Links Daily Devotional

The Gifts of God

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11, NIV)

I can say without a moment’s hesitation that everything I have when it comes to golf, I owe to my father. He gave me my first clubs and my first lesson. He paid for the professional instruction that improved my game immensely and maintained the club dues that gave me a place to go after school each day. He encouraged me to play junior events, let me get balls from his locker, and outfitted me with clothes becoming of a golfer (he still does that sometimes!).

With the support of Scripture, I can see the Lord’s generosity with so much more detail, and it is amazing.Yes, he wanted someone to share his love for the game, but he was completely generous in making a way for this to happen. And he did the same for my brother in tennis and my sister in theater, even though these were not loves of his own.

Perhaps it is in witnessing this first-hand generosity from my earthly father that I am able to see without cloudiness the generosity of our heavenly Father. But with the support of Scripture, I can see the Lord’s generosity with so much more detail, and it is amazing. Look at this list:

– God gives us life. “You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). This psalm repeatedly speaks of the way God brought us personally into existence.

– God gives us provision. “‘Look at the birds of the air… your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’” (Matthew 6:26). Jesus’ words echo those of the psalmists who wrote of God’s enduring provision for animals and people alike.

– God gives us skills. “I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you” (Exodus 31:6). The Lord accomplishes his work on earth by giving the necessary skills to the people who will get each part done.

– God gives us peace. “‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you’” (John 14:27). The Hebrew idea of shalom—a permeating peace—resides today as the gift of Christ to those who follow him.

– God gives us salvation. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8). Without this gift, the many others are locked in “temporary confinement,” with no extension beyond our earthly days. Only by salvation in Christ do we have access to abundant and eternal life.

– God gives us spiritual gifts. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). God equips the saints to serve one another with Spirit-endowed giftings.

– God gives us hope. “…Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). When all other blessings seem dim, as those indwelt by the Spirit of Christ we always may cling to the assurance of the eternal tomorrow, when we will be with Jesus in glory.

I don’t know which of these—and with your Bible open, you’ll find many more—means the most to you. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you recognize and exalt the great love and care of God, for through these his generosity shines.

Jeff Hopper
August 29, 2016
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