"Our God Purpose"

Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 20 Issue 3 January 24, 2010

You and I are really blessed, we get tell the greatest story there is to tell, in our own words, with our own passion, using our own love relationship with Jesus as an example.

Ephesians 5:15-17 Be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.

I feel good when I do wise things. You’ve all seen that I married wisely.
I know many of you ask: “How did he get her?”      

I have the most wonderful job in the world. But there are nights when I climb into bed, wondering if I wasted that day. Did I take my eye off the ball? Did I throw away 24 hours?

There is not one single verse in the Bible, that says you can be a Christian and live your life any old way you want. God wants all of you. He doesn’t want 10% or even 99% of you.

Romans 6:13 Give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.
Deuteronomy 10:12 This is what the Lord your God wants you to do: respect the Lord and do what He has told you to do. Love Him. Serve the Lord your God with your whole being.

We can have our spouses and our kids, and grand kids. We can love our jobs and live for our work. We can have hobbies and be fans of our favorite sports teams. We can have money and RRSPs. It does my heart good to know that Casey and his family are in Hawaii. These are all good things. They’re things created by God. But all of them, good as they are, need to be less then the number one thing.

A guy named Peter drove home one night, and found two women in his driveway. His wife, whom he had seen and kissed good-bye just that morning, and his mom, who was visiting their house for the first time since the couple had gotten married several months earlier. This young groom sized up the situation, parked the car, got out, walked past his mom, kissed his wife, then came back and greeted his mom. First things first. A mom is a great blessing, but the wife comes first. And God even higher. 

Proverbs 3:6 In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

Proverbs 10:27 Reverence for the Lord adds hours to each day.

Have you ever had a day where you stayed very busy but didn’t get much done?

Psalm 39:6 All our busy rushing ends in nothing.

I love the Word of God, I love the Christian message. I love being a child of God. I don’t always live by the right priorities, but I have them. I know they’re true.

When we make this lifelong decision to live a life that matches God’s purpose for us, it will be an incredibly rich, satisfying, and marvelous life. 

And to take a quote from the new MacDonald’s ads - “That’s Golden”

Ephesians 2:10 We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I like how Rick Warren puts it: “You’re made to make a contribution, not just to consume. God made you to make a difference. And what matters is not how long you live, but how you live. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of your life, We’re created to serve, we’re saved to serve, we’re gifted to serve, we’re shaped to serve. We’re commanded to serve.”

The Bible teaches that if we have experienced good fortune—if we have lovely, comfortable homes, if we enjoy an abundant income, if we are blessed with natural gifts and abilities—then there is a service reason why God gave us those gifts.

Luke 12:48 From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.

Peter writes in his first epistle: Each one should use whatever gift he’s received to serve others.

God could very easily take Christians to heaven the minute we join God’s family. Instant translation. Why doesn’t God do that? Why doesn’t heaven begin immediately?

Why are we still here? Because God put us here to serve, and He leaves us here to serve.

Every single person here is a minister, not just me. In fact, because my motives are tainted by a paycheck, you saints here are the purest ministers we’ve got. 

Matthew 20:28 Your attitude must be like My own, for I did not come to be served, but to serve.

I love to look at the life of Jesus in order to learn the principles of service. First of all, serving like Jesus means being available.

Matthew 20 has a story where two blind men shouted from the sidelines: “Jesus, help us! Have mercy! Stop and give us a break!” Jesus stopped. He interrupted His schedule.

As members of “That Church” each of us needs to be willing to stop our regular schedule, to be interrupted.

Most of Jesus’ healings, the times He blessed others, were interruptions.

People saying, “Jesus, please, I know you’re turning right up here; please turn left instead. Come to my house; come help me.” In fact, one man, a Roman centurion, knew he was interrupting Jesus, knew he was cutting into the schedule of the Ruler of the universe. And said: “No, no, no, I’m not worthy. I don’t want to take Your time. Just say the word.”

Jesus was willing to be interrupted. 

Please remember this. You and I are going to live forever. We have
infinity before us. If a neighbor needs a half an hour, if the church needs you to be here 45 minutes early to help put up the chairs and tables, if someone needs your leadership skills on some committee that takes a whole evening out of your life… what is that in light of the “forever” of heaven.

We must approach our God Purpose with a grateful heart. 

