10-24-2020 The Gift
Matt. 2:9-11 Magi bring gifts
Gal. 5:22-23 Fruit of the Spirit
Rom. 11:29 Gifts are given without repentance
Rom. 12:5-9 Gifts of the Spirit
1 Corinth. 12:1-12 More gifts
1 Peter 4:7-11 How to minister
Understand that when the magi came to the young child Jesus, they brought Him gifts, gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Gold is a gift fit for a king, but it also provides for the family of the king so that they would not have to worry about where they would live or what they would eat. They would have enough. Yet, don’t forget, Joseph was a carpenter (Mat. 13:55) so he did not live lavishly on what the magi brought but he also worked for a living.
Frankincense is an oil with a wood, spicy aroma. It may have medicinal qualities which aid in arthritis, the digestive tract, asthma, oral health and even some cancers.
Myrrh is a gummy resin used in perfumes, medicines and incense. It has been used as an antiseptic, healing salves and has analgesic properties (eases pain). It has also been used as an ingredient in anointing oil. The ancient Romans also used myrrh to mask odors from burning flesh (in executions). When Jesus came into Bethany, Martha declared that Lazarus had been dead for four days and surely his body was stinking (John 11:39-44) and yet Jesus called Lazarus forth, alive and whole. Myrrh may also have been used to cover the odor from decaying bodies. This may have been part of the spices the women mixed to anoint Jesus’ body with, after His burial, when they returned after the Sabbath (Matt. 23:52-24:3).
So, through the gifts of the magi, Jesus’ family had financial support and health, healing and, possibly anointing for burial.
Don’t forget that the greatest gift we have from our heavenly Father is the ‘breath of life’ and man has been giving gifts of thanksgiving, back to Lord. That is for what He does for us since Adam.
However, I’m not talking about us giving, but what Father has and continues to give us. God’s first gift to us is the ‘breath’ of life. He breathed life into Adam and He continues to give us more gifts to operate in this world around us. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.
When we read Galatians, one might say “Wait a minute, that’s fruit, not gifts!”
Look at the world around us and ask yourself, in the world, how much true love is there? What has happened to joy? Peace? Who puts up with their neighbor’s antics for long? I’m not talking about ‘joking around’ but putting up with stuff that really grates our nerves. How many good and gentle people are in the world today? Yes, we can find some (PTL), but how many? Where has goodness gone? Who truly trusts God in ‘ALL’ things? How many of us insist on being dominant in any situation, instead of approaching others in humility and respect, looking for common ground? Do we always exhibit self-control – instead of always wanting to strangle the *?! out of somebody, do we look for an appropriate solution? These qualities come from God and are enhanced by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So, aren’t these gifts, as well? These ‘gifts’ are increased within us as we walk with the Lord. They are ‘gifts’ from God which exhibit the inner man, our relationship with our Lord.
Paul tells us, in the book of Romans, that the gifts of God are given without repentance. This helps us to understand why it is that people who don’t know Jesus still can sing really good, others can teach, give awesome speeches, care about others, etc., but when Father inhabits those gifts in His children He can carry them to a much higher level, especially when we glorify Him.
God gives us gifts according to His will, as also listed in the book of Romans. Gifts He wants us, as individuals, to have. Does everybody have the same gift? Does only one person have all the gifts? We are mentioning only a few gifts here yet the United Nations estimates over 7.8 billion people worldwide. The need for gifts?
Even Jethro (father-in-law of Moses) realized that Moses needed help in ministering to the people and encouraged Moses to appoint help (Exod.18:12-26). God knows that only one person cannot minister to the world. Now, we all can serve in any of these gifts, but only to the degree which Father has given each one of us. God gives us, whom He loves, a level faith to prophecy (give direction), minister (serve needs), teach, exhort, rule (govern or be in charge) and mercy. Now, all of these qualities are good to have, but God gives special portions to those whom He calls and/or anoints to special situations.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that we are the body of Christ and the body has many gifts flowing within it to help the whole body grow strong and do our Father’s will.
If we wonder if our gift is flowing in God’s will, ask yourself one question ‘do I consider Jesus a curse (to man), that is, does He go against religious beliefs? Or should I say contrary to what scriptures say? If I do, I’m not motivated by the Holy Spirit, for He doesn’t nor will He call Jesus accursed. Jesus IS the Word of God and the Word was made flesh and they called His name Jesus. If Jesus is going against scripture, He’s going against Himself! Can’t happen! If He should, He would be denying Himself as well as our Father (John 17:19-21, Matt. 3:16-17)!
Now, understand that there are different gifts but they are given by the same Spirit. They may be manifested in different ways but have the same Lord and they are given to edify the whole body of Christ. These Spiritual gifts are: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues (heavenly language for prophecy) and the interpretation of those tongues. [Note that ‘tongues is also for edifying the individual (1 Corinth. 14:4).]
God gives these gifts to whomsoever He will, whenever He will to accomplish His work in the body, even in the world. Again, Father can take individuals to whatever level He has intended for them. The church should be one body though it has many members. I’m not talking about just a single fellowship, but the entire body of Christ. Yes, individual fellowships need these gifts in operation but every Christian denomination should also be working together, as well, to accomplish God’s will in this world. Is this happening? I’m not talking about a megachurch here. As individuals work together to help a fellowship, all those fellowships should work together for the growth of the whole body, the church!
Peter gives us some further insight as to how these gifts should operate.
Peter first tells us to take our relationship with the Lord seriously. After all, our eternity, and for those whom we influence, is at stake. He tells us to watch to see what is going on around us so we can know and pray for what’s happening with people and situations. He encourages us to express love within our own ranks because love covers a multitude of sins. Therefore we should confess our sins, one to another. At least between individuals. Once we’ve realized that we’ve wronged someone, we need to go ask forgiveness. Should we be the one wronged, we give that forgiveness from our heart. As that love overflows, help others because we want to, not because we have to. As the good stewards returned to their Lord with more than what he originally left them in charge of (Matt. 24:14-30). Share the gift which God has given us with those around us. Father will reward us.
When we speak, we should remember to ask Father to guide our speech. When we minister, minister with the ability God has given us. All done for the glory of God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, because the Holy Ghost is alive and well within us.
Remember, the gifts are nothing without love and love comes from our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who has taken residence within our hearts via the Holy Ghost.
This entry is not to explain how all the gifts function, but to help you become aware of what they are and the purpose of these gifts – to edify the church! To minister to the needs of the entire body. To help people, by listening to the Holy Ghost, discover the way into the kingdom of God. Then, grow strong in the Lord!
Father will give each of us a special gift in which only we (as individuals) can minister in the way God has given us. Five unique gifts (not the only gifts) are the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher (Eph. 4:11-16). That gift may intended to minister to only one soul or it may be destined for 100’s, 1000’s or even 1,000,000’s. The greater the responsibility, the greater the anointing. We won’t know where we stand until we get started.
The gifts are not to show other people ‘how great’ we are, but point them into a closer walk with our Lord. We do know that Father desires us to always operate under His guidance (via the Holy Spirit within us) so His will, will be done. How are we ‘fitting in?