Every Good and Perfect Gift

 il_570xN.419352322_i603“Coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning.”

Wrapped in the gift of life are many other gifts that we ordinarily take for granted. If we think only of what we can hold in our hands we miss the best gifts.

Blessings of the Father came this morning with the realization that I can still breathe, hear, and see, taste and smell, reach out and touch, and experience a touch from something and someone else.

These are good gifts in themselves, needed for this life. Every gift is from God our creator. They all come as a package. With these gifts come other gifts that He has prepared for those who love Him; and these are the perfect gifts, needed for another life, a life that is eternal.

The gifts the heavenly Father gives to His children are irrevocable and non-returnable. They come within a covenant that describes the gifts and with instructions for how to use them. These are the precious and perfect gifts that are treasured now and always. We live in awe of His giving such gifts to the children of men; and to us personally.

In his book Heaven Opened ~ The Riches of God’s Covenant, Richard Alleine speaks of a covenant of grace beyond what man can imagine, one that only God, the Father, can reveal. These include God’s giving us Himself, Christ, His Holy Spirit. His kingdom, the earth, the angels of light, with all the means of salvation and much more.

The Father who knew us before the foundation of the world, created us to be noble vessels, earthen vessels that would receive His gifts graciously, reverently, spontaneously, and thankfully; and use them accordingly.

The Greatest Gift
The greatest gift to all mankind is love. This is the gift we desire from others, also. Everybody loves something. In order to know what and how to love we need other gifts, especially the gift of wisdom that James speaks of in the first chapter of his letter. God gave the ordinary good gifts to be used in experiencing a relationship with Him and others. With the gift of His wisdom our senses are trained, as He wants them to be used.

Solomon in Proverbs 1:7 said that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is also a perfect gift from above, coming down from the Father of lights. Light is a gift. It was the first gift, spoken by God at the beginning of creation. He is the father of all light, both physical and spiritual. Revelation of Himself comes with this light, so that in awe and fear we hear His voice, see Him, and know Him as God Almighty, the creator and sustainer of the universe. In our encounter with this spiritual light there is a judgment of our condition as a sinner before Him. This light is revealed as Jesus Christ, His Son, and by the gift of His Holy Spirit we are drawn to Him. In this instance we are given the gifts of a new heart and a new spirit. These are His means of communicating this new life with the fear and wisdom that we need.

By the gift of His grace, and in His kindness and goodness, He instills the gift of faith in the new heart and brings us in repentance to receive the gifts of justification, righteousness, forgiveness, redemption, with all the atoning factors of a Father’s love. In our adoption, all other gifts that are ours in Christ are revealed and distributed, as He wants to give. There is nothing lacking for a child of His.

 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

Romans 8:32

The Storehouse of All Gifts
In Jesus Christ, the Son, is the storehouse of all His gifts. He has made Him to be to us and for us all things, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. He is the gift of eternal life to all who receive Him.

“That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love,
to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding
and the knowledge of God’s mystery, 
which is Christ,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Colossians 2:2-3

Throughout this life we have the continual blessing of the gifts that are waiting for us to discover. Every day is a new revelation of His gifts to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord. There is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance, His holiness, His righteousness, His truth, His humility, His fullness, the fullness of His Spirit, the fullness of Christ, who, in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27) and all the heavenly gifts that are prepared for us there.

Dear Father, take these good gifts, the gifts that you have given us, that we may see, hear, and receive the greatest gift of your love in Jesus Christ, your Son, with all the other gifts wrapped in Him. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Meditation is a Moving Experience

What began this year with meditations in Galatians is developing into a treasured experience in God’s Word ~ the written Word and the Living Word ~ more blessed than ever before. This is proving true that the Word of God is active and powerful (Hebrews 4;12).

“Grace to you, and peace from God, our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age,
according to the will of our God and Father,
to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

Galatians 1:3-5

Many other references in the Bible describe the Lord Jesus Christ, his person, his purpose, his accomplished work; and each one is specific as it applies to the needs of man in every generation of this evil age. This present evil age is in reference to all generations until the time of Christ’s return.