One thing that can destroy a grateful heart is coveting the experience of others. I want to go on the record as saying I am thankful for each of you, I love serving you; I love being your pastor; I love the work that God has called us too. I do not wish to be anywhere else!

It is here in this place, God calls for you and I to pick a job, and then do it. “Staying at it” Paul writes in
I Corinthians 15:58 Throw yourself into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort.

Hebrews 6:10 He’ll not forget how hard you have worked for Him, how you’ve shown your love to Him by caring for others.

One last thing. You make such a difference. Just you being here today is a plus I can’t describe properly.

I want to tell you today that if you minister in any venue God offers, there will come a time, standing in that better land, when someone will come up to you and say: “Thank you. I am a life that was changed. Thank you for giving your self to the Lord.”

One by one they came, Far as the eye could see.
Each life somehow touched by your generosity.
Little things that you had done, Sacrifices made.
Unnoticed on the earth, In heaven now proclaimed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave.
Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave.

"The Coming King"

Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 20 Issue 2 January 17, 2010

Isaiah 40:1-4  Comfort you, comfort you my people, says your God. Speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry to her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.”

Now, don’t take this in the wrong way, but “what did you come here for this morning?”  I’m not trying to sound rude or unwelcoming.  It’s great you are here.  The reason I ask that question, is because Jesus once asked such a question. “What did you go out into the desert to see?” He asked.  You see, people had been going out in droves to hear the strange preacher now known as John the Baptist.  Jesus asked, “Why did you go?”

I’m not sure if any people actually responded out loud to Jesus’
question.  But we are pretty sure they wanted to see what John was all about.

John didn’t pull any strings.  He told people to repent because the King was coming.  He wanted Jesus to be able to come and do what Jesus does best, comfort people.  But the people needed to repent first.

And since we too need to get ready for the coming King, I’m preaching the same message that Isaiah and John preached thousands of years ago: The King is coming.

Ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin, God has sent His messengers to tell people to acknowledge their sinfulness and turn to God for forgiveness.  That’s what Isaiah, the prophet was trying to do.  He was trying to get his countrymen, to see that they needed God.  That they couldn’t ignore him for their entire lives and expect everything to always be alright because they offered the right sacrifices and spent some time at the temple.

God had flat-out told them, “Burnt offerings and sacrifices, I don’t desire. I just want a humble and contrite spirit.”

God didn’t want hypocrites.  But the Israelites felt that as long as they put on a good show, everything would be okay.  But everything wasn’t okay.  And God tried teaching them.  He sent prophets, but they ignored the prophets.  Some of them even killed the prophets.

God sent some difficult things into their lives: famines and invading armies.  And they turned to Him for a little while.

John the Baptist and Jesus still preached the same message Isaiah had preached hundreds of years earlier.

“Repent!” John said, “The axe is already at the root of the tree, and every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire!” cried the Lord.

But for some reason, even John’s and Jesus’ powerful preaching didn’t work.

The blind pride in human beings
can be amazing.

The Pharisees thought they knew everything they needed to know.  But when Jesus came, they rejected Him because he couldn’t possibly have been the Messiah.

God doesn’t want any of us to perish.  His heart just isn’t in sending
people to hell.

Yeah, the prophets and Jesus had some harsh words at times.  They were all “fire and brimstone” when they spoke to those who refused to humble themselves.  But even when they spoke like that, it was only because of love.

In love they tried to shake people out of their denial.

Remember how Jesus said that He came as a doctor.  That He came for sick people.

Well, at times He was the doctor saying to the patient, “Unless you change your diet, start exercising, and take this medicine, you’re going to die!”

· Jesus demands repentance because He wants to forgive. 

· Jesus wants empty hearts so that He can fill them with forgiveness, joy and hope for the future. 

· Jesus came to give the hopeless hope.

He was the most compassionate man the world has ever seen.  Think of how humbly and gently Jesus lived.  Jesus was the man who was more than eager to associate Himself with the repentant failures of this world.

He ate with the liars called tax collectors and the home-wreckers called prostitutes.
And finally, He even let himself be arrested and put to death by hypocrites.

He lived that life and died that death
so that He could give us hope.

His entire life was geared around saving those who by God’s grace, realized that they couldn’t save themselves.  He didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save the world.

That’s what your King is all about.  Our King comes to fills us with hope till our joy runs over.  Even though we continue to make messes of our lives, our King forgives us, takes us in His arms and says, “Take heart my child; you’re sins are forgiven.”

