This summer, our church is hosting a study called “The Inheritance” by Beth Moore.
Last week, Beth began the session by asking a very probing question and she encouraged us to not answer too quickly but really search our hearts and here it is:
“In your heart of hearts and in the darkest dark, do you believe that God is a Giver or a Taker?”
My first reaction was, “I don’t even have to think about that one…of course, He is a Giver!”
Immediately, I felt a check in my spirit that shocked me.
“Jesus?” I prayed silently. “Of course I believe that. Right?”
As He always does, Jesus gently but clearly showed me that deep, deep down, in recent months, I have been focused more on what He has allowed to be taken from me than all He has given.
I was stunned.
Later that evening right before I went to bed, I read this Scripture and it took my breath away: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Jesus gave Himself––for me!
And yet, so often I totally miss that earth-shattering, life-altering truth because I am so focused on what I do not have..when all along, I have the one and only Person I will ever need…Him!
Just like Eve in the garden, I become blind to the abundance around me and choose to focus on that small area of my life where God has said no…and I completely miss the countless times when He has joyfully proclaimed, “YES!”
My heart was flooded with remorse, as I thought about how my yearning to reclaim what has been taken must have pierced His heart. He has given me the matchless Gift of Himself and in the deep recesses of my heart, I have declared, ” It’s not enough. I want ______.”
It pains me to see those words in black and white.
At the same time, I am so grateful that Jesus cares enough to shine His healing and penetrating light into those dark recesses that act as barriers to my intimacy with Him. He longs for us to be real with Him, no matter how raw our feelings are. He can take it. Nothing we will say surprises Him. His knowledge of us is total and complete. (Psalm 139:1-5)
A quick journey through the Bible reveals the myriad of other gifts He loves to give those who belong to Him:
*the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14)
*eternal life (John 3:16)
*life in all its abundance and fullness (John 10:10)
*the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20)
*forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7)
*the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7)
*our daily bread (Luke 11:3)
*redemption (Ephesians 1:7)
*exceedingly great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4)
*peace (John 14:27)
*freedom from all fear (2 Timothy 1:7)
*a living Hope (I Peter 1:3)
*unconditional love (Jeremiah 31:3)
*spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 12:1)
*never-failing provision (I Timothy 6:17)
*a home in Heaven (John 14:1-3)
*treasure in Heaven (Matthew 6:20)
*blessing upon blessing (John 1:16)
*His very own unsurpassed joy that has nothing at all to do with circumstances (John 15:11)
*mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)
*friendship with Him (John 15:15)
*everything we need (2 Peter 1:3)
And that is just the beginning! The nature of all that He continually and eternally gives to us is simply staggering! Christians are rich beyond all measure in that which truly matters.
Yes, our great God is most certainly a Giver.
He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also…graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32).