The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, October 31, 2023, was written by Claudia Marianela Vicioso Melo of Dominican Republic.
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:1-5 NRSV
We all enjoy receiving gifts, especially those given to us by our loved ones. If the gift is particularly to our liking, we may enjoy it for a long time before inevitably setting it aside. Or we may immediately store it away or forget it among other material possessions. However, gifts from God are ever-present and available. God shows us unfailing love through the gifts of life, family and friends, and an extraordinary creation. Best of all is the gift of eternal life described in John 3:16: "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." God's gifts cannot be purchased; they are gifts of love far beyond our human capacity to comprehend. They reveal the magnitude of God's love for us. Let us cherish these gifts as an expression of our gratitude to God.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
We are on the threshold of the holiday season, a time for gathering with those we love dearly. While we might struggle to find just the right gifts for our loved ones, God has given us the best gift, the gift of salvation. Christ has built the bridge over the chasm of all our sins, offering us redemption, hope, forgiveness, peace, and joy. As we make our way through this day, let us also be aware of opportunities to share Christ's love and compassion with others.
Eternal God, your love for us is beyond our understanding. In everything we give thanks to you. Amen.