Offering Your Best Gifts

It was customary in Bible times (and also today!) to bring gifts when you enter the presence of a King.

This wasn’t to be any gift, something recklessly thrown together without thought or without price.  It was to be a worthy gift!

Passages of 1 Kings 4:21, 2 Kings 17:32, 2 Chronicles 17:5 and 2 Chronicles 32:23 all speak of people bringing gifts before Kings.  And If you did not bring a gift to the King, it was an insult to him.

But if we so pushed to bring gifts to earthly Kings, how much more eager should we be to bring our gifts to our Heavenly King.

In old testament of Bible times, people frequently brought animals, whether a lamb, bullock, etc. as a an offering to the Lord.  This sacrifice was used in atoning their sins, but people brought a sacrifice or offering of some kind when they entered the Temple.   Not any animal could be offered to God.  The animal had to be without any blemish or the least spottedness.   This offering had to be pure. 

First: Today (and because of work of Christ) God wants us to offer ourselves to him, to give Him our life for Him to use as He chooses.

Romans 12:1 says, “…Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Giving God our lives is the greatest gift we can give him.  Beside He already gave us His best.  His Son Jesus.  And God wants us to receive Him.  And it is very simple.  Just believe on Him. Read 1 John 1:9, Romans 10:5 and John 3:16.

Second, God wants us to offer our gifts, talents unto Him for His honor and glory. God has given each of us gifts: to speak, to write, to give, to encourage.  Whatever your gifts are to offer them up to God AND with all of your heart!  He knows when you are giving him your best and He delights in this.

Matthew chapter 2 speaks of three wise men. These wise men were in search for the King, the Messiah of the whole world – Jesus.  They had heard about Him in the prophesies.  They were carrying gifts with them.  And very expensive gifts I might add.  They knew that a star hung above where this king was found.  Matthew 2:10 says, “ When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” They knew that they were in the presence of a King.  Then they presented to Christ their gifts of gold, frankincense of and myrrh.

What gifts can you offer to Christ?

If You Only Knew…

It was another regular afternoon in the town of Samaria.  Nothing special was going on; no major activities that day.  A plain day.

Jesus was sitting by a well to catch himself before continuing his journey to Galilee.

Then a woman from the town of Samaria walked over to the well with her bucket in her hand and began to draw out the water.

When Jesus saw her He asked, “Please give me a drink.” – John 4:7 NLT   

And the woman began to question his request, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan…?”  

The truth is that Jews did not associate at all with Samaritans.  Kinda how some people are today right! They only interact with people of their own town or ethnic group.  Nothing new.

But Jesus!  Jesus replied, “IF YOU ONLY KNEW the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to…”

– John 4:10

Jesus was saying, If you only knew who you are speaking to and what I plan to do for you shortly.  How I left the portal of heaven with all of its glory and splendor, took on the form of a man to die for the sins of the world.

If you only know my unending love for you. How I beautifully designed you and purposed you with a FUTURE in mind. – Psalms 139:14, Jeremiah 29:11

Jesus words: Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.

Why do we go through life doubting God.  Doubting his incredible love and grace He has so willingly extended.  Jesus is saying come to me just as you are, let go of your worries and burdens. Receive me as your Lord and Savior. I wash away your sins and make you brand new.  This is His promise!  (Romans 10:9, 1 John 1:9)

“Don’t take on the burdens of this life alone.  Give it to me and I will carry it.”  – Jesus

He is saying, drink of this Living Water I provide that leads to life eternal and receive my peace surpasses anything this world has to offer.

IF YOU ONLY KNEW.

Looking Beyond this Life

There are times in our life when we feel overwhelmed.  Things may even be going in the exact opposite direction that we planned and life feels hopeless. 
Yet, you still Press On!

We know that God will not leave us alone or forsake us. – Hebrews 13:5.  But the car stops working, the house needs a major repair, work assignments are mounting stress and the home seems in disarray. 

What should you do?  Everything is piling up at once!

