Advent Day 1. The Gift of Every Spiritual Blessing.

December 1st

Your best gift?

December, Christmas and gifts… they go hand in hand don’t they?  Do you remember the best gift you’ve ever received?  How about the worst gift?

Sometimes it’s a matter of perspective.  My sister tells the story of a gift she and her husband gave to each other one year.  Gutters.  Yep, gutters.  You might not think that’s a very romantic gift but for this newly married couple building their first home, rain gutters were an extravagant luxury.  So it was a delightful welcomed gift for each!

So, there are things we want and things we need.  I believe there are three basic categories of “needs” that we all have:

Physical needs:  food, water, a roof over our head, clothes on our backs, tangible things.

Emotional needs: happiness, peace, tranquility. Those are easy to identify. 

But this third one is sometimes harder to grasp: spiritual needs.  What are spiritual needs that we have? 

One definition is from a man named Howard Clinebell.  He is a clinical psychologist and a university PhD.  He says we all have at least seven spiritual needs in our core.  The first is this:  “All people need to experience regularly the healing and empowerment of love – from others, from self, and from God.” [1]  Love!

Paul says right off the bat, in Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 3 that Jesus “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”  Jesus is the source of spiritual blessings!  It makes sense to me that even the worldly scientist says that spiritual blessing is love, because we know that 1st John 4:8 says that “God is love.” Jesus is the One who gives us the greatest gift we can have… every spiritual blessing… Love!

You know, I can live without physical needs… like a house or food, for while anyway.   I can survive without emotional needs, I don’t have to be happy.  But, I would say that none of us can fully live the lives that God has for us without embracing the unlimited spiritual need of love — provided by the grace-filled hands of Jesus.

And that gets us back to the Greatest Gifts.  John 3:16 says that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.” 

Open your hands and receive the first gift of the Season, the Gift of Love, the Gift of Every Spiritual Blessing!

 

God, thank you for the Gift of every spiritual blessing.  Let me receive it with joy. Let me receive Your Love this Season.  And let me give joy and love to others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


[1] Clinebell, H.J. (1992). Well Being: A Personal Plan for Exploring and Enriching the Seven Dimensions of Life: Mind, Body, Spirit, Love Work, Play, the World. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

(c) 2011 Rich Ronald

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One response to “Advent Day 1. The Gift of Every Spiritual Blessing.

  1. The best Christmas present I ever got? A black-and-white pony. No kidding. Well … she arrived in the summer, but it sure seemed Christmas. Of all the Christmas gifts I’ve received over the years, why treasure that one in particular? Because she and I had an almost instant bond; we became companions, each showing awareness, maybe even affection, for the other in our own ways.

    But it’s a huge leap between simple companionship and the total love of God Himself.

    It’s hard to get my mind around the immensity of God’s love for us, for me. Would any of us readily sacrifice our own child no matter what the reason? Would any person even consider it, even for a moment? Probably not.

    Yet, God actually planned to put His Son on earth, first to minister to us, then to die for our sins. But that was simply the beginning of Jesus’ love for us, wasn’t it? Isn’t that superb?

    I doubt that any of us can really understand His love for us, because it’s just so immense. For our part, our inability to understand the immensity of His love usually sends us straight to our most favored tactic — asking “why?” I’ve finally realized that I’m never going to be satisfied with any answer to that question.

    So, instead, I’m focusing on the “how” of His love. How does He show His love for me, for us? Once I ask that, my spiritual antenna are tuned to the right station. Once I ask “how?,” I become open to recognizing His Spirit’s movement in my life. Wow! Now, THERE’S a gift!

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