2001-04-23 - Seeking Good Gifts
Genesis 33:5 "And he lifted his eyes and saw the women and the children, and said, 'Who are these with you?' So he said, 'The children whom God has graciously given your servant.'"
I have been reading a book titled, English Worthies. It recounts people of note in the history of England. Two people recently stood out as I was reading. One is a woman who is buried at Dunstable. She gave birth 5 times in her life, but she had 19 children. The births had 3, 3, 3, 5, 5 each. The other woman is Dame Hester Temple who was born at Latmos. She had four sons and nine daughters and they multiplied so exceedingly that before she died there were over 700 people living from her children.
Children are a blessing from God. It may seem from time to time that they are a curse, but as the verse above says, God had "graciously given" children to Jacob. Psalm 127:3-5 also emphasizes that Children are a gift from God, simply saying, "Behold, Children are a gift from the Lord …" However, children are not the only gifts God gives us. There are many things in Scripture that are called gifts from God. In fact Scripture encourages us to seek gifts from God and even says that we ought to desire the "greater gifts." 1 Corinthians 12:31
We probably shouldn't tell this to people who are still in school, but wisdom is another gift from God, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5 This verse even seems like a promise. Do you lack wisdom? God says ask Him for wisdom, and it will be given.
The Holy Spirit is a gift (Luke 11:13). Faith is a gift (Ephesians 2:8). Eternal life is a gift (John 10:28). The grace of God is a gift (James 4:6). Peace is a gift from God (Philippians 4:7). And there is a host of other things that Scripture says are gifts from God.
One of the reasons I have dwelt on the gifts God gives us is because I think we are often prone to sell ourselves short when we think about the good things God has for us. It is easy to settle, or to seek and desire lesser things than we could strive for. In Christ we can approach the throne of God with boldness and expect great things from God. This is possible not because of any merit in ourselves but because of the righteousness of Christ that is ours in salvation. So let us seek great things from God and pray to Him that He might graciously give to us those things that are spiritually beneficial to us.
"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow." James 1:17
Soli Deo Gloria,