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Have you ever wanted a gift from God? You have already received the gift of life and that is a great place to start!
"For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” 1 Cor. 4:7
Many times we think of God's Great Gift to us - Jesus Christ. He is, of course, the Greatest Gift - without Him nothing else would matter - but the bottom line is: Everything we have is a gift from God. We do not originate or deserve a single thing.
The gift of life is from God. If not for Him we would not exist. Every breath we take is a gift from God. Our physical strength, mental ability, and spiritual sensitivity, are all gifts. He does not have to give us a single thing. Even the ungodly, in direct, defiant rebellion, totally depend on the gifts of God to continue their existence. As someone has said, the ungodly are like the ungrateful child who must stand on his father’s lap to slap him in the face.
Our individual personalities, characteristics, and situations in life are gifts from God. He did not have to make us the way He did, but He did. [We need to enjoy who God made us to be, but not in pride or in looking down on others who are different.] Everything we are is a gift from God.
What about character or personality flaws or difficult situations? Sin has corrupted the original gift, but God through Jesus Christ is redeeming even the worst cases. Character or personality flaws present us with the opportunity of growing closer to God as we work together to overcome them. The same is true of negative situations. Evil people may have tormented us against the will of God; however, God can take it, redeem it and give us the gift of freedom.
If the very essence of our being is a gift from God, how much more all our possessions are a gift of God. Anything we have is a gift from God or made possible by God’s gifts. In our sinful desire for independence, we don’t like the idea that we are totally dependent on God. We cannot originate gifts - everything we give to God or to each other is only passing on something that we have been given. We are to be channels of the Water of Life. We are not and never will be the Source.
Now, of course, God, in love, gives us both the freedom to abuse or develop His gifts. We can use “our” possessions in sinful ways and obtain sinful possessions or, like the faithful servant, we can increase what we are given for the glory of God. Instead of, with the Holy Spirit, conquering character and personality flaws, we can grieve the Holy Spirit by indulging or excusing them.
As we go about giving, let’s humbly keep in mind we are really only sharing a portion of what has been given to us. God loves cheerful givers because giving is in His nature and He has given so much. Within your abilities and the measure God has given you, make sure those around you are blessed.
[Side note: Many people think of tithing as giving to God. This is not strictly correct. Tithing is required and that which is required is not a gift. A person has not financially given to the Kingdom of God until he has voluntarily given more than a tithe.]