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God’s Gifts

God is a gifting God. He gives and gives and gives:

 For the wages of sin is death;  but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23).

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Heb. 2:14-15).

This gift, one most believers recognize and claim, is the gift of eternal life. It frees the believer from the fear of death that holds the rest of the world in bondage. There is another gift, though, that most believers are not fully aware of and do not reap its benefits. It is the gift of purpose.

A central purpose is an essential ingredient for a meaningful and productive life. Without it, the lesser goals lack coherence and it is all too easy to lose interest or become discouraged when the going gets difficult. The question: why am I doing this? needs an answer and finds it only in an overriding central purpose.

God has, in His love and mercy, supplied such a purpose to all His regenerate creatures. Every Christian is given a task, one that should be the central purpose in his life. It is specified in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and prioritized in Jesus’ words:

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?  or, What shall we drink?  or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;  and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt. 6:31-33)

Jesus’ states here in no uncertain terms what the Christian’s central purpose in life should be. It is to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness as his first priority, even before life’s basic necessities: food, drink, or clothing. It is to be so vital a part of the believer’s life, that deprived of it, life would become meaningless. With it every aspect of life is alive; every event experienced, every word spoken is connected to an eternal thread, ordained by God and filled by His creatures. Life has eternal significance for all but that significance is visible only to those that take His word as a personal letter from Him.

The Lord’s prayer reflects the priority that working toward the establishment of God’s kingdom should hold in the believer’s life:

After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen. (Matt. 6:9-13)

We see here the first three petitions that refer to this central purpose, God’s gift to His chosen people; only after these do we see reference to personal needs.

Respect for God’s name, the establishment of His kingdom, and the doing of His will should be at the top of the prayer list of God’s people. They would then be the things most desired and, for the sincere individual, the things at the top of his priority list. They are ever on his heart and are the things he works to further whenever, and to the fullest extent, he can.

This sense of an all consuming life purpose, one that replaces the meaningless, purposeless wandering from one temporal and trivial goal to another, is God’s gift to His faithful servants. It is something they can devote their efforts toward, something that can give them lasting satisfaction. They will be able to tell their grandchildren that their life has had, and still has! an eternal and true purpose, one that filled their lives with meaning. They didn’t live the hollow, empty lives so many Christians do today, seeking wealth, pleasures, and other worldly pursuits that fade away so quickly. This is truly a magnificent gift, a gift that no one else could give. Another will be coming when we hear Him say: “Well done good and faithful servant…”

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents:  behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant:  thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:  enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matt. 25:20-21).