Tuesday, March 17, 2015

“The Giver and the Gifts"

    God's desire that we enjoy the things of life speaks of His great love for the human race He created in His own image.

   "God… giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (I Timothy 6:17).

    Our Heavenly Father could have made the world without enjoyable things, and He could have made us without capacity for pleasure.  This He did not do, however, choosing rather to create both beauty and our sensory capacity to appreciate it.  Any concept or understanding of God that does not include this wondrous grace of both gift and capacity fails to accurately grasp the Biblical definition and description of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The entrance of sin into the human race certainly distorted our ability to rightly appreciate and respond to our Lord's lovingkindness.  Our fleshly tendencies prompt us to desire that which does not bring true and lasting pleasure, but rather a momentary titilation that leads to death.  Our original forefathers partook of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, seeking the false pleasure of attempting to "be as gods" (Genesis 3:5).  This led Adam and Eve to hide from the Giver of "every good gift and every perfect gift" (Genesis 3: 10; James 1:17).  Deadly desiring ensued as the human race seeks enjoyment apart from recognition of our Benefactor, and from the true pleasures of life as given from His heart to our own.

    "Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, rejoice" (Philippians 4:4).  The Apostle Paul's doubled encouragement to rejoice speaks of our proper relationship to God and His gifts.  First, we rejoice in Him, and then we enjoy the expressions of His generosity.  Indeed, our greatest pleasure involves the living presence of Christ, as revealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  This we must decisively affirm, even as David declared, "Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy" (Psalm 43:4).  Upon this basis alone can we then properly receive the gifts He gives of "life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).  God desires our pleasure, so much so that in Christ He gives Himself to us as the essence of joy, and then, as the hymn writer so beautifully sings, "Out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again."

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
(Matthew 6:33)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ."
(Ephesians 1:3)

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