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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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LeapOfFaith89

The Gift and the Giver

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It's only a keychain. Five little blocks held together by a shoelace. My daughter gave it to me years ago when she was seven. Today the lace is frayed and the blocks are chipped, but they spell a message that never grows old: "I (heart emoji) DAD."

 

The most precious gifts are determined not by what went into them, but by who they are from. Ask any parent who ever received a bouquet of dandelions from a chubby hand. The best gifts are valued not in money but in love.

 

Zechariah understood that. We hear it in his prophetic song as he praised God for giving him and his wife Elizabeth their son John when they were well past their childbearing years (Luke 1:67-79). Zechariah rejoiced because John was to be a prophet who would proclaim God's greatest gift to all people-the coming Messiah: "Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us" (LuKE 1:78 NLT). Those words point to a gift given with so much love that it will even "shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death: (1:79).

 

The sweetest gift we can receive is God's tender mercy-the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus. That gift cost Him dearly at the cross, but He offered it freely out of His deep love fro us.

-James Banks

 

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