He...gave gifts to men
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I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men.” Ephesians 4:1-3,7-8
I hope that you had a blessed Christmas with your family, glorifying God and reminding each other of the true meaning of Christmas. How Christ was born lowly and yet was still fully God born as a man who grew up always serving His Father and respecting his dad and mom.
Now, I want to tell you how a wonderful, useful item is made. The first step is to put it in a bath to rinse away dirt and other impurities. After that, individual fibers must be separated from one another. Next, heating and drying it seals the fibers closer and closer together, turning them gradually step-by-step into the finished product. The calender consisting of big, heavy, cast iron rollers which press it smooth and uniform in thickness. After a bit more drying, they are rolled onto a big spool or reel. The pulp, a miraculous mat of fibers from trees has become paper.
I thought of this example last night and was amazed at how much it related to the Christian life. This example can represent how God molds us and makes us more like Himself until at last we shall be perfect in heaven. Although the steps are a little out of order when relating to life, they are still similar.
God chooses us and separates us (wood fibers). Then, He puts us in a bath to rinse away the dirt and other impurities. Next, we are tried with tribulations (heated and dried) which seals us closer together. Each step brings us closer to becoming the finished product. Then, we are pressed more smooth and uniform through heavy times that make us rely on God for everything (as we should anyway). After a bit more drying, we will be a finished product when we get to heaven.
In the passage above, I want to especially dwell on how Christ was given as a gift, conquered death and gave us gifts. God gave us gifts so that we can use them to serve others as Jesus did while He was on earth. Give to others to show your love for them. We especially remember to give around Christmas, but I encourage you to remember to use the talents God has given you as often as you can. It brings glory to God when you serve others while seeking to remember that you are working for Him.
Thoughts are words to God. So guard your thoughts with vigilance. Guard against the prowler.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!