Gifts of Love
Every good thing we have or ever will have is a gift of love from our Heavenly Father. This includes all the spiritual blessings He continually gives us.
*Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Ja NIV+
*Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: Eph 1:3 ASV
spiritual blessings include the greatest gift that has or will ever been given
to the world, eternal life in Heaven with our Savior. There are no earthly
riches one can exchange to have their sins forgiven, to become children of God,
to live in
*For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ro 6:23ASV
*What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Matt 16:26 NIV+
Our God provides us with the spiritual blessing of innermost peace as we struggle through our earthly lives. When Jesus lives in our hearts, we become one with Him, our Savior continually comforts us. His love removes all fear from our hearts as we face the trials and troubles of this world.
*Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. Jn ASV
*Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1Pe 5:6-7 NASB+
Spiritual blessings are the only possessions we can bring to Heaven. The only treasures we can store away in our eternal home while we still live on earth.
*For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 1Ti 6:7 NKJV+
*"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matt 6:19-20 NKJV+
The greatest gift we can give to anyone is to tell them about our great God, how much He loves us. This life saving message of Christ’s saving grace is needed by all. Our prayers are needed to bring unbelievers to Christ, to keep believers in Christ.
*How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Ro 10:14-15 NIV+
*And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Eph NIV+
Our Heavenly Father also gives us all of our physical needs necessary to survive in this world, as we ask Him in prayer for food, clothing, shelter, and all of our basic necessities.
*The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. Ps 145:15 NIV+
We should be willing to work for these gifts of substance our Heavenly Father daily gives us. So we can support ourselves, so we can help others. If we are unwilling to work, neither should we eat.
*For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 2Thes 3:10-11
*He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Eph 4:28 NASB+
We should take care of our own families, our parents, grandparents, and our relatives.
*But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 1Tim 5:4 NKJV+
*But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1Tim 5:8 NASB+
Our Heavenly Father would have us love Him above all things, and then love other people as we love ourselves. We should help others, as we would want to be helped if the situation were reversed. Our neighbor is anyone who needs our help, even our enemies.
*Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mk 12: 30-31 NIV+
*Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: … Rom 12:20 KJV
We should give as much as we are able, giving more when we have it, giving to the one who asks us, who needs to borrow from us.
*"Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” Matt NASB+
*And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 2Cor 8:1-3 NIV+
We should help all, even the poorest, least important people in this world, for Jesus loves all people. Giving to any is the same as giving something directly to Jesus. Our Savior would also have us visit the sick, the elderly, those in the hospital, those in jail, and any person who is lonely, who needs comforting. Always helping those less fortunate then we are.
*And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Matt 25:40 NKJV+
*for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Matt 25:35-37 NKJV+
Our Master would also have us help children as they grow up. We should help parents when they are unable to watch over their children. Help take care of children when they have no parents, help all of our brothers and sisters in the world.
*Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. Ja NASB+
*But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1Jn 3:17 NKJV+
We are to give out of our love for our God, out of the love He has given us. Not reluctantly or under compulsion, but cheerfully, giving all we can give. Being satisfied with food and clothing, the essentials we need for our life. Allowing the Spirit to help us balance out what we have, what we need, what we should give others who need our help.
*Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2Cor 9:7 NIV+
*Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 1Ti 6:6-8 NKJV+
Giving is not a duty or requirement of the Lord, including the Old Covenant Law of tithing. Anything not given out of love, out of faith to the Lord, is not acceptable to Him. Our giving merely reflects the love we have in our hearts for our Savior.
*And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 1 Cor 13:3 NASB+
*But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Heb 11:6 NKJV+
*And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1Jn 4:21 NKJV+
It is not the amount that you give, but how precious the gift is to the giver. The widow gave but two small coins worth only a fraction of a penny, but Jesus said her gift was greater than all others, even the rich who gave much larger amounts. For she gave all she could give, she gave out of her poverty, she gave out of love trusting the Lord to take care of her.
