When I first saw the twisted Christmas tree, I wished Grandpa were alive to fix it. He could make any tree beautiful. No matter how bad it looked when we gave it to him, it was beautiful when he gave it back.
He would get out his saws and clippers and begin cutting and shaping. When he was done, the tree looked as if it had been grown in a greenhouse where a caring gardener had watered, pruned, and protected it from storms, drought, and nasty bugs.
Then Grandpa would turn the tree over to the rest of the family to finish the job. We added lights, ornaments, and garland, and the imperfect tree was ready for a perfect celebration. What a transformation!
Life is like that crooked tree. Each of us comes to God bent and misshapen from the effects of sin. But when we put our faith in Christ as Savior, God lovingly begins His work in us, transforming us from the inside out (Philippians 1:6). Then He puts us into the care of His family, the church, and they continue His work by adding the lights of truth (Ephesians 4:15), the ornaments of encouragement (2 Timothy 4:2), and the garlands of love (1 Peter 4:8). What teamwork!
The message of Grandpa’s tree is this: Under God’s loving care, a life marred by sin can become beautiful! —JULIE ACKERMAN LINK
What sin has twisted, God’s grace can straighten.
PHILLIPIANS 1:1-11 NKJV – Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
EPHESIANS 4:15 NKJV – but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
2 TIMOTHY 4:2 NKJV – Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
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