Saturday, September 5, 2020
Is it really yours? The gift that is...
“Freely you have received, freely give.”
There is no room for misers in God's kingdom. When we begin to struggle in giving what we have to others, we have forgotten where we received our possessions. Every good thing we have ever received has come from God (James 1:17). All that we have acquired has been dependent upon His grace (1 Cor. 4:7). Job accurately summarized our condition: “Naked I came from my mother's womb, / And naked shall I return there. / The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; / Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
We easily assume a sense of ownership of our possessions, as if they were things we earned ourselves, thereby giving us a right to them. Jesus reminds us to be prepared to give our possessions as freely and joyfully as we received them. It should be a pleasure for us to give what we have to others (2 Cor. 9:7). We ought to be a conduit through whom the Lord can pour His blessings, knowing we will disperse them to everyone around us. Sometimes we claim we are trying to be good stewards of our resources when actually we are being selfish.
If you struggle to give freely to others, you have become more attached to the gift than to the Giver. The account of the rich young ruler shows the tragedy of becoming too attached to worldly treasures (Luke 8:18–24). Meditate on all that your Lord has given to you (John 3:16). Resolve to express your gratitude to Him through your giving. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Giving certainly is better than receiving. For a great many people, Christmas and birthdays are the best real life examples of this.
In Scripture, it was The Lord Jesus who gave of Himself from the very beginning. He had given Adam His image and likeness. He gave him the breath of life. He gave him food to eat. He gave him a perfect relationship with God. Nobody ever started out life on such a good footing. Ever.
To provide the way to cure the sinful condition of mankind Christ had to leave Heaven, leave His Father, come to Earth, live a sinless life. Then to be tortured and die nailed to a cross to pay the price for sin for all mankind. Perfection had to put on imperfection.
So if Jesus did this, why do people need to come to Christ to be saved? He made the way by becoming the way. But every single person must choose to want it.
Every single person who ever lived will spend eternity in one of two places. Heaven or Hell. Choice to live for Jesus or to live for self is what is before every single person who has ever lived. Choice is as much a part of giving as is recieving.
You can choose a gift, the recipient chooses to either like it or reject it.
In our household we aren't without possessions. If we can help people we do. It's the way we were raised. It is an underlying foundation of Christian teaching. Some of my longest conversations concerning giving to people is getting them to accept the gift for what it is. A gift. God gave to me and I am free to give to those in need. I work on computers as a hobby. My longest conversations with people after the work is done is that I don't charge a fee or a price. If people choose to give me something they do. If they don't, then they don't. It matters not to me. I am using the gifts God gave me to use. Many times it took less time to fix their problems than it took to talk about that one point of payment.
I love watching the look on people's faces when a gift is spot on. You look for signs of them not liking it. The greatest gift anyone can give is Salvation in Christ. To tell others of the fantastic things God has done in their lives. That He can do the same, if not more so than that in their lives too. The gift of Salvation is just that, a gift. But you still need to ask for it.
Signs are everywhere saying that Salvation is a free gift from God for all who believe. All that is required is to ask God for it. Yet many people complain that the price is too high. They would have to give up so much! So much of what? You who haven't come to Christ, realistically have nothing to compare a life with Christ with! Your whole life's experience of what makes a fun and full life is based on a view from a sin filled perspective. Not a perspective of one who's sins have been washed away. Not from a perspective of that burden being lifted that you haven't realized you have been carrying. Your view of a fun and full life is tainted by the weight of your sin. Your eyesight is compromised by sin. When you come to Christ it's the same as getting a new set of eyes. Now you will see things as they really are. Now you will get new ears to hear as you really should. Now you have the weight of sin removed from your soul and can walk as God is intending you to. There's no way to experience a Spiritual life in Christ apart from Christ. The Bible says the natural man cannot understand the things of God. Until you come to Christ, receive your free gift of Salvation, you are unable to understand the blessings that come with it.
All we who are in Christ are asking is for you, my dear reader, is to come and see for yourself. You who are struggling through this life. Who cannot escape the stress or the struggle of getting through each day. Come to Christ and see for yourself.
Nobody escapes this world alive. Everyone has died. Where you spend your eternity is determined by your choice today.