*… A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent . Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus , but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on." Mk 12:41-44 NASB+
When we give we should do it quietly, no one but the Lord needs to know, and the Lord will graciously bless us. But any who desire to be honored for personal recognition and gain, will only be rewarded with the human praise they receive.
*"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matt 6:1-4 NKJV+
We should not give because we expect to get something back. For what we are giving is but a portion of what the Lord has already given us. For no one has ever given enough to God, that God should pay them back.
*"Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" Ro 11:35 NIV+
*useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 1Ti 6:5-8 NKJV+
Loving Jesus, helping others, does not mean financial riches here on earth. Our Savior has promised us far more valuable gifts. The spiritual gifts of love and peace while we live here below. Blessings when we are taken to our eternal home in Heaven.
*"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Lk 6:35 NASB+
*…"But when you give a reception , invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." Lk 14:12-14 NASB+
*Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." Matt NKJV+
Our Father also gives all the rest of our physical possessions, both those needed for our business, our work, and those we have for our comfort, our pleasure.
*Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God. Eccl 5:19 NIV+
*The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. Ps 24:1 NASB+
We must be very careful about the lusts money provides, of what money can buy. Believing our abilities give us what we have, instead of being thankful for being thankful for what the Lord has given us, being content with His gifts. Earthly riches to often pull us away from our greatest treasures, spiritual blessings laid away in Heaven. For when we give to others our Lord gives us blessings in Heaven that will never end, never be taken away.
*But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Tim 6:6-10 NKJV+
* Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Lk 12:32-34 NKJV+
Life for Christians is not meant to be an abundance of possessions, but an abundance of love. Love for our God, love for our fellow man. Remembering our Father will give earthly possessions to both believers and unbelievers, including those who do evil.
*And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Lk KJV+
*That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matt KJV+
We should always know
where and how our gifts, our offerings, are used. We should make sure our local
gifts are used wisely, conservatively. What good are congregational buildings
that stretch to the sky, when daily so many thousands from starvation die?
*do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil 2:4 NASB+
*Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1Co 10:24 NIV+
In closing we should always remember a few things:
The greatest gifts our God gives us are not physical, but spiritual gifts. Jesus freely gave His life for the atonement of our sins. The Spirit gives us the truth, the ability to believe in our God, when we give up our human will. And the Father makes all who love Him more than anything else, His children, freely gives us eternal life in Heaven. There are no greater gifts than these.
*For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Eph 2:8 NIV+
We all have something to give, no matter what our status in life. We can all proclaim the good news of the Gospel to all. We can be unhappy about our situation, about the situation of the world. Yet we can always rejoice for we know Jesus will take care of us. Christians can be poor. Yet we can make many rich by telling them about our God, His gift of eternal life in Heaven. We may have nothing in this physical world. Yet when we know about our God, receive His love, we possess everything we will every need.
Our Lord would have us treat people, the same way we would want to be treated. If you did not know about Jesus, would you not want someone to tell you about Him, before you died, before you went to Hell? If you were looking into the eyes of your child starving to death, would you not expect, would you not want another Christian to give you the food that is needed to keep your child alive? Everyday in everything we do we should always think do we really need all the possessions we have, all the pleasures we fancy ourselves with? More than all the less fortunate who have little to nothing, are sick, are starving? From the excesses of the fancy houses we live in, to the food and drink we indulge ourselves in, to the vanity of how we feel we must look, does the Spirit ever stir our souls? Wondering about the number of people we could save if we didn’t need that fancy suit and tie, if we did not need the long fingernails and pedicures? For $15 dollars a child can be kept from starvation for another month, can be told about Jesus. Until we reach the point where every gift God gives us we think in our hearts, how can we best utilize this to the glory of our God?
*"In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matt NASB+
We should always remember to put others before ourselves, humbly trying to help all. Always remembering, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
*In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring ye ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive Acts 20:35 ASV
Copyright 2011 by Ron Borkey
+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
+ NASB "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."