GIFT's mission is:
Transforming hearts, lives and communities by helping people receive, fan into flame and share the gift(s) of God.
The need for GIFT:
Truly a cross-denominational, 501(c)(3) ministry: GIFT has been endorsed by Archbishop (Emeritus) Elden Curtiss as "sorely needed," due to our focus on Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy; GIFT was also endorsed by Nazarene District Superintendent, Larry White.
GIFT Leadership Brings a Mosaic of Life-Transforming Faith Experiences To Fulfill Unity, Charity, Spirituality And Fraternity.
GIFT was founded by a number of Christian lay personnel: a licensed minister in the Nazarene Church who had been a Catholic Sacristan and Eucharistic Minister, who left and then returned to the Catholic Faith; and a fervent Catholic lay leader.
GIFT was launched under the guidance of Church leaders from both Catholic and Protestant denominations. GIFT can help enable unity, in that GIFT uses NIV Biblical text and has also received Imprimaturs from the Catholic Church -- making GIFT resources uniquely suitable for cross-denominational (unified) faith-building dialogues and powerful community outreach.
GIFT's key thought:
Life is an incredible GIFT from our loving God -- a GIFT that needs to be fully appreciated, earnestly reciprocated and excitedly shared in solidarity globally! For everyone's benefit. Kinda like re-gifting.
And recognizing that everything is a GIFT from our awesome Creator, we should want to know Him more and to live and love more like him -- and even transform the world with His love. So we can experience life "on earth as it is in heaven," being instruments and encouragers of His perfect will being fulfilled around the world.
(Click on the visuals below to view them full screen.)
GIFT OFFERS TRANSFORMATIONAL THOUGHTS TO LIVE BY,
INCLUDING THESE TWELVE ESSENTIAL BIBLICAL INSIGHTS:
1) According to the Document on the Laity, Co-Workers In The Vineyard of the Lord, "All of the baptized are all called to work toward the transformation of the world." In fact, Pope Francis noted in his first Palm Sunday sermon, "With Christ, we can transform ourselves and the world."
How? Social Justice Teaching says there is an "ART" to Christian living:
We should Act on the needs we see around us; Reflect on the root cause of those needs; and work to Transform those root causes with solutions.
2) We need to acknowledge God as our Creator and to live our lives loving and revering Him for all He has given us in His incredible love for us. We need to humbly acknowledge God's authority in our lives and as the Creator of the whole world, recognizing He is concerned about the wellbeing of everyone, now and for all eternity. This foundational truth is missing in many parts of our society.
We need to "Celebrate Our Creator" in the way we live our lives.
3) We need to live our lives truly transformed by God's love -- and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us -- so we can re-present Christ to a world that's so in need of God's love
4) We need to fan into flame the gift of love God has given us -- in our own life and in the life of those we know -- for our sake, for the lives around us and for the world at large.
A fervent, joyful witness to our loving God and Savior being active in our lives is so important today.
5) We need to love others selflessly, to the same extent that Jesus has loved us, per His command. (Note: it's not an optional recommendation. We need to get real serious about loving others the way God loves us.)
6) The love of God has to be manifested through us in heartfelt "pity" to address people's material, physical and spiritual needs. It's biblical.
Indeed the Bible asks, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in him?"
Interestingly, Martin Luther in his 95 Theses even admonished us indicating, "Love grows by works of love… Christians should be taught that he who sees a needy person but passes him by incurs the wrath of God..."
7) We need to accept Christ's grace and free gift of forgiveness, but we also need to live holy lives. According to the example Christ set for us, we must die to our sinfulness
8) As Christians, we need to live lives of unity -- in Christ -- which is so important to God and to our witness. In these days of increasing evil and decreasing societal affiliation with the Christian faith, we need to reassert and live out our oneness in Christ -- just as we have been commanded to do by our Lord.
Jesus prayed for our unity: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me… that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17: 20-23.
9) Regardless of our denomination, all of us Christians would do well to follow the example of Mary -- who was Holy, Humble and Obedient (H20).
We would do well to live our lives as vessels of pure love and bring Jesus, the source of life-giving water, to a thirsty and dying world.
10) We really need to care about the salvation of others, and we must help save them from living their eternity separated from God. We need to help others experience the life-giving love of Christ through the way we live our lives. We need to pray for the courage that is a gift of the Holy Spirit to live selflessly and heroically -- actively professing and witnessing to the love of Christ -- for the eternal wellbeing of others.
11) In our quest to live a Godly, impactful life, we must be willing to die to ourselves; to live sacrificial lives; to be a witness of God's amazing love; and to incur consequences on this Earth for professing our love of God -- because people need this witness, and because our real reward is in Heaven with our King, not here.
12) We need to make certain that the presence of Jesus Christ is living in us. We can do so participating in Holy Communion or Spiritual Communion. We need to know and follow His example and His Word as our instructions for life -- for our everyday life and our eternal life. He wants us to live in and through Him, He also wants us to allow Him to live in us and work through us.