Unwrap Your Best Gift Ever in 2018

Christmas 2017 has come and gone, new holiday memories have been made, gifts have been unwrapped and (hopefully) enjoyed, homemade goodies savored (Grandpa Pipkin’s Sugar Cookies and German Chocolate Cake … have mercy!), and a brand-new calendar year is upon us.

Where in the world did 2017 go? 

Today you may be looking back on the past year and experiencing a sense of accomplishment over kept resolutions (goals achieved).

Or you might be looking back with a mixture of angst and regret concerning flopped intentions (unmet goals).

I suspect most visionaries (goal setters) are likely experiencing a combination of all of the above. After all, no one can plan their year and achieve their goals perfectly.

We live in a fallen world where we don’t have the full picture of what lies ahead. A world where life beyond our control happens to us while we are busy making other plans.

As I look back on 2017, a lot of what I believed God wanted to accomplish through my life happened (launching this blog and publishing my first book). And that felt great!

But some of it didn’t. And that’s okay. “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Prov. 16:9 NASB).

Even the apostle Paul, who was taught by Christ Himself, didn’t have all the details of his life and ministry laid out perfectly for him (Gal. 1:12). Some of his plans worked out and some of them didn’t (Acts 16:6-7; Rom. 1:13).

For the most part my goals for 2017 revolved around three simple things: unwrapping, enjoying, and sharing the best Gift I have ever received. The gift of Jesus Himself. (Check out my last post, “Jesus – Best Gift Ever!”)

And now, as I look forward to His plans for my life in the New Year, they too will revolve around unwrapping, enjoying, and sharing the Best Gift Ever.

In today’s post, I’m going to share with you how you can begin to unwrap your Best Gift Ever (if you have received Him) in the New Year.

The sole purpose of unwrapping a gift is to find out what is hidden underneath all of the ribbons, bows, and paper. Until you unwrap it, you don’t know what you have.

I received the Best Gift Ever after hearing the best news ever right before my tenth birthday in 1974.

But I didn’t even begin to unwrap, enjoy, and share Him with others until 1997.

Can you imagine what it would be like to receive the one Gift that held the key to your true fulfillment—your ultimate happiness—and never even know what you have?

Tragic.

For twenty-three years, all I understood about asking Jesus into my heart was that He was my get-out-of-Hell-free card.

But even then, I didn’t have full assurance that I would end up in Heaven. Because I tied my salvation to my behavior (which, by the way, was far less than stellar).

Because my Best Gift Ever remained hidden for over two decades, I looked to everything else in this world—marriage, children, personal and career accomplishments, the latest diets, makeup, and fashions, accolades from others, and so on to experience true fulfillment and happiness.

And guess what? None of the above delivered.

All those wasted years of not unwrapping, enjoying, and sharing my Best Gift Ever is a large part of what fuels my passion for teaching others about the intimacy they can enjoy with Christ through understanding their one-and-only flawless identity in Him.

I’m so thankful that God doesn’t waste anything! Even the lost years.

Are you ready to unwrap your Best Gift Ever? Are you ready to see what’s inside?

Better yet, do you realize your Best Gift Ever—the Spirit of Christ Jesus—lives inside you 24/7/365, without interruption?

What’s more, you now live inside Him 24/7/365, without interruption.

At the same time that Jesus filled your heart with new life, you were sealed inside His heart—His Holy Spirit—forever (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:14; 4:30).

And He promises never to leave you nor forsake you (John 10:28; Heb. 13:5). For Him to leave you, He would have to disown Himself (2 Tim. 2:13). Not.Going.To.Happen.

Your spirit and His Spirit became one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). Him in you and you in Him (John 14:20). It’s a done deal.

The revelation of “me in Christ” changed everything for me. Let me explain.

I (kind of) understood that Jesus (His Spirit) lived in my heart. And I viewed Him as being the only “good thing” in me. The rest needed a lot of work! (Exhausting.)

