“Follow after charity [love], and desire spiritual gifts, …” – 1 Corinthians 14:1a
In meditating in God’s Word, this single verse stands out; not in the way you might be expecting. I’m not writing a message on “tongues,” or “prophets/prophecies,” and/or it’s relevance for today, I’m simply talking about GIFTS… GOD’S GIFTS. That’s it. In every capacity of quantity, quality, and measure. I’m simply going to give you the Word.
I’m coming from what I call the, “Two Principles of Gifts”:
- Gifts are given with the intention of the recipient receiving. (At least a genuine one from a “cheerful giver.”)
- Gifts are given with the expectation of stewardship by the receiver.
Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or for whatever occasion, the gift given is given with the expectation that the intended receiver would receive it. In addition to that, no one appreciates giving a gift to someone who after having received it, you find out later that the recipient wasn’t “all that appreciative” in caring for it.
Imagine if you cared for, fed, and loved a litter of puppies that once weaned, you gave one of them to someone who received it, but didn’t take care of him/her at all. It would at most be upsetting, and at very least be disheartening.
Think of how God might feel when as He is described as the “giver of life,” who gave us the best gift of all, His only Son (John 3:16), we having the opportunity, either rejected it, or received it, but eventually loosing a sense of good stewardship with His “gift of life.” (Hebrews 2:3, 10:38, & 12:25)
Understanding those very simple, yet very logical principles, there is by-far, no greater giver than God Himself!
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? – Luke 11:11-13
So God is the best giver? Yes; without a doubt! Any Christian, from any doctrinal background would agree! And He desires to give unto us that we would receive and utilize! It is undebateable that whatever the gift truly coming from God, it is with intent to empower, equip, and improve us spiritually. God’s gifts in any measure are purposeful! Not a single one is given in vain. So if we know and believe that, regardless of our theological upbringing or denominational alignment, we should always approach God with a heart that says, “Lord, WHATEVER you desire for me to have AND utilize for your glory, I WANT IT!”
The Word today is for us to “DESIRE” His gifts! Regardless of what gifts they may be, or what gifts you think may, or may not be “available” for today. Whether it be prophecy, interpretations, gifts of faith, joy, peace, temperance, …whatever it is!
What’s also great is understanding that phrase in James 1:17, “…with whom is no variableness…” meaning, God is just and righteous! The Bible tells us that He doesn’t “play favorites” (Romans 2:11)
(Note: It is to be perfectly clear that no divine gift, whatever it might be, is given to be received for selfish reasons. Unfortunately, in today’s modern Christianity, we are bombarded with this idea that we are to “name and claim” these monetary or financial “blessings.” So for sake of genuine clarification, I am not referring to these “gifts.” We know the Bible tells us not to prioritize that above spiritual blessings. (1 Timothy 6:10, Matthew 6:19-24) Regarding any gift given by God, His Word is clear: It is for serving others.)
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” – Ephesians 4:12
As said by a mightily-anointed woman of God I know (my wife), true Christianity & holy living is rooted in “selflessness,” while true worldliness & sin is rooted in “selfishness.” This couldn’t be a more accurate “measuring stick” of theological discernment.
Today, with a heart of selflessness for God and His perfect will, genuinely ask God to give you EVERYTHING He desires to give you. (Even if it may be a gift you were taught wasn’t “applicable for today.”) Remember, if it’s truly from God, it is a “GOOD GIFT.” Crucially, God does not give a “stone” if you’re asking for bread, so whatever you ask of Him, you won’t get a “stone” or “serpent” (See Matthew 7:11).
The more you study the scriptures, the more you will find that literally EVERYTHING we receive from God (divinely) is a gift! Starting with salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), all the way through our sanctified life (Ephesians 2:10). He justifies us through His grace in salvation, (Romans 3:24, Titus 3:7), and He also empowers us by His grace in sanctification. (Titus 2:11-12)
“… for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6
Lastly, like God is accurately characterized as a giver, we too are to be “givers.” Of course that is to be true of all actions or characteristics attributed to God…We are to be like Christ!
“Be followers [imitators] of me, just as I also am of Christ.” – I Corinthians 11:1
“…Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16b
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
Christ Jesus, the most precious gift, was given that we might receive life eternal, and that we would be transformed from selfish receiving/taking, to selfless giving preferring one another above ourselves. (Romans 12:10-16; Philippians 2:3)
Prayer: “Lord, I thank you for ALL your gifts you’ve given me, including the ones you wish me to have; whatever they may be, Lord, I ask that you would in your mercy and love bestow them onto me that I may be equipped by you and for you to do the work of the ministry you have called me unto.