Years ago Galatians was a project for memorization and study, but now, in meditation, special and particular verses are even more applicable to where I am today, in sanctification, as I continue to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18)

Through meditations in Galatians there is the reminder that “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20-21)

6958018441f94a21c0baf9365b06c022Like Paul, “Be it far from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

These verses, among others from meditations in Galatians are the gleaning; the fruit, so to speak, of Christ’s work in me and all believers who meditate on His Word. Notice that Paul speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then come with me to meditations in Philippians and the moving power of His Spirit through the written word to experience the Living Word, Christ Jesus.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is quite different in content and intent than his letter to the believers in Galatia. He was writing to correct and protect them. To the Philippians he writes to encourage and support their growing faith and ministry.

He has more space in this letter to witness of God’s working in his own life, although it contains two less chapters than Galatians. In Philippians 3:8 is the moving experience. Paul begins this chapter with telling them to rejoice in the Lord. He carries this call forward into chapter four through the witness of the work of the Holy Spirit in his own life.

He first lists the confidence that he might have in the flesh; in his own accomplishments. In comparing these with knowing Christ he counts these as rubbish, as dung (KJV). (This reminds me of Isaiah’s reference to our own righteousness as filthy rags)

Cause and Effect

 “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8

Meditation on this expression “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” has taken root and is bearing fruit. Instead of just going through the motions where I am His Spirit is moving me where He wants me to be. He is leading me from just growing in the knowledge of THE Lord Jesus Christ and sharing the cross of OUR Lord Jesus Christ to knowing Christ Jesus MY Lord.

There is a tremendous difference ~ a life-changing difference ~ from just having a mental knowledge of Christ and actually knowing Christ Jesus My Lord. It is this heart to heart knowing that moves us to live for Him and witness of Him where He wants us. Everything but Christ can be left behind in this present evil age as He brings us through victoriously and gloriously to Himself to share His glory and joy.

Gracious Father in heaven, who has so loved us and sent us your Son to save us from the world unto yourself, grant us your Holy Spirit to do the supernatural work in us to move us in the direction in which you lead; that we may be rejoicing in you and Christ Jesus our Lord ~ whom you have given to be My Lord.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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What Do You Know of God?

This question is posed to anyone who is ready to give an answer. Many can speak of a salvation experience; or of a spiritual awakening. Others may answer with what they believe about God. These are not what I am looking for. Neither do I ask for quotes from the Bible except as they support the experience of your daily and constant relationship with God. (Please do not answer if you think God has failed to live up to your expectations.)

10334420_851203868227504_9052069652549057749_n You are invited to submit your answers so as to aid me in a project on which I am working. My own answer to this question is not as easy as I thought it would be.

By your own words how would you convince yourself that God is real? How has God who is Spirit and the Spirit of Christ made you to know Him? How has He revealed Himself to you through the everyday working of your life?   What is the witness of Him that He has given in your heart and your personal life?
Knowing that He works within the parameters of the physical be practical in your answer, specific and concise.  Take your time to think of your best answer; not your whole life story.  We will be blessed to hear from you.  (If you are not able to answer on this blog email at f.rogers@bellsouth.net)

Dear Father, there is more than we are able to comprehend, experience, or to witness of you.  Make us to know how we should speak of you and not of ourselves.  We praise you that for all of life through the good times and the bad you are present and real to us as your children.   In meekness and fear let us give an answer to others that glorifies you.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Related Article: Salvation, Past, Present and Future

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Only As He

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“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts;
and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  
Psalm 139:23-24

(For the next few weeks I will be posting a poem once a week featuring the art work of my second oldest granddaughter, Kourtney Grace.)