But then I began to understand that who I am eternally is a spirit who lives inside my body and soul—where I do my Monday-through-Sunday living (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12).

And when I believed into Jesus, my spirit (who I am eternally) was totally immersed into His Spirit.

When that happened, a flawless fusion took place. And who I am in Christ right now is who I will forever be in Him.

In other words, I cannot mess this up!

That’s when I really began to experience rest. Real rest in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever received a multi-purpose gift? A gift that has so many features to it, you could spend the rest of your life finding out all that it can do and then still only accessing and enjoying a fraction of its benefits?

The gift of Christ’s life in you and you in Him is the most multi-faceted Gift you will ever receive!

One of my favorite, power-packed Scriptures about what Christians have as a result of being in Christ is First Corinthians 1:30. In fact, it is so important to understand, it is my blog’s signature verse:

By His [Father God’s] doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.

Let’s unwrap what we have in Christ Jesus through this single verse.

Christ Jesus is my wisdom: As I look to His Spirit within me and His written Word, I depend on Him to make His wisdom and guidance—His direction for my life—known to me (Ps. 147:5; Rom. 11:33; 16:27). He does this by uploading His wisdom and direction into my mind and confirming them by His Spirit.

Christ Jesus is my righteousness: I can never be more righteous than I am right now. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 1:17; 2 Cor. 5:21). I don’t have to work at being right with God because I am already as righteous as I’ll ever be through faith in His Son. When I believe and realize that Jesus is my righteousness, righteousness is expressed through my daily living.

Christ Jesus is my sanctification: Sanctification means “made holy.” I (my eternal spirit) have already been made holy through being immersed into Christ’s Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16-17). And that holiness is expressed through my daily living as I acknowledge and meditate on the truth that I am already sanctified (made holy) in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14).

Christ Jesus is my redemption: Imagine that you could access Jesus’ redemption online (we do almost everything else online!). So you head on over to JesusMyRedemption.com. There is only one item in the online store—ETERNAL LIFE. And its price: “You can’t afford this, no matter how much money you have or how good you are.” There is also a message on the same screen that says: “If you want to receive ETERNAL LIFE, you will have to use the redemption code: BLOODOFJESUS.” So you put your ETERNAL LIFE in the cart, type in the code, and press APPLY CODE. You get an instant confirmation that says, “Congratulations! ETERNAL LIFE has been downloaded into your hard drive (your spirit) with a LIFETIME GUARANTEE. You will never have shop for ETERNAL LIFE again. The blood of Jesus paid it all. Oh, and that’s not all! With your redemption, you get these added bonuses: Forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), freedom from the law’s curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin’s bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Dear reader, if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, then He is your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification, and redemption. He is everything you need for life and godliness! (2 Pet. 1:3 NASB).

That is the Best News Ever about the Best Gift Ever!

In today’s post, I shared with you how you can begin to unwrap your Best Gift Ever in the New Year.

There’s no way you can even begin to enjoy a gift without first unwrapping it.

In a sense, you could spend the rest of your days on planet earth unwrapping your Best Gift Ever (finding out who you are and what you have in Christ Jesus).

But the Best Gift Ever is also meant to be enjoyed and shared with others.

In six weeks, I will continue this “Best Gift Ever” series of posts where I will share with you ways that you can savor—take great pleasure in—your Best Gift Ever and ways that you can share your Best Gift Ever in the New Year.

Over the next five weeks, however, my posts will be devoted to the launch of my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

I will be sharing:

  1. The inspiration behind my book,
  2. The insight my book’s approach takes on the Song of Solomon,
  3. An excerpt from my book, explaining it in detail,
  4. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received and how I’ve implemented it in my life, and
  5. How I conducted this premier study over the first two chapters of the Song and what I might do differently for the next two: His Banner Over Me Is Sustaining Love (chapters 3-5) and His Banner Over Me Is Transforming Love (chapters 6-8).

I hope you’ll be able to join me as I celebrate this exciting milestone in my life!

Question: How could unwrapping your Best Gift Ever in the New Year change your life?

