We’re Alive!!!

Job 34:14-15   (KJV)   14 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

Job 34.14-15 - We're AlivePraise God, He keeps us alive. We’re absolutely dependent on God for our existence. Obviously, without His Spirit, and without breath, we can’t live. Not everyone recognizes this and admits to this. We do. Life wouldn’t be possible without Him. We’re totally and gratefully indebted to Him.

The very fact that we’re alive is more than enough reasons to acknowledge God’s greatness, His love, His grace. We didn’t ask for life; He just gave it, and oh what a precious gift it is. And He hasn’t stopped blessing us. We’re not only alive, but we keep on living. Moment after moment, He gives us all that’s needed to keep us so. Blessing upon blessing—that’s what He piles up on us.

We’re blessed beyond measure. We’ve probably heard: “What we do with His gifts to us is our gift to Him.” Taking the truth from it, it’s a joy for us to always “give” Him the best gift we can. We do well with the Spirit we’ve received. We do well with our every breath. We want to live life to its best because we want to offer Him the best. He deserves nothing less. Fact is: He deserves way much than our best.

As a father, I remember how touching it was when my daughter in her younger days would show me her drawings and give them to me. Some of them were hard to figure out, but she put her best efforts into them. I have way higher standards when it comes to art, but her gifts were way more than enough for me to be completely satisfied. I was always overjoyed. Now, think about our heavenly Father Who loves us way more and Who understands us way better.

Thank You Dad. Thank You for all Your gifts. We love You.

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God-Glorifying Gifts

1 Peter 4:11   (KJV)   11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

We’re all gifted. Our extra-ordinarily gracious Father and God lavishes us with awesome gifts. He also enables us to use our gifts faithfully. This interplay of God’s amazing 1 Peter 4.11 - God-Glorifying Giftsgraciousness and our humble stewardship of His gifts result in the glorification of our Benefactor.

God knows, desires, and does what’s best for us. He chooses the kind of gifts we need. We gladly aceept the lot we’re given. No complains. The clay never questions the Potter. He Who knows everything, can do anything, and loves us most can be trusted with all we are.

We appreciate Him for being such a good and loving Father. We appreciate every gift He’s given us. And we show the sincerity of our delight and gratefulness through the way we care for and use His gifts. We don’t neglect them, misuse them, and abuse them. We give our best.

Although the influence of or pressure from the world is strong, our eyes are set: soli Deo gloria; we live for the glory of God alone. Sure, being rich and famous has a ring to it—a loud ring to many. Others go all out in using God’s gifts for their own aggrandizement. Not us; we understand that living for self-glorification is nothing compared to living for the honor or Him from Whom all our blessings flow—the greatest Being there is in existence.

Increasing Understanding

Matthew 13:12   (KJV)   12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Those of us who willingly and eagerly listen to the Lord’s teachings or His Word are given understanding, insights, and wisdom, and we keep on growing in them because the Lord continuously and generously pours them out to us.  Those who don’t want to listen Matthew 13.12 - Increasing Understandingto the Lord, more so, obey Him, whatever little understanding they have left of true spiritual matters will be taken away.

The generosity of God can’t be questioned.  His desire to bring us to the knowledge of the truth is immensely great.  That’s why He sent us His Holy Spirit to teach us all the truths we need to know.  But despite the perfection of God’s will and ways to draw us to clear comprehension of the Truth, there is sadly a significant number of people who just don’t want to do whatever needs to be done.

We don’t fully know all the reasons or motivations behind people’s refusal of Truth.  Perhaps, they can’t handle it; perhaps it’s very difficult to admit the errors of their beliefs—that they’ve been either taught erroneously, or they’ve been deceived; perhaps it’s because they want to continue in their ways that are contrary to the teachings or our Lord.  They don’t know what they’re missing.  But we know how important God’s Word is.  It’s of tremendous importance that we perceive it clearly.  And praise God, He Himself makes sure that it happens to those who truly pursue His Word.

Blessed and Wise

1 Corinthians 15:10   (KJV)   10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

We’ve all failed God. We who have turned away from our sins, we who have placed our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation, we who have waived the white flag of surrender to His Lordship are saved and have become new creations—all because of His love, mercy and 1 Corinthians 15.10 - Blessed and Wisegrace. We all need Him if we are to be who we ought to be. We can’t reach our full potential and our beautiful destinies apart from our Maker, Sustainer, and Guide.

The abundance of blessings we receive from our extremely generous Father enables us to be who we need to be and do what we need to do.  We don’t get there passively; faith without works is dead, thus, unfruitful. We can choose to make wise use of all His gifts or we can waste them. God honors our efforts. As I often state, “For every step we take, God takes a million.” That sounds like an exaggeration, yet for all we know, it may actually be very conservative.