Sometimes I just want to scream and let out all of my frustration, but that isn’t the approach God’s Word suggests.  We want to take the weighs of this world on our shoulders and allow WORRY to settle in my hearts.  Christ is says, Give it to me!  And He says,

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”     – Matthew 11:28

We were made for eternity in a place of comfort and perfection.  But in the beginning Adam and Eve disobedied God and ate of the tree they were commanded not to eat.  [Read it in Genesis 2:16-17; 3]  From then on the perfect world became tattered and spotted with evil and sin and decay. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.  Life as man knew it on this earth was gone.

No wonder our efforts and work don’t always reach fruition, and it feels like were working in quick sand. 

But continue to Press On!  Realizing that THIS IS NOT IT.  This is not our home!  We must to the end and only what we do for Christ will last!   In the frustrations and hardships and more frustrations of this life, remember the words of Jesus to prepare a home for us:

John 14:2-3 says,
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Let’s keep pressing on!

 

AMAZING GRACE!

I can hear the singer Chris Tomlin now sing the words:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. 

I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

Wow.

Ephesians 2:4, 7-8 says,

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us….That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding RICHES OF HIS GRACE in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God….”

OUT OF ALL the things people have given me and the awards people have presented to me. Or anything could EVER receive: the Grace of God surpasses them all!  We can see here that God is rich in three areas:  God is rich in Mercy.  God is rich in Love.  AND God is rich in Grace.

Money, Fame, THAT position on the job, cars, houses in Beverley Hills, and a yacht just won’t satisfy the longing in each person’s heart!

Don’t give me a Car!  Give me a Savior.

Don’t give me gold and expensive jewelry! Give me a Protector!

Don’t give me fame and all the publicity this world has to offer!  GIVE ME A REDEEMER!

— Do not give me things that take up a lot of space in my house, but doesn’t give an inch of satisfaction in my soul! —

The point is I was a Wretch. Sinner. Undone. Quite proud and Very selfish.  Thinking I was righteous on MY OWN acts and account.  But far from redeemed until I heard the good news: Jesus died, that I might live! Jesus took on my sin with his death, and because he arose from the dead, I too will live forever with him and all I must do is BELIEVE on him.

May be you were born Saved! Holy and literally an angel delivered from heaven.  BUT I WAS NOT!

I needed a Savior, I needed GRACE.  Amazing grace from God, to redeem my soul from Hell!

And to think that while I was still in sin, Jesus died for me! What a gift of GRACE!

—-Blessings.

 

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To purpose in your Heart!

There is passage in the Bible where, after the all the Israelites were taken by Babylon and their King, the king had set up a plan to train more servants for himself.  So they selected the best and brightest of the young Hebrew men, known for their intelligence and gifted in learning, to be taught literature, multiple languages, you name it.  Their clothes would be taken care of, they would have food directly from the King’s table, and they would live in the palace.  These young men would not have to worry about anything!

The King instructions were that these young men eat the food from his table, including probably some roasted pork and dressing, beef brisket with carrots, grilled steak and potatoes (you can’t get any better!!), and so on…. But the people of Babylon ate different foods from the children of Israel-Hebrews.  There were certain foods that God had commanded the Hebrews to refrain.  They foods considered unclean (like pork and many other unclean animals- See Leviticus 7.) 

Daniel knowing what he was NOW permitted to eat, had “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies.” So Daniel and friends -Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego- told the guards that they would not eat the King’s meat, but to give them 10 days on just a leafy plant called pulse.  Turns out, that by the end of those days the boys looked better and stronger than all the other men that actually ate meat! Amen.

But there are times when we are faced with Challenges. You can decide to do one thing and be accepted by many OR you can do the right thing toward God and be isolated from the crowd. 

The choice is yours.  You may be alone on an issue that you’re standing up for, or you may have to show the truth someone. You may simply have to pronounce “NO,” the next time you are asked to do something you know displeases Christ.  Whatever your test is, stand boldly and declare what is true and right, to the Glory of God!

 

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–          Jovette Archer