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Receiving the Gift of God
By Dr. Mary Craig
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all He created. (James 1.17, 18)
The Father, God, so loved the world, this cosmos, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3.16)
Jesus said, You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. (John 5.39, 40)
He said, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11.28-30)
In the OT the gifts of God included wisdom, tasks, lands, children, favor, the commandments of God, the Ark of the Testimony, rest, rain, peace from enemies, water, the priesthood, the ability to discern between good and evil, knowledge, lands and nations, intervention into the course of history, riches, wealth, honor, shepherds, judgments, warnings, vineyards, fame and praise. God also gave more, the promise of a Messiah, the promises of His covenant of peace, a heart to know Him, a future and a hope, a new spirit, one heart and one way, that people might fear God forever, for the good of them and their children after them.
As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his laboróthis is the gift of God (Ecclesiastes 5.19)
The gifts of God come mostly in promises, some of which are conditional. "Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored. And I have loved you; therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life." (Isaiah 43.4)
Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4.10, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ĎGive Me a drink,í you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.
The gift of God cannot be purchased with money. Someone tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit with money, (called Simony), and Peter said to him, Thy money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. (Acts 8.20)
So how do we receive the gift of God if it cannot be bought with money? What about buying Godís gift with our good works? Ephesians 2.8, 9 says, however, "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God and not of works, lest any man should boast." See Titus 3.4-7 also for more on this matter of buying the grace with our "works of righteousness."
John tells us how to receive the gift of God. "But as many as received Him, [Jesus] to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1.12)
It is by faith in Jesus Christ alone, and even that faith is a gift of God. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6.23) You see, the Holy Spirit regenerates the heart to repent of sin and turn in faith to Jesus as Savior and Lord. If we confess with mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved.
We are to receive the person of Jesus Christ, to believe in His name. In fact, Jesus has many names, all of which provide us with insight into who He really is. For some of the names of Jesus Christ, see The Names, Titles, and Characteristics of the Son of God.
This Jesus gives Himself for the lift of the world. This Jesus gives a new commandment, to love one another as He has loved us. Jesus gives peace, not as the world gives, His peace. Jesus gives each one according to his or her works. So what is the work of God? It is to believe.
Every good and perfect gift comes to us from God. He tells us about them in the form of promises. We are to come to Christ, that we might drink of the fountain of the water of life freely. We come in faith believing the word of the promise. We acknowledge Godís goodness and grace with thanksgiving, praise, and worship. We are to cling to Him in loyalty, celebrate and enjoy Him all our days into eternity. He gives to us freely as we bring Him His Word to perform in our hearts and lives. Faith in the promise receives the gift.
God initiates giving that He might receive you. There is a spiritual law operating in giving, and that is that one must give in order to receive. Give and you will receive, good measure, pressed down, and running over.
What do you give God? You come to Jesus Christ, believing. You give Him your life, all of you, the good, the bad, and the indifferent. You ask Him to give you eternal life as you place your trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. Thereís nothing you can do to earn or deserve it. You canít buy if from God nor will you get one over on God. You ask God even for the desire, the ability to repent and turn to Him. We sin because we are sinners, with this nature bent on being hostile to God. But God gives repentance leading people to a knowledge of the truth that they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil who has taken them captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2.25, 26) God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. (Luke 11.13)
We need but ask, seek, knock. God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. God gives a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1.7) He gives grace, mercy, and peace, not just the absence of hostility, but that shalom, that sense of well being, that healthy state of wholeness.
You come to God the Father through Jesus Christ. He is the way back to the Father, to fellowship with the Father. You come humbly, for the humble heart is given grace (James 4.6). You come with your brokenness, surrendering your will, your self, all your successes and your failures, all your hopes and dreams, all you are to the best you can. You come willing to repent of your sins, for these have kept you separated from the Source of all life and blessing. These have caused God grief and sorrow and misery. These things which God calls sin have brought you under Godís curse of death, separation from all that is holy, right, and good. But Jesus bore the curse in His own body, giving Himself for you that you might be blessed and live. (See Hebrews chapters nine and ten.)
Forgiveness of sin requires the shedding of blood. It is the blood that makes atonement with God the Father for sin. Jesus died, the just for the unjust, that He might bring you to God. Then He rose again from the dead, in triumph over devils, disease, and death. He was received by the Father to enable you to be received by the Father.
Itís all about getting back to the Father. You confess your unbelief and ask God to help you believe. You honor God that He may honor you by receiving His gracious gifts gladly and by giving to others freely as you have received so freely from God. You offer God Jesus, His Son, and your faith in Jesus, your belief that indeed, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by Him. No one.
Do not reject the gifts of God. Let the Holy Spirit have His way in your life. Let His grace be your strength. Let Him delight in you and love you. Let Him remove things from your life so as to make room for Him. Love as you have been loved by God by desiring to be loyal to Him. To the one who overcomes, Jesus gives to eat of the tree of life, the hidden manna, a white stone, and a new name. To the one who overcomes and keeps His words, Jesus gives power over the nations. He gives the morning star. To the one who is faithful unto death when tested by tribulation, He gives the crown of life. For even this, we must believe in His Name.
His name is the Faithful Amen, the Alpha and Omega, the Author and Finisher of Faith, the Captain of our salvation, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. Will you receive Him? Will you receive the Holy Spirit? Will you receive the gift of God? For in giving yourself to Jesus and receiving Jesus into yourself, you will be given every good and perfect gift that proceeds from the Father of lights. You will receive the right to become the child of God and you will receive power after that the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Jesus Christ, bearing His brand mark and sharing the testimony of yet another life brought into the light of Godís love by the gift of His grace.
© 2001 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.
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