And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 NIV
I simply love to be presented with a gift! Don’t you? Especially when it is unexpected! I think of the care, spontaneity, and thoughtfulness that goes into every gift that is given from one of my sweet dear friends. She gives from the heart and surprises me often. She knows my favorite color and seems to always weave it into each package! She also knows my taste and keeps it in mind as she chooses each item. Of course we tease with each other because I know that two have been bought...one for me and one for herself! I do the same thing! And after talking with many of you, this seems to be the trend with others with whom you love and give gifts! I love to get gifts; but, oh the joy of giving gifts!
I’ve been thinking about “gifts” for a month or so, knowing that my turn to write the blog was coming up. You see, it’s my birthday month! Not my physical birthday, that’s in July! It’s my Spiritual Birthday! The month I was born again! I accepted the greatest gift ever given to me...God’s son, Jesus! John 3:16 I remember the tugging at my heart. God kept trying to give me something special but the internal war was ragging as though something else had my hands and heart tied up, not to receive. Finally, the flood of love I felt, and the urge to move forward with open hands to accept God’s gift was much more powerful. I knew it was a gift that would change my life forever. I accepted that precious gift and it did change my life forever! Along with that extraordinary gift of God’s love and salvation, came yet many more gifts...and they keep coming! Yes, I like gifts especially those that are unique, not like any other. That, too, is what is so special about God’s special gift. No one else has ever (or ever will) give a gift like that! His very own son as payment for my sin, everlasting life, a life of purpose and the promise of a life filled with resurrection power! (Eph. 1:17-21)
So as I began to ponder the word gift, I came up with an acronym.
Pondering this thought also helped me draw a parallel of God’s gifts to me. He gave freely, intentionally, His favored possession, and all were timely in my life! I simply needed to accept them. He is still giving me gifts!
I think of gifts in two categories. Those that are concrete or tangible and those abstract or intangible. For example, I might give a gift of my time and help (abstract) or I may choose to give money (concrete) to help you achieve something. Both types of gifts are important and acceptable. God chooses to gift me daily by both types! When I think about His creation and the splendor of it all, my heart rejoices that He chose to bless me by letting me partake of its beauty....all of the sounds, sights, and smells! I love a beautiful sky! I love walking through fields, up mountain trails, wading in ice cold streams where the water rushes up to my ankles. I like the wind to blow on my face and I love the smell of the antique roses growing in my little garden or cinnamon rolls being baked at my mothers house. The sound of piano music and the voice of a friend on the phone, or a quick visit are some of my favorite gifts. I'm grateful for the gift of site and smell. My heart yearns for beauty, for it is there that I behold the beauty of God.
For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever. Ps. 100:5 The Message
Oh that I might know the Lord! Let me press on to know Him.
He will respond as surley as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring. Hosea 6:3 (NLT)
I’ve taken many surveys or “tests” to determine my spiritual gift. For those of you who know me well, this may come as a surprise but...I’m sad to say that giving is at the bottom of my list! I’m making it my practice to be more aware of how I can be more giving. It helps too, when I surround myself with others whose spiritual gift of giving is more prominent. Though really, I think it has more to do with listening closely to the Holy Spirit and acting with obedience. He nudges, I move and gifting becomes easier. I was blessed this week to share many gifts. One in particular that God had planned before I even realized it! The Lord laid it on my heart to cook for someone. I didn’t know who, what, or when, but God did! Early in the week, I became aware of a need and before I even thought about it, I offered a meal. What a blessing! What a gift from God that He would choose me to bless by allowing me to gift another?!
As I think more about gift giving, I discover that the greatest joy comes when it has greatly cost me. Sometimes it’s been a huge amount of time, research, planning and even grueling physical work but it is worth everything when finally given. I’ve invested my all - concrete and abstract. 2 Corinthians 9:7 refers to hilarious giving! We all must give as we have decided in our heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
May my hands always be open ready to give;
for one cannot give or receive with a clenched hand!
Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Be careful not to share many details of “gift-giving.” Scripture is very clear about how you practice giving to the needy and the heart from which you give. (Matt 6: 1-4)
God has given us many gifts, both abstract and concrete. He also has a lot to say about gift giving! I challenge you to search the scriptures for yourself during your own personal study.
He gave and gives:
Glory (1 Peter 5:1-4)
As I think about G.I.F.T. my heart is overwhelmed because every good and perfect gift from above is given freely, intentional, favored, and timely. God knows what you need even before you do! Yes, I like gifts! Especially when I recognize that, though undeserving, he delights and takes pleasure in blessing me!
So during my "spiritual birthday" month, I am even more in awe! He has picked out the perfect gifts for me, they were intentional (before I was even born), and they are favorably selected for my personality! God's gifts to me make me unique. It is my prayer that I will return what He has graciously given me in order to bless others. After all, isn't that what He did when He gave His only son. We receive Jesus to share with others, the greatest gift ever given!
He has given many gifts to you, too! Today, stop and reflect on as many as you can and thank Him. I'd love for you to comment and share how God is gifting you! The "comment" icon is at the top of this blog.
Thankful for His Giving Heart,
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