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Christmas is that time of the year when family and friends come together with plans to give the Gift of life and gifts of love. Indeed, there are many gifts that are given on Christmas day, and throughout the holiday season.  However, there is only one Gift that keeps on giving, and that Gift is Jesus the Christ—the everlasting Gift of life—for He is always there for us by way of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

Now, even though the Word of God and the indwelling/infilling of the Holy Spirit are more than enough to sustain every believer, we are not here on this Earth just to satisfy our own physical and spiritual needs.  As long as sin is in the world, there will be believers who need to be encouraged, enlightened, empowered, and strengthened in their faith and their walk with the Lord—not to mention the countless number of unsaved individuals who must be evangelized.

Therefore, we must know that our Practical Sanctification means that the Holy Spirit is moving us to do useful acts of love that demonstrate who we are in the Lord. To this end, God uses all of His believers to encourage one another toward making better use of the Holy Spirit’s resources that are available for believers. Consequently, it should stand to reason that we must be in fellowship with other Christians, and that before we can minister effectively to others’ needs and before we can motivate them to make better use of their God-given resources we also must have spiritual mentors in our lives.

Since our MAIN goal in uniting with other believers is to encourage one another toward spiritual maturity and toward using our spiritual resources, then Holy Spirit-led believers also should use their churchs fellowship periods specifically for ministering to congregants’ natural and spiritual needs. However, before believers can motivate others to love and to do good deeds, they must make certain that they are faithfully consistent in their own spiritual lives!

Therefore, our spiritual growth, which our Practical Sanctification achieves, must not be hindered by our individual soul’s deficiencies. In other words, before we can minister effectively to others (Christians and unbelievers), we first must be able to demonstrate the moral fiber that is in agreement with Jesus the Christ’s characteristics! If we are faithful believers who truly have Christ-like characteristics that we steadily manifest, then we will be able to provide  honest answers to the following questions:

Are you holding tightly to the hope that you claim to have, without wavering? Is your hope in Jesus the Christ? Are you growing in God’s Holy Spirit? Are you uniting with other believers?  Are you ministering to other believers? AMEN.

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope that we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (Hebrews 10:23-24, NLT).

Merry Christmas 2009 & Happy New Year 2010