What a day it will be when the Rapture takes place and we meet our Saviour in the clouds forever to be with Him! I long for the day, don't you? I feel that the Rapture is one of Christ's gift to the born-again believer! How precious a gift it is indeed! This picture was taken in Monticello, Virginia, at Thomas Jefferson's home. A storm was coming and the clouds were rolling in. What a beautiful view we had. Mr. Jefferson's home sits on a hill and we had a panoramic view of the valley as we watched the storm come in. My son, Adam, took this picture of the clouds as the sun's rays came through. He commented how he believed the clouds would look this way at the time of the Rapture! Oh what a gift! A grateful heart always takes our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances and places them on the Lord. We are able to thank Him for our blessings even while in the midst of a storm!
I recently celebrated my birthday and received several wonderful gifts which were so appreciated. I meditated on the absolute and Perfect gift - God's gift to me through the giving of His Son, Jesus Christ, so I may be saved! Praise the Lord for this wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father. I did a search for the phrase gift of God and was delighted to see that there were eight verses with this phrase in the Word! The number eight symbolizes "new beginnings" and Christ gives us a new beginning through the new birth! Praise His Holy Name!!
In reviewing the eight verses, I noticed that they could be broken down into seven categories.
1. The fruit of our labour: And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. (Ecc 3:13) and Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. (Ecc 5:19) Why should we consider the fruit of our labour a gift? If it weren't for the health God has given us and the ability to work, we would not be able to enjoy the fruit of our labour. I also think of the precious fruit of saved souls as a result of the labour of our work at soulwinning.
2. Jesus is our gift: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10) There is no greater gift in the world than to give your life for a friend. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Joh 15:13) I think of those who give their lives every day in defense of freedom for our country and they die for those they don't even know! Praise God!
3. The Power of the Holy Spirit: But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. (Act 8:20) To think that the power of God could be purchased is ridiculous. However, there are religions today who practice this very belief. There is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). Buy indulgences and buy your way out of purgatory - buy masses for those who are dead and their time in purgatory will be greatly reduced!
4. Eternal life: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:23) What a gift indeed! To be forever with our Saviour in Heaven is indeed a gift!
5. God's spiritual gifts to Christians: For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Co 7:7) We've all been blessed with one or more gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts are a whole other study unto themselves but the fact of the matter remains that we all have at least one. The gift is not for our glory or benefit but for the glory of God and for the cause of His work. All the gifts put together through the various members of a church make up a whole body of unified believers who are producing a beautiful work unto God.
6. Grace: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8) Grace, unmerited favor, is most certainly a gift! God shows us His agape love by giving us His undeserved kindness! We are putrid sinners, my friend. It only takes one sin to keep us out of heaven. A Holy and Righteous God cannot allow even one sin into His presence. To do so would infest a perfect place. Look at the Garden of Eden - it was perfect until Adam and Eve's sin entered. They were cast out of the Garden. Lucifer and his band of angels were cast out of heaven when they sinned. Praise God for His grace in our lives and giving us His only Son so we can have eternal life in His heaven!
7. Preaching: Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (2 Tim. 1:6) What a gift indeed. Our Pastor is our gift from God. How do you treat a gift which has been given to you? Do you discard it? Do you mistreat it? No, you cherish it and you make sure that it is well cared for because it is precious to you. So should our Pastor be to us. So should any preacher of the Word, an evangelist, a missionary, or a street preacher! If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pe 4:11) Treat your Preacher as a precious gift and let Christ's name be praised in so doing!
It amazes me that this phrase, gift of God, can be categorized into seven types! Seven symbolizes perfection and completeness! Doesn't this totally bless you? God's perfect and complete gift to us is through His Son, who gives us a new life!
How can one not be blessed by the Word when you pick it up apart and see that God has given us more to glean from! What people miss when they don't spend time in the Word!
Charles and John Wesley
Father, God, we glorify
Thy love to Adam’s seed;
Love that gave Thy Son to die,
And raised Him from the dead:
Him, for our offenses slain,
That we all might pardon find,
Thou hast brought to life again,
The Savior of mankind.
By Thy own right hand of power
Thou hast exalted Him,
Sent the mighty Conqueror
Thy people to redeem:
King of Saints, and Prince of Peace,
Him Thou hast for sinners giv’n,
Sinners from their sins to bless,
And lift them up to Heav’n.
Father, God, to us impart
The gift unspeakable;
Now in every waiting heart
Thy glorious Son reveal:
Quickened with our living Lord,
Let us in Thy Spirit rise,
Rise to all Thy life restored,
And bless Thee in the skies.
Devotional by Kate Plourde
60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible