GIFTS. Everyone loves to receive them. It doesn’t take long for a child to understand what a gift is. In fact, we may say that a new-born baby appreciates the gift of milk or a pacifier right out of the womb. Then, as a child grows, the gifts change from nourishment to rattles and toys. As adults we continue to desire toys, but just more expensive ones.
I have had the privilege of being a member of my wife’s family since our dating days in the late 70’s, and every year we gather on Christmas Eve to enjoy family time together and open gifts. It is always a joy to watch the children receive and open gifts. The reactions can be various from quickly laying that gift aside and opening the next one to playing immediately with that gift and forgetting they have other gifts to open. It is also interesting as well to watch as some children guard their gift without any allowance that another child can play with it to a willingness to let another child enjoy it. In other words, receiving a gift can stir up good or bad characteristics within us.
Oh we adults pretend we don’t want gifts. We put on that face of humility and pretend we don’t care, but there is a desire within everyone to receive gifts. That desire is not necessarily wrong, but it must be nurtured by the Spirit and guarded that the motives are right.
A gift does not have to cost much for the giver to be valuable to the receiver. When Aaron and Kayla were married in early December a few years ago, they did not have the finances to purchase gifts for everyone as they were just starting their life together and setting up their new home. So they had taken simple items and hand crafted gifts for their family. I can sincerely say that those gifts were just as valuable to Cheryl and I as any other gift they could ever buy. Though I would have taken a new pick-up truck if they would have purchased it for me. (As they say in the texting realm, LOL!!!) Knowing they took the time to make those gifts with their hands and gave them to us with endless love for us was more than enough.
I would also encourage you not to miss the simple gifts in life. In my childhood years my parents would place an 8 pack of bottles of Dr. Pepper and a 10 pack of Reese Cup candy bars under the tree. It may seem like a really simple gift to some, but I can tell you my sweet tooth jumped for joy when seeing that gift. God will also give us simple gifts in life that will satisfy our spiritual sweet tooth, but sometimes we take them for granted or miss them completely and fail to be thankful for them. Don’t miss the seemingly insignificant gifts that the Lord gives to you. In everything give thanks.
The Bible talks quite often about gifts. The Apostle Paul speaks of gifts that Holy Spirit will give to us not only for our benefit, but for the benefit of those in the Body of Christ as well.
1st Corinthians, Chapter 12 is one of the most specific chapters Paul wrote expounding on gifts. Lets look at Verses 4-11.
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
So we see specifically nine gifts that Holy Spirit gives to individuals in the Body of Christ that are necessary for that individual and for the Church.
#1, the word of wisdom, and #2, the word of knowledge, are gifts that divinely direct us in the will and purpose that God has for our life.
#3, faith, is a gift to us that we have a supernatural ability to believe in God and not doubt.
#4, gifts of healing that are closely related to #5, the working of miracles, which are the ability beyond ourselves to believe nothing is impossible with God.
#6 is prophecy which is words spoken that are directly the voice of God to the Church.
#7 is discerning of spirits and the ability to detect good and evil.
#8 and #9 are tongues and interpretation of tongues of which God speaks through someone His Words in a heavenly language, then that Word is interpreted in our understandable language.
My purpose is not to focus at this point on the entirety of each gift, but to point out that God does give gifts to His children. There is a danger, as with a child receiving a gift, that we would be selfish with it or mishandle it, so we must remember to fear God when given these spiritual gifts and allow Holy Spirit to cause these gifts to work through us as He wills. We are only a surrendered vessel in these gifts or any other gifts the Lord would bestow upon us. We should always remember that whenever we are used of the Lord, it is never our own works but Him working through us.
Now let me say that God has a gift for you. This is my prayer for you , not just at Christmas but every day of the year, that you would receive all that your Heavenly Father has for you. Matthew 7:7-12:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
Rather than give you examples of what those good gifts could be, I would encourage you to just ask the Father yourself. In fact, if I would give you examples, I feel I may be putting a limit on what God has for you. This Scripture promises exactly what you need in your life will be given to you. And maybe even a “want” as well. I think I just heard someone say “Me? Gifts for me?” Yes, you.
It is no secret, or at least I hope it is no secret, that Wes Kidwell is a blessed, blessed man. I look back throughout my life and see that my Father has given me gift after gift and gift after gift. It is no secret, and maybe it should be, that I am an only child and my parents spoiled me at Christmas. (Yes, my mom still does.) But at the risk of making anyone jealous or angry, let me fulfill 2nd Corinthians 10:17, “He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.” Would you join me in glorying in the Lord for all the gifts He has given us. Not just material things, but let us thank Him for life. Not just life, but eternal life. Let us continue the season of Thanksgiving through November 24th and for the remainder of this year, and give Him thanks for His good gifts to us.
Whenever my grandson thanks me for a gift, it makes me want to give him another one. “How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good gifts to you?!” James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” The Amplified Translation says, “Every good and every free, large and full gift is from above.” This promise transcends culture, status, and earthly circumstances. God has good and perfect gifts for you.
Were I to close this Devotional without this next point, then I should throw it in the fire as if I had not written a word. Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That, my friend, clearly explains the greatest gift to me, to you, and all of mankind. Jesus. It is in Him that we find all other gifts that are necessary to us. Love. Grace. Eternal Life. The list of gifts goes on and on, but every gift that we need is found in Christ. If you have not received Christ, then all other gifts you receive are meaningless. As we celebrate Christmas, you must celebrate Christ. They are not separated. Without receiving the gift of Christ, you cannot celebrate Christmas.
Life itself on this earth is a gift. My prayer is that you will receive the gift of life and enjoy every moment that God has given you here on earth. I know there can be many distractions and hindrances that can cause us to forget the marvelous gift of life, but don’t forget that those challenges do not change the truth that you have been given the gift of life and eternal life in Christ. The following are lyrics to the song “This Old House” written by Stuart Hamblen in 1954. He and John Wayne were hiking in the mountains when they found a cabin in the woods and in that cabin was the lifeless body of a man. It caused Stuart to think about life here on earth and eternal life and he wrote the lyrics below. As I read his lyrics I then began to write myself and thus the added verse and chorus follow his.
” This Old House”
by Stuart Hamblen
This old house is gettin’ shaky. This old house is gettin’ old.
This old house has seen the rain. This old house has seen the cold.
Oh its knees are gettin’ chilly, but it feels no fear or pain.
Cause he’s seen an angel peepin’ through the broken window pane.
Ain’t gonna need this house no longer. Ain’t gonna need this house no more.
Ain’t got time to fix the shingles. Ain’t got time to fix the floor.
Ain’t got time to oil the hinges nor mend the window pane.
Ain’t gonna need this house no longer. I’m gettin’ ready to meet the saints.
Additional verse by Pastor Wes
This old house will one day transform. This old house will one day change.
No more tears and no more sorrow. No more sickness, no more pain.
The final resurrection power will hit this lifeless dirt.
This body raised up glorified will receive its final worth.
Then I won’t need this house no longer. I won’t need this house no more.
No more cancer, no more shingles. I won’t be in pain no more.
No more curse and no more battles. No more sin and no more stain.
Ain’t gonna need this house no longer cause I’ll be living with the saints.
Forever with the Lord my Saviour , for eternity with Him I’ll reign.
Together let us fulfill Paul’s words in 2nd Corinthians 9:15 – “Thanks be unto God for His Gift, precious, beyond telling, His indescribable, inexpressible, free Gift!”
The best Gift we have is Christ. He gave His life that we could have life, life more abundantly and eternal life. Receive His life now and every day.
Luke 2:14 – “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men!”