And then He promises you, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world!”

This is that King we think about today.  And this is the King who is coming back one day soon.  And when Jesus comes, the humility will be over. 

We won’t have any more Peter moments where we go into our bedrooms and weep bitterly over our sins, because our King will cure us of our disease of sin once and for all.

So we won’t have to come before
Him with empty hearts ever again
because we will always be filled
with every good thing that
God has to offer.
We will have life and we will have it to the fullest.

So, prepare your hearts to meet your King. He comes to take you from your lowly position and move you to a place of honor.  He comes to fix you.  He comes to comfort you because that’s what He does best.

The King Is Coming

The marketplace is empty,
No more traffic in the streets,
All the builders' tools are silent,
No more time to harvest wheat;
Busy housewives cease their labors,

In the courtroom no debate,
Work on earth is all suspended

As the King comes thro' the gate.

Happy faces line the hallways,

Those whose lives have been redeemed, Broken homes that He has mended,
Those from prison He has freed;
Little children and the aged
Hand in hand stand all aglow,
Who were crippled, broken, ruined,
Clad in garments white as snow.

O the King is coming, The King is coming!
I just heard the trumpets sounding,

And now His face I see;
O the King is coming, The King is coming!
Praise God, He's coming for me!

I can hear the chariots rumble,

I can see the marching throng,
The flurry of God's trumpets

Spells the end of sin and wrong:
Regal robes are now unfolding,

Heaven's grandstand's all in place,
Heaven's choir now assembled,
Start to sing "Amazing Grace!"

O the King is coming, The King is coming!
I just heard the trumpets sounding, And now His face I see;
O the King is coming, The King is coming!

Praise God, He's coming for me!

“That Church”

Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos, BC
Pulpit Series Volume 20 Issue 1 January 10, 2010

Today we will take a look at the four life statements regarding our becoming “That Church”. 
· Willing to go into their world
· Equipped with the gift of inconvenience
· Understand the true meaning of revival
· Earn the right to be heard
                                                                                               Certainly God is challenging us as individuals to be more than a “Sunday Christian”!  Without doubt, He has been trying to show us that church is more than a four walled meeting hall. And that we, as the Gathering Place, are to be more than a  religious gathering in the eyes of our community.
But what does that look like?  First there must be a willingness to go into the world around you. 
Chances are God is already tugging at you to step out for Him and change your world.  Note I said your world not the world. 
You have a world outside these walls!  Do you realize that we spend 70% of our life in what we refer to as ‘the marketplace’?
In the last 37 years in the ministry, I have discovered that fewer and fewer people are actually coming to church without a connection with that church, and that connection needs to be someone that they trust.

According to the Bible, Jesus spent little time in the temple and mega time in the marketplace.  Check it out yourself if you like.

It was in the marketplace that He connected with the people and it was in the marketplace where He healed, performed miracles and raised the dead.

We’ve historically been doing it wrong.  We’ve thought that if we can get people to come to church, Jesus will show up and they’ll get saved healed and set free.
We’d be more productive (bearing much fruit) if we’d simply take Jesus to the people.  Are you ready, let alone willing, to bring the Gospel message into our world?

I read in the Gospels that wherever Jesus showed up, on the street or in the church, crowds gathered and people were healed, saved and set free.

Each one of you has God given or God empowered gifts and abilities.  You have hobbies and skills.  If you as a believer take them into the marketplace, people will get to know you and begin to trust you and you will win the privilege of being heard.

That is the earning the right to be heard part of being “That” Church.

You earn the right to be heard by being real - warts and all!

God is calling us not to a part time, compartmentalized Christian, but rather to be about the Father’s business full time, 24/7. 

