Christmas is my favorite time of year. This year will be especially meaningful, as I’ll have the joy of spending it with my brother, his wife, and their three beautiful children, ages 6, 4, and 1. Who can resist a chance to see little loved ones’ faces light up as they discover the thrill of an exciting new toy? However, in today’s gadget-giddy world, when I shop, I am very careful to keep a second list: batteries! It seems everything needs batteries nowadays. You simply can’t pick up a box without finding that tiny print in the corner, “Batteries not included.” I can just picture the pitiful scenario: I buy the perfect toy, wrap it beautifully, child unwraps toy, squeals in delight but then the toy, attractive and filled with potential, simply cannot do what it was made to do. I didn’t supply the batteries!
When it comes to today’s toys, batteries are the equivalent of life or death. A toy may seem appealing, having all the wonderful features, bells and whistles, and certainly appears packed full of promise, but without batteries, it can do none of the things it was designed to do. We are like that toy. God created us for greatness and filled us with promise, but without batteries, we remain only an empty shell of all that we were intended to be. We’re dead, and without power. God made us that way so that we would reach out to Him who graciously desires to fill us with Power—to fill us with Himself.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:4-8, selected)
“The Spirit gives life; flesh counts for nothing…[but]…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (John 6:63; Philippians 4:13)
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