was carrying the Christ child, Mary offered up a personal hymn of praise to God. Her song, also known as the Magnificat, begins with, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47, NIV). May we all rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, this Christmas.

© 2017 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

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What Will I Do with Jesus This Christmas?

Once again we find ourselves in the middle of the Christmas season bombarded with the canned secular musical tunes promising unattainable holiday happiness. Department stores display stacks of winter sweaters and discount stores offer pre-packaged food and beauty product gifts to expedite our Christmas purchasing. And, is it just me, or do many decorations look even gaudier and more cheaply made this year?

what-will-i-do-with-jesus-this-christmasBut long ago, over 2000 years ago, a baby was born and the intention was He would be the focus. Not the hyped-up holiday we now celebrate.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2, NIV) I need to pause and reflect on this truth. The Word is the eternal Logos—Jesus—who was with God since the beginning, but is also God. This fact is a mystery, and is a lot to wrap my head around and comprehend.

But our Father God, whose Hebrew name is El, sent Jesus to us.

El means “might, strength, and power” and yet, He appeared as a tender baby.

The contrast amazes me: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 14:1a)

But why did He come? Why did God become man? John 6:38-40 (NIV) states, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Scripture is revealing God the Father to me and His plan of salvation for us.

Furthermore, scripture discloses, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) This tells me Jesus came to forgive my sins. God became man for me.

How we process this truth differs with each individual, and I ponder why it’s easy for some to take their step of faith and why it takes others a long time. Or, why do many never seem able to comprehend God’s love and offer of salvation?

What will you do with Jesus this Christmas season? Will you embrace El, our mighty, strong, and powerful God, who came to earth as a tender baby? Will you say “yes” to the baby Jesus?

Father God, I’m tired of all the trappings and secular meaninglessness of Christmas. I want to receive you, know you, and embrace you. I say “yes” to the baby Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Matthew 1:23 (NIV): “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means, God with us.”

John 3:16 (NIV): “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

© 2016 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

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Do We Appreciate God’s Gifts?

Clustered around the kitchen table, we were joyfully celebrating our granddaughter’s fifth birthday. With each present she opened, she exuberantly exclaimed, “It’s just what I wanted!” gift-553143_640After chuckling during each episode, I began to ponder how I regard the gifts God has selected for me. Do I treat my days, which are gifts, with passion? What about talents the Lord has endowed on me? Answered prayers?

Our granddaughter displayed excitement and thankfulness along with a sense of awe and wonder with every single gift she received. What about me—do I do the same?

God’s greatest provision to me is my salvation, which should thrill me every day. After all, it’s exactly what I asked for and I did receive it. Psalm 118 is a hymn of thanksgiving for God’s deliverance and salvation. Verse 14 (NIV) declares, “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” and later in verse 21 the Psalmist expresses his thanks: “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.” This is how I want to value God’s gift of salvation. As I purpose to thank my Lord each morning for my salvation, this in turn, enables gratefulness in me for every day He gives me.

As I continue to question how I approach God’s gifts, I want to focus on joyfully accepting and appreciating what the Lord has bestowed on me. God generously supplied me with many talents. Now, granted, I wish He had given me a decent singing voice and the ability to carry a tune since I love music and love to sing, but that one just wasn’t in the cards for me. However, as my awareness of the capabilities God has granted me increases, I enthusiastically want to stretch myself and use those gifts to further His kingdom.

Awe is defined as “a strong feeling of fear or respect and wonder.” (Merriam-Webster.com, 2016) Habakkuk the prophet celebrated God praying, “I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works.” (Habakkuk 3:2a, NLT) One way God shows His marvelous works is by responding to our prayers. Do I regularly pause to reflect on all the prayer needs God has met? This should fill me with awe and wonder, as the vast number of answers is miraculous. I offer God my thanksgiving for answered prayer.

Smiling to myself, I watched our granddaughter continue her joyful and thankful cries of delight. Soon, we discarded the wrapping paper, toys were set free from their impossible packaging, and she was enraptured with all her birthday presents.

Father God, Please transform my heart to one of gratitude for all the gifts you’ve provided me. I thank you and praise you for my salvation, and ask you to enable me to approach each day with a childlike sense of awe and wonder as I view your marvelous works and recall your answered prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Hebrews 12:28 (NIV): “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

1 Timothy 4:4 (NIV): “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”

Ephesians 5:20 (NIV): “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

© 2016 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

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Make Your Reservation

As I’ve thought further about my earlier post and the beauty of the Augusta National Golf Club, I’m reminded of John 14:2.cloud-593161_640 “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” Heaven is real and our Lord has prepared a special place for each of us who trust in and call on Him as Lord and Savior. The beauty will be indescribable–make sure you put in your reservation.

There’s only one way to reserve your special place in heaven. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

 

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