We honor our incomparably generous Lord with our faithfulness. How faithfully or unfaithfully we use His gifts to us shows how grateful and appreciative we are to Him—or not. We are grateful—eternally grateful. We understand that His blessings will continue to flow even in paradise. That’s why despite all the seemingly unpleasant treatments we receive for being a believer, we are steadfast in our faith, and we willingly and enthusiastically labour in the Lord as He works faithfully and strongly in and through us.

Gifted for Service

1 Corinthians 12:7    (KJV)   But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

Every person is a recipient of many gifts from God. No person can live without them. God is the Source of every good and perfect gift. He immensely enjoys blessing us. He’s a very generous God. Believers and unbelievers alike enjoy the graciousness of our God. All of us 1 Corinthians 12.7 - Gifted to Serveenjoy air, sunshine, and rain just the same. Of course, there are special callings, giftings, and endowments that are for believers only. We are definitely and humbly grateful to Him.

God’s spiritual gifts are priceless. They’re gifts; we don’t work for them. He chooses which gifts to give to whom. They are very helpful for our personal growth and ministry. But more than that, we help, encourage, and strengthen each other. Why is it important to be reminded of this? It’s because others easily get carried away and lured by personal interests. This is true even with believers.

We delight in serving the Lord and serving our brothers and sisters. His gifts allow us to go beyond the limitations of the natural. This is so good because there are many problem situations that natural resources can’t solve. We continue to look to our Father; always worshiping Him and giving Him the glory because without Him, we’re nothing. And one expression of our gratefulness is treasuring His gifts and using them, especially in serving His children with all He’s blessed us with.

Divine Revelations

Acts 14:17   (KJV)   17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

God always had ways of revealing Himself to us. All good and perfect gifts come from Him. All the love, mercy, grace, patience and every act of kindness and goodness we experienced acts-14-17-divine-revelationsfrom Him—all these are evidences of His reality—although many people aren’t aware of this. Others don’t make the connection between the wonders of creation and the existence of the Creator. Even the essentials of life: air, sunshine, rain, food, water, love, joy, peace—we enjoy all these things freely; they come from somewhere. To this, we add His miraculous interventions that make His presence, love, and power undeniable.

God is perfect in His ways; He never makes mistakes; He knows all things; He knows how to handle every situation; He is in control of all situations. Not us. The way we react is crazy. Some are wise; some aren’t. Some are considered wise by the world but are foolish before God. Believers are blessed beyond measure. The Lord has removed the scales from our eyes. But we started with a humble position of admission of our follies, our sins, our wrong choices, and our desperate need of Him.

From that lowly position, God raised us up and planted our feet in the King’s highway. We see wonders everywhere. He moves in us powerfully to shine His light—His love and power to everyone lost, blind, and dying. He moves in us to show others a more specific and clearer witness. We saw this; that’s why we who were going our own ways despite His powerful revelations finally awakened and recognized: God has been loving, calling, and wooing us.

Incredible Image

luke-20-24-incredible-imageLuke 20:24   (KJV)   24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.

This is the passage preceding the Lord Jesus’ often quoted response: “25…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” It’s interesting how He added a statement in His answer—one that doesn’t address the question, but it was very telling. But first, notice where He took His audience’s attention to: the image and superscription on the coin.

The penny bearing the image and inscription of Caesar belonged to Caesar and was given to Caesar. We bear God’s image. We were created in God’s image. Among the faithful, this is universally known; this is usually the emphasis in quoting this particular Scripture. And that’s an extremely awesome truth in itself. Warped and distorted visage as it may be because of sin, but being transformed and renewed day by day from glory to glory. That’s our predestination: the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Image and inscription—we know the image, what about the inscription. This is often a title. So, what’s ours as God’s children? Here’s just a few: chosen people, royal priesthood, holy nation, God’s special possession, redeemed, sanctified, justified, saved, holy, blood-bought, beloved, blessed, family of God, light of the world, salt of the earth, disciples, bond-servant, saints, faithful, bride of Christ…We get the point. More than our clothes, our shoes, our hairstyle, our make up, our degrees, medals, and trophies, we possess the most incredible image and most awesome descriptions and titles man can have.

As the coin bearing the image and inscription of Caesar was given back to Caesar, we who bear God’s image and inscription ought to give ourselves and all our wonderful titles, blessings, and benefits to Him as well. We offer God all of who we are and all of what we are, and yes, all we have.