To help us get a grip on this let’s look at Matthew 25:14-30“It's also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master's investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master's money.
After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.
The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master's investment. His master commended him: Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.
The servant given one thousand said, Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.
The master was furious. 'That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this "play-it-safe" who won't go out on a limb.
Throw him out into utter darkness.'“As for these enemies of mine who petitioned against my rule, clear them out of here. I don't want to see their faces around here again.”
The key being 13b “Put this money to work until I come back”, which in the KJV is translated as “Occupy till I come”.
Each of us will have to give a                           personal account for the extent                       to which the gift we have received                 of Christ has actually been put to use.
This parable holds a very important key for us today.  It shows the challenge and the responsibility that all of us face.
Salvation is a gift.                        What have you done with it?
We dare not give into the temptation to simply wait for the Lord’s return.  To us, as to them, Jesus says, “Put what I’ve given you to work until I return” or “Occupy until I come”.
I pray 2010 will be the year this type of Christianity flows into “our world”. 
Friends, we need to step up our expectation for amazing things to happen.  
Moving from thinking outside the box to living outside the box! 
Just think what that servant felt when his master said to him “Because you’ve been trustworthy in a very small matter, I give you charge over 10 cities.”  (verse 17)
But for the one who simply kept his gift in a cloth, there was a harsh judgment.  In fact, even what he had been given was taken away.                                                         He was described as an unprofitable servant, standing empty-handed before his master.
As we look ahead to another year, I pray that we together will for the glory of God bring Christ into the marketplace.   

Be yourself and let Jesus love them through you!

John 4:39-42  Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman's witness: “He knew all about the things I did. He knows me inside and out!” They asked him to stay on, so Jesus stayed two days. A lot more people entrusted their lives to him when they heard what he had to say. They said to the woman, “We're no longer taking this on your say-so. We've heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He's the Savior of the world!”

May others be impacted by the                      consequences of our relationship                with the Lord.
The Lord wants us to take whatever He has put in our hands, as it says in the words of the parable, to “trade with” or “do business with”.  You’ve heard it said, “use it or lose it!” 
If we don’t make right choices our money, time, energies, our very lives, they will be wasted before we know what's happened.
Larry said last week that we were like a batter being mixed and that some will go to the edge of the bowl and not get mixed in.  I took that as a warning - so like a good baker I brought a spatula!  I will do my utmost best, no we will do our utmost best to ensure that not one of our fellowship is lost . 

You see, I believe that the role of a pastor is to “cause the people to inherit the land” Joshua 1:6.  I also believe that leadership should never drive the flock; they must lead by example.  And yes we need the annointing, but the anointing is a direct result of our willing obedience.  That is Revival!                                                               

The back bone of the church is ordinary people doing ordinary things.

God looks for ordinary people to do - that’s it!  And that my friends is oftentimes inconvenient. 

“Presented Faultless?”

Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 19 Issue 40 December 27, 2009

The road to heaven is pretty safe.  There is potential danger, but God is there to protect and care for us. 
I have witnessed the sad fact that believers often suffer groundless apprehension.  I hope to encourage you today in the truth that the Lord wants us to concentrate on His powerful ability to keep us.
Some people are so worried by potential danger that they lose their joy. 
Turn with me to the letter of Jude - the benediction:   “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever, Amen.”  (verses 24&25)
Isaiah 35:3-10 (Message)
“Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls, Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on His way to put things right, and redress all wrongs.”

He's on His way! He'll save you!  Blind eyes will be opened,
deaf ears unstopped, Lame men and women will leap like deer, the voiceless break into song. Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert.  Hot sands will become a cool oasis, thirsty ground a splashing fountain. Even lowly jackals will have water to drink, and barren grasslands flourish richly.

There will be a highway called the Holy Road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road. It's for God's people exclusively - impossible to get lost on this road. Not even fools can get lost on it.   No lions on this road, no dangerous wild animals - Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening. Only the redeemed will walk on it. The people God has ransomed will come back on this road.
They'll sing as they make their way home to Zion, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads, welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.”

Friends, God’s ability is much stronger than any potential danger.
He can keep you from stumbling.
If you are a true child of God, He will keep you from falling.  He says it over and over again.
John 6:39  “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I shall lose nothing.”

I Peter 1:5  “Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

I Corinthians 1:18  “Who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:6  “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.”

Psalm 145:14  “The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all those who are bowed down.” 

We are going to be presented faultless
because Jesus never stops
short of perfection.

The Savior is not going to present us dirty, barely alive.  He will keep us safe from falling and present us faultless. 
Romans 8:29&30  “For whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…whom He called, He also justified…and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
We will be glorified, faultless, without blame, presented before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, with exaltation.
Zephaniah 3:17  “He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you in His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
So don’t be afraid or worried, rather look at God’s ability to present you faultless.  When that sinks in, it will improve your quality of life and you will certainly praise God our Savior.

God, our God planned your salvation.  He worked it all out.

God’s influence, dominion and power is over all the universe, of which He is the
divine Author.