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact

Jesus – Best Gift Ever! Have You Received Him?

A couple of weeks ago, after my workout at Perryton CrossFit, I was walking to my car when the words on a shirt on a mannequin in the window of one of our downtown shops caught my attention. Jesus … Best Gift Ever! 

I smiled and thought, That is so true! He IS the best gift ever! (What a blessing to live in a town where business owners can display their faith in store windows without repercussions.)

And ever since then, He keeps reminding me of those four Gospel-exuding, truth-telling words.

Jesus.Best.Gift.Ever!

In today’s post, I want to zoom in on each word to highlight the eternal preciousness of this power-packed statement of truth.

JESUS – Father God’s answer to reunite mankind to Himself. When Adam and Eve chose independence from God in the garden of Eden, it was a tragic divorce. A spiritual separation from the life of God. A spiritual death. But God had a contingency plan. He loved the world so much, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, into this world to pay the penalty for our separation from Him. And now, everyone who believes in (into) Jesus—whose spirit is united with His Spirit—is reunited to Father God through His life. Everyone who believes into Jesus has eternal life. Jesus is Eternal Life. (Gen. 3; John 3:16; Eph. 2:1-101 Cor. 6:171 John 5:11-13).

BEST – Let’s not pass over this super adjective so quickly that we fail to savor its meaning: perfect, most excellent, finest, matchless, second to none, beyond compare, unsurpassed, supreme, unequaled, greatest, unparalleled, highest, ultimate. All of these descriptive words magnify the truth that there is no gift greater than the gift of Jesus’ life—Eternal Life Himself—dwelling within the human heart 24/7/365.

GIFT – We Christians often have a knack for forgetting the meaning of the word gift through erroneously thinking we can somehow try to pay God back for the life of His Son within us. Dictionary.com defines gift:  “Something given voluntarily without the expectation of payment in return; something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned.” God, in His omniscience, knew that mankind could never be good or righteous enough to merit being joined to Himself. The life of His Son is the Perfect Gift—the most pure and exorbitant Gift—given to everyone who believes into Him.

Let’s look at some Scriptures which speak of this indescribable gift.

  • “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water'” (John 4:10 NASB).
  • “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'” (Acts 2:38 NASB).
  • “Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!'” (Acts 8:20 NASB).
  • “Therefore if God gave to them same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:17 NASB).
  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23 NASB).
  • “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15 NASB).
  • “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8 NASB).

If you are a Christian (Christ lives in you), I pray you are convinced that His life within you is a Gift—something that you could never earn or pay for—the life-giving Gift that keeps on giving—the Gift that is unreturnable. You are sealed in Him and He is sealed in you forever!  (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).

EVER – In order to highlight this adverb, let’s use the synonyms for ever in our focal sentence:

  • Jesus – the best gift at all times.
  • Jesus – the best gift always.
  • Jesus – the best gift at any time.
  • Jesus – the best gift on every occasion.
  • Jesus – the best gift without exception.
  • Jesus – the best gift every time.
  • Jesus – the best gift forever!

Dear reader, I hope you have enjoyed today’s post highlighting the best gift ever—the eternal life of Christ dwelling within the human heart.

If you have never personally received this Gift and would like to, there’s no time like the present! (Pun intended.) Pray this simple prayer:

God, I realize that I am a walking dead person, separated from the eternal life of Your Son. This won’t do! I see You offering me the Gift of His Life right now and I reach out receive Him into my heart forever. Thank You, Father God, for this indescribable Gift! In Christ’s Name, I pray, Amen! 

 

If you received the Gift of Christ’s eternal life through praying this prayer, I would love to celebrate with you! Please let me know by commenting below or e-mailing me.

Now, I can’t help but wonder: Do you have loved ones who have never received the best Gift ever? Do you have Facebook friends and family who are walking dead people?

If you answered yes to either or both questions, what’s keeping you from sharing the best Gift ever with them during the greatest, gift-giving season of the year?

