Saturday, December 3, 2016

What Gifts Will You Give Him?

Photo by Kelvin Kay 2003
During the Christmas season and always, have you considered what gifts you will give your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? What can we possibly give Him that could even come close to showing our appreciation for the greatest Gift ever given – God’s Son given that all who trust Him may have eternal life? (John 3:16)

His story proves that you can’t judge a gift from its wrappings. God the Father’s greatest gift to the world, His only begotten Son, destined to become the perfect sacrifice for all sins, and to return again to rule the universe in glory, was presented in a very humble way. He came as a helpless baby, born into a humble family, delivered in a lowly stable (Luke 2:7).

Just as the Wise Men of Christ’s day sought Him out and aimed to give Him their very best gifts (Matthew 2: 1-12), so do wise men and women of today seek Him and consecrate to Him their lives and the very best gifts they can offer.

You don't have to shop for these gifts, because He is the source of all good things (James 1:17). You won't have to go into debt over them, because you can't outgive God, and the more you give Him, the more blessings will flow back to you (Luke 6:38). They're always exactly what He would want and a perfect fit, as long as you're following His perfect will for your life. And you don't have to worry that they'll be returned -- you can be sure they will, as He gives back to you many times over all that you entrust to Him (1 Kings 17:10-16; John 6:5-13).

God judges our gifts to Him not on their greatness, because there is nothing that He needs from us. Anything we have is pitiful compared with His infinite wealth (Psalm 50: 7-12), and all that we have came from Him in the first place (James 1:17). Instead, He judges our motives, our willingness to trust all to Him, and the sacrificial nature of our gift (Luke 12:48; Luke 21:1-4). 

If He has blessed us with talents, material wealth, or other resources, He requires us to be a channel through whom blessings flow, because to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). But even if others do not consider us blessed in worldly terms, we can please God with our giving. When Jesus saw the poor widow throwing two mites into the treasury (Luke 21:1-4), He praised her more than all the others because she gave all that she had.

The absolute amount or greatness of the gift we give Him is not important, but what matters is how much of what we have we give back to Him. He is pleased with sacrificial giving because it shows our trust in Him, our faith that He will give back to us in abundance.

A sinful woman broke open a costly alabaster box containing precious ointment – possibly her inheritance or dowry -- that she used to anoint His Head. Jesus promised that this lavish gift would always be remembered in Scripture (Mark 14:3-9)

Elijah, prophet of God, followed God’s direction and asked a widow to give him her last morsel of food. When she did so in faith, God provided for her daily (1 Kings 17). God always honors His promises to those who trust Him in faith.

A similar story of God taking a seemingly small gift, multiplying and magnifying it to do great good, then giving back in abundance, is the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes (John 6:5), in which Jesus feeds a crowd of thousands with only a little boy’s lunch that he willingly gave. The disciples use the reasoning of men, not trusting in God’s supernatural ability to provide. 

But God wants us to demonstrate our faith – it is never a question of whether He is able, but of whether we have faith.  No one goes away hungry, and there are 12 baskets full of bread left over, which must have gone to the little boy to feed his family and no doubt his whole village.

In this season of gifts, may we always remember and thank the greatest Giver and Gift of all time. The best gift you could possibly give to anyone on your gift list is to share the Gospel with them! You can give it freely to everyone without taxing your budget; one size fits all; and they’ll never need to return or exchange it. Christ – the perfect Gift -- is truly All that anyone needs!

May we give Him what He has given us – our body, mind and spirit -- as a living sacrifice to His glory! 

© 2012 Laurie Collett (reposted from the archives)

Womanhood With Purpose
Adorned From Above
No Ordinary Blog Hop

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Godly Legacy: Fearing God, Worshipping Him, Obeying Him

As we have seen in previous posts, King David set a Godly example for his son Solomon to follow as a believer in God, as a wise man, and as a ruler over God’s people. Despite David’s sins, beginning with idleness, then snowballing into lust, adultery, and deception, and culminating with murder (2 Samuel 11), he was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), showing genuine repentance and asking God to cleanse him of his sins (Psalm 51:7-17). If God could forgive and use David so powerfully, there is hope for every one of us!

During his reign, David defended God’s chosen people against her enemies, honored God in his daily walk, and provided Solomon with what he needed to build God’s temple, including precious metals, building materials, and semiprecious stones. His example inspired similar gifts, offerings and service for God’s house from the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and the rulers of the king's work (1 Chronicles 29:1-8).

Moved by the willingness of his people to serve God, David blessed, praised and thanked God for His greatness, abundant provision, and power. He recognized that he and his people were strangers, sojourners, and mortal before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (1 Chronicles 29:9-16). Even though the Israelites were God’s chosen people, they had to be saved through faith before God could call them His friends, for faith is the common theme underlying salvation through all periods of Biblical history (Hebrews 11:6).

Obedience is the outward sign of faith, which is why “trust and obey” go hand in hand (1 Samuel 15:22; John 14:15,21; 15:10). As a missionary preached a few days ago at our church, when Jesus tells you to do something, just do it! (John 2:5). David prayed that his people would always be willing to serve God, that they would prepare their hearts to receive Him, and that Solomon would have a perfect heart, to keep God’s commandments, testimonies, and statutes; to do all that God would have him do, and to build the palace (1 Chronicles 29:17-19).

Again following David’s lead, the people prayed to God, worshipped Him, and offered Him burnt offerings and drink offerings, in addition to the material sacrifices that they donated to build His house. They celebrated the transition in leadership from David to Solomon by joyfully feasting before the Lord, a second time making Solomon to be king, and anointing Solomon to the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest. As Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king, all the princes, the mighty men, and all David’s sons obeyed the new King Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:20-24).

David’s shortcomings prove that he is human and a sinner like all others (Romans 3:23) and that the Bible is true, rather than glossing over weaknesses of heroes of the faith (Hebrews 11). Despite David’s sins, he left a Godly legacy for Solomon, his nation, and for all of us to learn from by reading God’s Word. God rewarded David’s faithfulness by answering his prayers for Solomon.

The Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel. Of the forty years that David had reigned over Israel, seven years (the number of perfection or completion) were in Hebron, and thirty and three years in Jerusalem. David’s reign, marked by longevity, riches, and honor, was recorded in the books of Samuel the seer (wise man or sage), Nathan the prophet, and Gad the seer (1 Chronicles 29:25-30).

Even if we are not rulers or in positions of power or leadership, may we be like David, good stewards over what the Lord has entrusted to us. Once we realize that we are sinners saved by God’s grace through our faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)  in the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), He immediately blesses us with forgiveness of sins (1 John 1:9), eternal life (John 3:16), and abundant life (John 10:10). May we share Him with our families (Acts 11:14; 16:31) so that they too accept God’s freely given gift of salvation!

Our inheritance as children of God (1 John 3:1), joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and part of His bride (Revelation 21:2) includes opportunities to serve Him as His stewards (1 Corinthians 4:2), fellow-workers, and ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). May we be an example of faithfulness, obedience, and honoring God to our children, families and those who come behind us. May we always remember to thank, praise and worship God for His abundant blessings to us, our family, and our nation!

© 2016 Laurie Collett
Womanhood With Purpose
Adorned From Above
No Ordinary Blog Hop