The smallest book in the Bible known as Jude, tells us about the attributes of God. 

The idea is this!  Let’s stand up and praise Him because our salvation is absolutely sure in Him.  He’ll keep us from falling.

If you trust in Jesus, this is a certain thing – God WILL keep you from falling.
Have a sense of your own weakness, but a belief in your safety.

By yourself, you cannot stand one minute, but since you’re in the Father’s hand, you can never perish and no one will be able to pluck you out of the Father’s hand.

The greatest thing you can do is to
put down your own self confidence
and trust in Jesus Christ.

Jude’s Benediction: (Message)
“But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.”

"The Twelve Days Of Christmas"

Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 19 Issue 39 December 13, 2009

During the holiday season, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is heard everywhere from shopping malls to television commercials to church functions. 

Everywhere you go, you can hear about Two Turtle Doves, Seven Swans-a-Swimming and Eleven Pipers Piping.

But what does a song about doves, hens and geese have to do with Christmas?

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” may sound silly to us, but it may have had its origins in religious symbolism, with a serious purpose.
When most people hear of “The 12 Days of Christmas”, they think of the song.  This song may have been used as a teaching tool to instruct young people in the meaning and content of the Christian faith.
Each of the items in the song represents something of religious significance.  The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help young Christians learn their faith.  The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, December 25th, the birth of Jesus and the Epiphany, January 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of    the world.
It also dates from a time of religious persecution.  It has been thought that “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, was written as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without fear of arrest.  A secret code or a learning or memory aid to the Christian faith.
The song can be taken at two levels of interpretation, the surface meaning, or the hidden meaning known only to the Christians involved.
Each element is a code word for a religious truth.
The “partridge in a pear tree” was Jesus Christ who died on a tree as a gift from God.
If you think Jesus being symbolized as a partridge in a pear tree sounds blasphemous, consider what it says in:                                             Luke 13:34 and Matthew 23:34

“Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you wouldst not have it so.”

The song goes,
“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”

The “true love” in the song refers to God Himself. 

The “me” receiving the gifts is every Christian.

So that ‘silly’ song we sing at Christmas time has more meaning than we thought.

As you listen to this message please keep in mind God, the “true love” gives these presents to us the Christian “me”. 
Here we go!
1. A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas.  Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge.  Partridges pretend to be hurt to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings.
2. Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness of God in creation and history.  God’s love letter to the world.
3. Three French Hens
Faith, Hope and Love                                                       I Corinthians 13:13
4. Four Calling Birds
The Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.  The Gospels sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ. 
5. Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or Pentateuch.  Also called the ‘Books of Moses’. 
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, which give the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in creating a people to be a light to the world.
6. Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confess God as Creator and Sustainer of the world. Genesis 1
7. Seven Swans a-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:
I Corinthians 12:8-11 Romans 12,
Ephesians 4; I Peter 4:10-11

· prophecy
· ministry
· teaching
· exhortation
· giving
· leading
· compassion

8. Eight Maids a-milking
The eight Beatitudes:  Matthew 5:3-10

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit
2. Blessed are those who mourn
3. Blessed are the meek
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
5. Blessed are the merciful
6. Blessed are the pure in heart
7. Blessed are the peacemakers
8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake

9. Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit: 
Galatians 5:22

1. Love 6. Generosity
2. Joy  7. Faithfulness
3. Peace 8. Gentleness
4. Patience 9. Self-control
5. Kindness
10. Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: Exodus 20:1-17
1. You shall have no other gods before me
2.  Do not make an idol
3. Do not take God's name in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath Day
5. Honor your father and mother
6. Do not murder
7. Do not commit adultery
8. Do not steal
9. Do not bear false witness
10. Do not covet

11. Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles: Luke 6:14-16 
Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James bar Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas bar James     
The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.
12. Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles’ Creed
1. I believe in God, the Father almighty,   
     creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was                                  
    crucified, died, and was buried.
5.   He descended into hell [the grave] and on the third day He rose again.
6.    He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 7.    He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8.    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church.
9.    I believe in the communion of saints.
10.  I believe in the forgiveness of sins
11.  I believe in the resurrection of the body
12.  I believe in life everlasting.

So, the next time you hear “The 12 Days of Christmas”, consider how this otherwise non-religious sounding song may have had its origins in the Christian faith.  Uhhh!  Now you know the rest of the story!