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact

Assurance in the Christmas Season

Today's guest post by Alex Lomangino, missionary to Vancouver, British Columbia

I hope you enjoy today’s guest post by my nephew Alex Lomangino, where he shares his heart for the lost in Vancouver, British Columbia, his honest struggles about the Christmas season, and how God ministers to him in those struggles.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

My life changed radically ten years ago when I made Jesus the king of my life. As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, every bit of long-term trajectory I had planned for myself flew out the window.

Honestly, I became less concerned with any dream of personal success or wealth and more concerned with what it means for me to serve Jesus. Instead of doing a traditional degree track in University, I elected to enter a five-year B.A./M.Div. program at Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City, MO.

During my time at Midwestern I learned of the massive amount of Gospel need our neighbors to the North have. Particularly, in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Vancouver metro area is home to nearly 3.5 million people. Close to fifty percent of these people claim no religious affiliation whatsoever. Forty-seven percent hold to philosophies, perspectives, or faiths from around the world. Sadly, only three percent would call themselves a Christian and have a life-giving relationship with Jesus.

God used the stats and two vision trips to break my heart for this city I now call home. I moved to Vancouver in May of 2017 to work with the North American Mission Board as a missionary and church planter in training.

Currently, I work with the Transformation City Church Network. Our vision is to make disciples of Jesus, and see churches planted in every neighborhood in the Vancouver Metro area.

 

ASSURANCE IN THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

Skepticism has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Anyone who knows me well has surely heard the unnecessary amount of questioning from me.

My skepticism is often exasperated by circumstances and stressors.

Unfortunately, the holiday season can be one of those stressors for me. To be frank, the holiday season wears me out.

Here in the West, we repent of our day of Thanksgiving (please note my sarcasm) with a day of materialism and excessive spending. After that, we start a month long sprint through the Christmas season.

Growing up, I was often told by various people that the Christmas season is supposed to be marked by thankfulness and celebration of God’s provision for sinful man in Jesus’ incarnation.

Instead, I saw what seemed to be a season in which people do the contrast: being stressed, selfish, or downcast in attempts to please others, make themselves happy, etc.

Naturally, this led me to question everything I heard people telling me about the Christmas season and its meaning. More often than not, there seemed to be more conflict than synergy with these explanations.

Honestly, in the past, this led me to doubt the validity of Jesus’s coming.

The place God leads me to gain assurance in times of doubt is Luke 1:1-4:

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught” (English Standard Version).

This is Luke’s short introduction to his full Gospel account. We can see that he’s writing to a person named Theophilus, and his purpose is to help give Theophilus “certainty of the things {he had} been taught.”

From there Luke begins the extended narrative about the birth of Jesus (Luke 1-2:22). Praise God that I can have the same certainty Luke intended for Theophilus to have.

In the midst of my doubt, I can have full assurance of the things I have been taught concerning Jesus. By reading the Scriptures, God gives me assurance of the reality that Jesus took the initiative to come to earth, as a baby, in the mystery of the incarnation we celebrate at Christmas.

I can have full assurance of Jesus’ purpose for coming, which was to reconcile wayward and sinful people to Himself.

I can have full assurance of His resurrection and His desire for people to be in a relationship with Him. I can have the assurance that the Gospel message is indeed true.

Christian, if you find yourself struggling with doubt or stress this Christmas season, please take heart. It does not matter if you’re experiencing stress while preparing to visit family, or if you find yourself in bouts of questioning motivation or truth, as I do.

We can have certainty and assurance that the Christmas story is true. We can rest in the truth of Jesus taking the initiative to come to earth with the goal of reconciling sinful and wayward people to Himself.

We gain this certainty as we study and meditate on the truth of the Bible. It does not return void and by His Spirit, you will find certainty in His truth.

I pray that this season you find hope and peace in the unfailing Word of God.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV).

 

http://www.transformationcity.ca

https://www.namb.net/send-cities/vancouver

https://missionaries.namb.net/full/alexander-lomangino