The Bible teaches us that every good gift and every perfect gift comes down to us from the Father of lights (Jas 1:17). Our heavenly Father knows how to give good gifts to His adopted children (Mt 7:11; Rom 8:15, 23). Foremost of His gifts is the gift of the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13, Acts 2:38; 10:45; Rom 5:5).
The Spirit of Christ is God, giving gifts to men (Eph 4:8). These are spiritual gifts (Rom 1:11), which can only be discerned in the Spirit. For example, a Christian thanks God for His indescribable gift (2 Cor 9:15), of sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16). Those who have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit have not received the gift of God’s Son (Rom 5:15). He who does not have the Son does not have eternal life, but He who has the Son of God has received the life of God (1 Jn 5:12).
It is God’s will that determines who receives the gift of God (Mt 11:27; Jn 1:12–13; Rom 6:23), and the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Rom 11:29). He does not give the gift of salvation (Eph 2:8), only to take it away. He also does not give spiritual gifts, only to take them away.
Spiritual gifts differ according to the grace given to us (Rom 12:6). Each man has his own gift from God (1 Cor 7:7). There is a variety of gifts (1 Cor 12:4), and not all share in the same gifts (1 Cor 12:30). We do have the same Spirit manifesting the spiritual gifts in each Christian, however (1 Cor 12:4).
The purpose of spiritual gifts is for the building up of the body of Christ, in the Spirit (1 Cor 14:12). Thus, some have the gift of prophecy (preaching); others are gifted with knowledge, still others with faith. Christians are to earnestly desire spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14:1), even the greater gifts (1 Cor 12:31).
Spiritual gifts often manifest in material ways. For instance, one may have the gift of helps, and she becomes a generous financial giver to the poor and in support of the work of the ministry. We live in a needy world, and God is our Provider (Ps 34). He employs His people, by grace, to minister to others in their time of need. Paul received financial support from the Macedonians, even after he had left Philippi and served the Thessalonians.
Christians must be stirred up on a regular basis to exercise their gifts. The result will be joy in the Lord and a strengthening in the Spirit. This strength leads to further good works, prepared by God beforehand, for His people to walk in, by the Spirit. One testimony of our continuation in the Christian life is the ongoing exercise of gifts, by the will and work of the Holy Spirit (Phil 2:13).
The testimony afforded us, by the production of spiritual fruit, through the employment of gifts, has an ongoing effect, even after we die (Heb 11:4). We have received these things freely from God. We serve one another, as faithful stewards of what has been given to us by His grace (1 Pet 4:10).
Everything is from God (Rom 11:36). Grace means it comes to us, freely. So to him who does not work (Rom 4:5), grace is abounding to him with perfect provision. These things are the gift of God, which we know are always good because they are for our good.
It is a gift of God to know of this divine economy. It has been revealed to us by grace (1 Cor 2:10), as an act of grace. Grace opens our blind eyes to see what God has done for us. The natural man cannot see the works of God (1 Cor 2:14). His mind does not comprehend how gracious God is to His people. This is why the natural man curses Jesus Christ, instead of thanking God for Him. The ungrateful man does not even thank God for His providential care in every area of his life.
The spirit of gratitude is one mark of the Christian, who gives thanks to God in all things because he knows everything in his life is from God, and God is working everything in life for his good (Rom 8:28).
Jesus Christ is the life of God (Jn 14:6). In Him, we see what God has done to grant us this life, which positions us in right standing before God. In union with Christ (Rom 6:1–11), we have communion with God (Jn 17). This is the abundant life, in the Spirit, which is eternal. Fear is replaced by faith. Hopelessness is replaced with hope. Deception is replaced with truth. Aimless wandering now has a narrow way that leads to life in glory. All things are made new.
Friend, do you have all these things given to you? What is your attitude toward the innumerable gifts of God? If you are not overwhelmed by grace and filled with thanksgiving, then you need to assess your status before God.
Christian, consider the things freely given to you by God. Consider that God has revealed these things to you by His Spirit. It is a grace of God, to know the grace of God, giving everything to you for life and ministry. God knows how to give you good gifts, and He knows how to make you see the great things He has gifted to you. Your response to His grace and His gifts is your act of worship and service, today. Begin today and every day with thanksgiving for His goodness, bestowed to you now and with your eternal inheritance reserved for you in heaven. That’s some gift! Like all His gifts, it has been freely given.
August 6, 2022