Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Focus on the Giver

UV 549/10,000 Focus on the Giver James 1 v 17 James 1 v 17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Life is a good gift while eternal life is a perfect gift. The natural and the supernatural are both gifts of God, gifts from God. Our intelligence and natural talents are good gifts, our wisdom and knowledge of the Word are perfect gifts. These gifts are like the light that brings the glory of God into our lives day after day. The naturally as well as the supernaturally gifted sometimes are tempted to fall into the error to think that they own the gifts, that they deserve the gifts and the appreciation that the gifts bring. But, we must always remember that we are only stewards of the gifts whom God has trusted that we might use to reflect His light in a world of darkness, to bring hope and the taste of salvation and blessing into people’s lives. They are not meant to be used selfishly for self aggrandizement or self glorification but for edification or building up the faith of others. The other day the Spirit told me to say a “body prayer” or a prayer to praise God for every organ in our bodies. We need to thank God for giving us eyes to see, ears to hear and tongues to speak. We need to thank the Lord for giving us grace to use these in the way we need to use it for the glory of God. Our organs are symbols of a deeper spiritual reality or truth and work in unison for the holistic and total health and well being of the whole person. Scripture says that even though we as a species are evil, we know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will our perfect Father in heaven give gifts to those who ask Him? “ Evil” implies that we are capable of changing our intentions, our words and our actions but the Lord does not change, once He decides. He does not waver. When we ask in faith, He will give us the inner spiritual gifts like wisdom, discernment, understanding and the gifts of the Spirit like prophecy, interpretation, healing, authority to cast out demons, word of knowledge and word of wisdom. In this world, the focus is on the gifted. If one is unusually and naturally gifted with extraordinary beauty or intelligence or talents, he or she becomes the focus or “icon” of adulation. It is like the magnifying lens claiming that the sunlight that passes through it for a time is its own light. As a result many of the gifted only flatter to deceive like Tiger Woods in recent times. Focus either on the gift or the gifted tends to destroy the gifted from within. Instead our focus should be on the Giver of good and perfect gifts. Scripture again says that there is diversity in the distribution of gifts even as there is diversity in the operation of gifts. We need to pray not only for spiritual gifts but also the grace to use them in a way that pleases the Lord. The same Lord and the same Holy Spirit is the giver to fulfill the needs of the Body. According to the need of the church and the world, the Lord distributes the gifts in His sovereign will. According to the ministry to which one is called, the Lord gives gifts: for some are called to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers. The use of gifts is the responsibility of believers. We need to be diligent and humble in the operation of the gifts. Faith is needed to receive the spiritual gifts even as faithfulness is needed to use it wisely. Prateep V Philip

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