Think on These Things: Bible can give us hope in winter season of grief

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Winter has arrived with its frosts and snow. The fall seemed reluctant to let winter come without giving us hope and encouragement with its magnificent colours.

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have abundant life.” (John 10:10)

Jesus came to this world to offer eternity to those who believe and trust in Him. That is the reason for the Christmas event. For God so loved this world that He gave us Jesus.

The Bible alone can give us hope when the winter season of grief and loss come our way when a loved one dies. It was not God’s plan that death should come to this planet, but Adam and Eve sinned and death has been our lot ever since.

The Bible gives us assurance that even though death is coming to all of us, there is hope. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. (Romans 6:23) This happens when Jesus comes again.

Because Jesus came the first time, we have assurance that He will come again, for the Bible tells that He is coming the second time.

Will we accept God’s gift to us, or will we receive the wages of sin? The choice is entirely ours!

God created us to be free to choose! Our eternal destiny is determined by our choice. God gave us Jesus; that is the message of Christmas. God gave us Jesus so that He could save us from our sins, and give eternal life to those who trust Him.

When God created mankind, He made him from the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life and made became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7) When a man dies, the opposite happens. The dust returns to the earth and the breath of life or, the spirit of life, returns to God who gave it and soul is no more. (Ecclesiastes 12:7) The dead know nothing until awakened by the lifegiver’s call at His return. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6)

Springtime returns with the resurrection of those who trusted and believed in Him. Salvation is all God’s work and only through His gift can anyone be saved. Obedience is the only proper response of such love. Jesus said, “If you love me then keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

I would be failing as a pastor if I did not make clear to all that we are saved “by grace through faith and it is a gift from God.” (Ephesians 2:8) But we are judged by God’s righteous law. (Exodus 20:3-17)

If we have a saving relationship with God, then we will happily be living out His life in ours.

Jesus is the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the One who invites all to come to Him and find rest. (Matthew 11:28) If we do that today, then when He comes again we will be with Him forever and ever.

That is the promise of Christmas.

Ian Cotton is the retired pastor of the Creston Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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