Romans 6:23 NKJV
2 Timothy 1:6-7 NASB
Matthew 6:33 NKJV
BE Grateful Series
We are all given a great gift.
Once we open the gift we begin the process of discovering there are many gifts.
As a matter of fact there are an unlimited number of gifts.
Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Living without God leads to eventual death, but by turning to God (even ever so slightly) we have the gift of eternal life.
When we turn to God we don’t really have to say anything special. The turning happens in your mind. Think about God/Jesus/Spirit. Open your heart and mind to God/Jesus. God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit are ONE.
In your mind, open your heart to God and ask God to come.
In doing so you receive the gift of eternal life.
God is IN you when you extend the invitation. God waits for you to say come.
Once you invite God/Jesus/Spirit in, God will stay in.
That’s because God loves you and wants to spend time with you. The Apostle Paul wrote about the mystery and the purpose of the mystery in Ephesians 3:8-13:
Paul wrote, “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
The Apostle Paul (who was ( a Highly educated Pharisee) was blinded on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) where he met Jesus. From that day forward, Paul tirelessly sought to proclaim the message of Jesus and the mystery of Christ. Paul saw God’s purpose was not only for the Jews who followed Jesus, but for the Gentiles.
Paul continues in Ephesians 3:14-21:
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
After Paul turned to God, he saw how God/Jesus/Spirit strengthens us by dwelling in our hearts when we receive Him. Paul knew about the width, the length, the depth, and the height of the love of God/Jesus/Spirit. Paul knew we are offered more than we can ask or think.
Paul wrote to his beloved brother and student Timothy and told him, “For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7).
Paul was telling Timothy whenever we feel weak, God will send us the gift of brothers and sisters in Christ who will lay hands on us and strengthen us. The act of laying on of hands can be a handshake, a hug, a simple touch, or touching someone while you pray for them. Having another human touch us is healing. I’ve done elder care in facilities and touching their hand or arm IS a gesture of healing.
Paul reminded Timothy that God has given us the Spirit and we are strong by God’s powerful love and constant discipline.
This discipline is unlike any earthly discipline. Other translations call this a discipline of having a sound mind or self-control. The Koine Greek word is sōphronismou which means self-control that we receive from the Spirit within us.
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus taught, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus gave them a model prayer (the Lord’s Prayer) so we would have a great example of how to talk to God.
Jesus reminded them in Matthew 6:33 when we seek God and rely on the righteousness of God everything else will be given to us.
It’s a gift that God gives us. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Seek God
Take a deep breath. Relax. Think of God. Let the Spirit of God permeate every cell in your body. Rest in God for as long as you like. God loves you and is always there for you.
If you know an elderly person, you can pass on the gift of healing just by shaking their hand and praying for them.
In God, Deborah