JESUS is the gift that keeps on giving.
Not only has He given us the gift of life by leaving the glories of Heaven, coming to earth and paying the price for our sin debt....
Not only has He given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to be our teacher, our guide, our comforter and our mediator....
Not only has He given us the gift of everlasting life that we might spend eternity with Him in Heaven....
But...He DAILY gives us gifts. James 1: 17 tells us, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father........."
This week I'd like to focus on some of the gifts He gives.
He has given me an incredible gift in the women's ministry of Central Church. I grew up in a church where I knew everyone and everyone knew me because I had been there since I was 6 years old. I was saved in that church, baptized in that church, sang in that church, taught in that church, was married in that church and my children were dedicated to the Lord in that church and saved in that church. That church was home. But there came a time when the Lord moved us from that church to another. Even though I knew that was where we were supposed to be and I made some dear friends there, I never felt connected and it never felt like home. I began to feel like I'd never feel "at home" again at church. That was a very sad thing to me.
Then the Lord moved us to Central. I began to get involved in the women's ministry and it has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I have never seen a women's ministry to compare to this one. If you cannot find a place to plug in here, you are just "unpluggable"!
I was privileged to be at a dinner with some of these great women last night. Our director, who is the fireball behind this ministry, commented that several times this past week she has been asked by men "How do you do it? How do you get all these women to do all these different things?" And her answer was the heart of this ministry. These women love the Lord and have an immense desire to serve Him. She has just provided the outlet and the means by which they can.
We have women who prepare meals when someone is sick. We have women who knit prayer shawls and cover them in prayer for those who are going through a serious illness or crisis in their life. We have those who minister to those in the hospitals, who use their gift of mercy in that capacity. We have those who spur us on to take a stand for what is right in our country and to pray for our leaders. We have those who use their writing talents to publish abroad the good news of Jesus Christ. There are those who hold forth the Bread of Life and feed the flock by teaching and leading in Bible study. I could go on and on.
But what is so precious to me is the joy it has brought me as I've gotten to know these women. They are a diverse group......young women in their twenties to elderly ladies in their 80's still serving the Lord...........women of different races and different cultures....women who have been walking with the Lord for over half a century and those who have just come to know him. But the glue that holds us all together is JESUS! Each one of them has a love and passion for her Savior.
These women are not interested in whether you have on the latest style, carry the latest designer bag or wear the most pricey outfit. They are not interested in where you shop, what kind of car you drive or what neighborhood you live in. They care about your heart, your needs and how they can minister to you or pray for you. They will pray fervently for you, they will encourage you, they will weep with you and they will laugh with you. And, yet there is probably not a one of them that is not carrying her own personal burden.
I am blessed beyond measure to rub shoulders with these godly sisters in Christ. I count it a privilege to serve our Savior along side them. My spiritual life has been strengthtened and dmy life has been enriched by knowing each one of them. And today I thank God for the gift that each of them is to my life. I have not met them ALL yet, though I'm working on it! Each one is like a jewel in my treasure chest of blessings and although I cannot name each one here, I say to each of you "I love you and I thank God for you, women of Central Church!! You are God's special gift to me".
10 hours ago