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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Love, Life, Family

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)
Jesus Christ has given Himself to us as the most valuable gift: "the ultimate gift ever". He came so that we may have life. Not only a so-so, mediocre life, but an abundant life.
Talking about 'gift', I'm quite sure there's no one who doesn't enjoy receiving a gift. But there is a higher joy, one we can experience when we give something/a gift to someone else.
I've found three most wonderful gifts that God has given to me. These three things are the most highly valued and precious things in my life. These three things are also the most beautiful gifts I can give to others.
#1 The Gift of Love:
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. (John 15:13, NKJV)
Sin caused men to be 'handicapped' in love; while God Himself is love. Because of sin men fell from the glory of God. The image of God in men is marred.
Jesus Christ restored the value and true definition of love while demonstrating it in perfection for us.
Men tend to love something or someone that has the capacity to reciprocate the love. But when I couldn't sleep soundly when our pet dog fell ill, or when without realizing it I closely observed the veterinarian when he examined our dog, I began to understand this one thing.
That I care about the health and well-being of our dog, just like I care about the health and well-being our my children. More than just a mere responsibility, I'm sure that love is the cause for this.
I am not a dog lover. I thought I was just being responsible to take a good care of our pet. But when he was sick, I learned that love is absolutely unconditional. We can love something or someone who does not have the capacity to love us back.
If we understand the God's love is the most beautiful gift in our lives, then this love we have can also be the most precious gift that we can give to others.
#2 The Gift of Life:
In an interview, Oprah Winfrey asked the late Michael Jackson, "Do you love our father?", and he answered, "I love him, but I don't know him."
Our heavenly Father loves us and He wants us to know Him and love Him as a person. For that reason Jesus came to the world so we can know the 'person' of God.
Throughout His life, Jesus Christ gave His best. He raised the dead, blessed the children, stood up for a prostitute and restored her dignity, dined with the rejects of society, etc.
What He did in His lifetime still has impacts until today. The works of salvation that He performed in His life continued to march across time and space, reaching across the ages and generations.
This is what I believe, that life is about giving the best of you to the world and about leaving a legacy.
This is what motivated me to write and publish "A Box of Chocolates". I believe that we live in this day and age, with whatever background and abilities we have, to bring impact to this world. We are not just 'passing through' this world, there are God's purpose and plans to our existence on the face of the earth.
If we are giving our best in everything in our possession, materials, talents, abilities, attention and care, then we are following the footsteps of Jesus. Finding our lives’ purpose, living it, and sharing it to the world would be the greatest gift that we can give. And wouldn't it be wonderful if our good works don't just end when our lives cease to exit? Wouldn't it be better if we succeed in leaving something that can be enjoyed by the generations to come, even long after we're gone?
#3 The Gift of Family:
We can't choose the family into which we are born. We can't choose our father, mother and siblings. When the time comes for us to start our own family, then we'll have the chance to choose. We can choose who will be our spouse (and I'm grateful to live in the time and place where I have the right to do so). Then later when we have children, we won't be able to choose who our descendants will be.
There are people whom God has entrusted in our lives, for us to have and to hold.
The people who are closest to us, whether we chose them or not, these are the people whom God has entrusted to us to honor and to love.
Family is God's gift that I value the most. My husband and children are the people who accept and love me as I am.
Mother Theresa once said that love begins in the family, love begins by the people closest to us at home.
So, if we are talking about changing the world and making it a better place to live, we should start with the closest ones: our own family.
Love extravagantly.
Enjoy life abundantly.
Never cease to cherish the people who are dearest to us.
These are the best gifts we can give to the world.

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