Living and Leaving a Legacy

 In Christ, we, as God’s children, have an inheritance, imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us. (1 Peter 1:4) We learn of this inheritance in His last will and testament. In Christ, His death and resurrection, He has secured His own inheritance for us. (Hebrews 9:15) A child does not work for a parent’s blessing. It is the legacy given from one generation to the next.

Through us God gives physical life, but we cannot give the blessing of eternal life to our children; so how can we leave this legacy to them? It must be by example and sample. We can only leave the imprint of what we have learned and point them to the will that is recorded in God’s Word for all His children.

Footprints and Handprints
We leave footprints wherever we go. Children and other people see these. We can lead them to where Christ is in His Word, in His worship, in His service.   We leave handprints on what we touch, in how we touch others, holding forth the word of life; touching them with our hands and arms gently and lovingly in their times of need.

Heartprints
The greatest and most lasting impression is the heartprint. 0003KDWe may, in passing speak a word or leave a loving touch; this is but a sample. But the time spent with our children gives them assurance of who we are as God’s children, and the inheritance that we have in Christ. The example we set before them in a lifetime is proof of the work of God in our hearts. The light that is shined into our hearts shines through us revealing who God is and who we are. This is the work of God’s heart in and through ours that proves that we are His. This heartprint is left in different ways; four of which we will mention here ~ in humility, contentment, joy, endurance.

Humility
There is no pride in the legacy that is ours. We have not worked for it; nor do we deserve it. The only means of knowing and receiving this promise of inheritance in and with Christ is by His own desire; through grace, revealing and giving us a new heart through which He pours into us His own love for us. Recently in reading Charles Spurgeon’s sermon, The Meek and Lowly One, I realized that the love of God would never have been known, or available to us, except through Christ’s meekness and lowliness of heart. Others will not see the love of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, except through our humble estate in Christ. We may speak and read God’s Word to our children, but they must see it in us, alive and active through humble hearts and lives.

Contentment
We, who have this legacy, are content in all of this life, living in faith and trust, for the inheritance that is promised for the future. Children learn that true life is not in this world, nor the things of this world. With our seeking those things above where Christ is seated at the right heand of God; our affections set on things above, not on the things of the earth they see what the world cannot promise, nor be to them. They learn to look for life and contentment beyond the world and themselves.

Joy
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;”  Philippians 4:4-5

There is no true joy apart from Christ; not in ourselves, others, or anything in this world. When Christ fills our every longing; when He is all and everything to us; when He is our life there is joy beyond what the world knows. He is the joy of our legacy. We joy in what we have; and Christ is the greatest joy in heaven and earth, for us who know of our inheritance in him.

Endurance
The legacy of ours in Christ includes perseverance. Who would not endure to the end of this life, through thick and thin, that has the promise of such an inheritance waiting for us. Those who are wealthy according to the world’s standards are known by their wealth and how they spend it. Children of wealthy parents live in hope of their legacy. You know them by who they are and how they live.

Paul prayed for the early Christians that God would reveal His legacy to them, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18

God’s children know the promise that Christ spoke to His disciples.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  (Luke 12:32) There is enough of His kingdom and His glory to share with all His children. In response to His will we seek His kingdom and His righteousness.

If we are to live it we must continue in faith to know Him and the legacy that is promised. We don’t dawdle away our time and assets that He gives us here. We live it, we even fight for it; and teach our children, so that they can, in God’s timing and His way, know, and with a new heart respond in faith and repentance; and receive the promise.

 “As long as there is breath in our bodies, let us serve Christ; as long as we can think, as long as we can speak, as long as we can work, let us serve him, let us even serve him with our last gasp; and, if it be possible, let us try to set some work going that will glorify him when we are dead and gone. Let us scatter some seed that may spring up when we are sleeping beneath the hillock in the cemetery.” Charles Spurgeon

Dear Father, enable us to continue in faith and obedience to your will, to live and teach what you have promised us as your children. Let us live as children whose Father supplies all our needs according to your riches in glory, which is only a sample of what you have promised. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.