Gifts from Above

Ten years ago I received a great gift. I began to understand the gospel in a new way. I quit striving to earn God’s love and accepted the Word of God as true. I knew in my head that I was saved by grace, however I lived by a from of works. I mistakenly believing that God loved me more if I did more stuff. If I served more, or gave more, or prayed more, the God was more pleased with me. And on top of this, I felt that no matter how hard I tried I never did enough. Despite my best efforts, in may thinking, I always fell short of what God expected.

Then God broke through my incorrect thinking and began to transform my heart and mind. I started to comprehend that there was nothing I could to make God love me more, or love me less, for God is love. He sent His Son to do what I could not do. The sacrifice of Jesus was enough. He took my sin, cleansed me of all unrighteousness, clothed my in His righteousness, and adopted me as His child. 

My breakthrough verse was a phrase uttered by Jesus to His followers, “As the Father as loved Me, so have I loved you.” (John 15:9) The Spirit illuminated that passage and I saw it afresh in a larger and bolder font. As much as Jesus was loved by His Dad, that is how much He loves me. 

I am now convinced that because of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross, God not only loves me, He likes me. I am a part of His family. He lights up when I draw near to Him. The verity that God is on my team, cheering me on, and praying for me has become a game changer. I can now say with David, “This I know, that God is for me.” (Psalm 56:9)

Here are the some foundational truths that I cling to, rest on, and believe. 

1. God is Love. 

“God is love. God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:8-10)

2. Nothing can Separate us from His Love. 

“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:38-39)

3. God Doesn’t Change

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

“I am the LORD, and I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6)

For more passages to reaffirm the truths, open this PDF.

Life is Different.

Knowing these truths in my innermost being has freed me up to pursue God in a new and wonderful way. I know He smiles when I come before Him. I love Him as never before. I love His Word and could spend all day digging into the Scriptures and exploring the original language in which it was written. I love waiting on God and coming into His presence. I am tasting and seeing that God is good, all the time. Truths I had greeted from afar are now real and being experienced regularly.

This HolyDay Season

This is the season where God’s love comes to the fore in a marvelous way. God’s care and affection for each individual that He created is revealed through a humble couple, a donkey, and a baby. This event is simple and sublime. God became a baby. The divine creator became a human being.

“The time came for her baby to be born. She [Mary] gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.” (Luke 2:6-7)

“Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” (Philippians 2:6-7)

These passages coupled with John 3:16-17, paint a special picture of God’s heart. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

More Gifts

This morning I awoke to sunshine on the trees out my window. I thanked God for this gift, recognizing that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

During this Christmas season, I am seeking to remember that every gift comes from my Dad. And He packaged the greatest gift, the gift of His unconditional love and acceptance, and presented Him to us as a small baby.

“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

“Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Eternal life is another gift, as is salvation by grace. “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

This December, may our good and kind God continue to pour His love into our heart of hearts through His Good Spirit. (Romans 5:5 And may we each taste and “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19)

Thank You Jude,

Following my daily Bible reading schedule this week I read Jude and was blessed by the first and last verses, “To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.” I paused and reflected on those three words, called-beloved-kept. How blessed is this assurance. Jesus calls us, loves us, and keeps us. Thank You Father.

“To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24)

Reveling in His Gifts,


2023 Events

Minnesota Men’s Retreat, February 3-5, 2023, Jesus is coming!!

In red letters Jesus says, “where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Come meet with fellow believers and Jesus. 

We have a venue for a first time men’s weekend retreat in Stewartville, MN. Register or learn more here.

Family Devotions Summit, March 11, 2023 in Philadelphia, PA

This will be a hands-on seminar to equip parents to lead family worship in their home. You may sign up here.


Since we are a kingdom of priests, we have been exploring the parameters of what it means to be a priestly follower of Jesus. “He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father.” (Revelation 1:6)

Here are five recent episodes.
338 Priests of God: A Pray-cation
339 Priests of God: Serving as Ministers
340 Priests of God: Offering Prayers as Incense
341 Priests of God: Seeking His Face
342 Priests of God: Being Thankful