Words from the Heart for Wednesday December 28th, 2016

Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:2 (NRIV)

A Life of Love

Some people use the expression “What would Jesus do?” as a way of guiding their decisions. Imitating Jesus, however is not merely thinking about what He would do, but also having the attitude He had – a heart of love. Are your actions motivated from a sense of duty or a sense of love? Pray that the Lord would fill your heart with His love.

Listen to Words from the Heart

Devotion

Ayesha Curry and her NBA superstar husband Stephen Curry call California home, but her exposure to ethnically diverse foods while growing up in Canada helped fuel her lifelong love of cooking. In her new cookbook “The Seasoned Life” Curry recounts her early childhood years in Markham, ON, just north of Toronto, where she would watch her babysitter make Trinidadian curry and roti for clients in her mom’s basement salon. As a child of Jamaican, Chinese, Polish and African-American heritage — referred to as “The United Nations” by her classmates — Curry felt right at home with the expansive array of culinary options on her doorstep, including neighbourhood eateries featuring Indian, Ethiopian and Greek cuisines. The mashup of culinary influences is threaded throughout “The Seasoned Life.” In addition to light-hearted stories and photos, the book showcases recipes influenced by Curry’s cultural upbringing.

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When the Magi arrived in Bethlehem some two years after Jesus was born, one of the gifts they brought was frankincense. Frankincense is derived from the gummy sap of the Boswellia tree when the bark is cut off. The leaking sap is allowed to dry and is then scraped off the tree in pear shaped droplets. It is extremely fragrant and when burned it gives off a sweet citrusy scent. Among other things, it was used in religious ceremonies, and was a perfect gift for the baby Jesus. In Ephesians 5:2 Paul writes “Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.” Paul paints a beautiful picture here of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross and says that Jesus was a sweet-smelling offering to God. The gift of frankincense by the Magi was prophetic. It was a picture of what Jesus would offer by his death on a tree, to use Biblical imagery. And in that gift we see the full extent of Jesus’ love. To those who watched Jesus’ death, it was a hideous injustice. But to those watching from heaven, it was a sweet smelling offering and sacrifice. By His death on the Cross Jesus has drawn millions of people into His Kingdom. Each proves the success of His mission and each transformed life is a praise offering to God. Including you.

These have been words from the heart.
Bob Beasley