When scripture says it’s a gift…

All throughout the New Testament there are times when the speaker or writer will mention a gift, and the fact that the gift came from God was meant to grab the listener’s or reader’s attention. For example: John 4:10; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Ephesians 2:8 and 1 Peter 4:10.

In every context the listener or reader is being reminded that God is a giving God, and when he offers a gift it’s in our best interest to take it because a gift from God is a gift that we can’t get anywhere else. We can’t earn it, we can’t be good enough to deserve it, and if we’re not careful we can take it for granted, but at the same time we must remember that God will not force any of his gifts upon us.

When scripture says something is a gift we’d do well to take it to heart because when we forget this then we forget who it came from, and when we forget who it came from then we forget why it was given to begin with.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

#gift, #god, #heart

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(#122) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:8-Why “Santa Claus” Is Popular

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:8: “A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.”

“A present” is a voluntary expression of love or concern from a friend or family member. It was given in the past, but remains as a “present” reminder of those thoughts. Truly, “it is the thought that counts.” The “present” should be received with the same appreciation with which it was chosen by the giver.

Jacob, fearful of his reunion with his brother Esau, “took what came to his hand as a present for Esau his brother” (Genesis 32:13), too much to wrap (Genesis 32:14-15)! Deep in famine and later in life, Jacob, now named Israel, thought he was dealing with a powerful man in Egypt (who was really his long-lost son!), told his other sons: “Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man-a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds” (Genesis 43:11). He believed in the proverbial truth about gifts: “A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16); “Many entreat the favor of the nobility, And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts” (Proverbs 19:6). Rarely does anyone go wrong by gift-giving. The make-believe “Santa Claus” was invented because everyone likes to receive a gift. The real Jesus Christ, however, taught that “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

The “gift of God” is for everyone who lives by God’s rule: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). “As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:19). If properly considered, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Unlike the mythical “Santa Claus,” God requires our obedience to enjoy His gifts! God blesses with “His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15), but the ultimate “gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9), so Jesus requires of “every creature,” “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #gift, #gift-of-god, #god, #jesus-christ, #life, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #present, #proverbs, #santa-claus, #wisdom, #work

The Limited, Unlimited

Christmas is over and the wrapping paper is discarded. The toys are being ignored and Christmas cards are in garbage bags.

The things of this world fade with time. Man’s idols and empires are dead and false messiahs are in their graves. Money is shredded and material wealth is languishing in landfills. Everything in this world will expire because the fleshly is temporal (2 Peter 3:7-11).

If we desire a gift that will be timeless, we must turn to the spiritual for answers. It is the only thing that lasts (Matthew 25:31-34, Matthew 25:46).

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So, why is Jesus the limited, unlimited? What does He provide for us?

#faith, #forthright, #gift, #messiah, #savior

Share A Thought About Giving Gifts

Regarding gift-giving, I think this poem just about says it all:

http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2010/12/17/the-greatest-of-gifts/

#gift, #giving, #poem, #regard

A make-up kit

I was at a gift exchange about 10 years ago with some Christian friends. Each person drew a number and then each would either unwrapped a gift when it was his or her turn or took someone else’s gift, etc.). I ended up with lipstick and some related beautification products. Everyone thought it was hilarious (even me). I’m always up for a good laugh–even at my expense.

And, in case any of you are curious, no, I did not use the gift! LOL

#gift, #make-up-kit, #nudge

What spiritual freedoms? The truth makes…

What spiritual freedoms?

The truth makes us free (John 8:32):

1) Free from sin (Romans 6:17-18).
2) Free gift of righteousness (grace) leading to our justification (Romans 5:15-19).
3) Free from the law of Moses (Romans 7:1-4; Gal. 5:1-4).
4) Free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2; 1 Corinthians 7:19-22).
5) Free to be Christ’s servant (1 Corinthians 7:21-22).
6) Free to preach the gospel without charge (1 Corinthians 9:18-19).

#death, #freedom, #gift, #grace, #justify, #law, #righteousness, #sin, #spiritual

Most Useful Gift

I know this will sound like a cop out, but I cannot think of any one physical gift that was more useful than others. There are certainly some that were not useful at all… But the one most useful gift of all time is the gift of salvation that God has given to mankind. For that, I remain thankful each and every day.

#gift