Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

A TRUE GIFT

                   A true gift      

                                   March 22, 2015

 

 

Philippians 2:5-11

 

 

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 NKJV)

 

 

Often we forget in the celebration of Christmas that the season we celebrate is not about trees or lights or even gifts...it is about “A GIFT” given to man that forever settled his condition of shortfall before God.

Again, the celebration we call Easter is not about bunnies or candy it is not about springtime or pastel colors...it is again about “A GIFT” given to man that is so great we cannot comprehend in total its impact upon the human race. We have become so enamored with our culture as humans that we forget the true nature of a gift. A gift is something given to you without a snag...no hooks....no connections...it is free. It is not done from a sense of duty, but out of love.

 

A gift presented to you with a price tag is not a gift...it is an indebtedness. Jesus paid a price for us never reminding us of the cost but leaving it up to us to call to remembrance the depth of his love not the debt we should owe. God never asks us to pay...he simply asks us to accept...and receive.

 

 

God the giver 

 

 

John 3:16-17

 

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 NKJV)

 

The very nature of our God is not that of a spoiled potentate, but that of a giver. In the earliest recordings of scripture, Jehovah God displayed a nature that can only be characterized as being that of a giver. God so loved the world that He GAVE.

Look at some of the names of God

Jehovah Rapha....the healer

Jehovah Nissi.....the covering

Jehovah Shammah...the presence

Jehovah Shalom.....God our peace

Jehovah Jireh....our provider

Jehovah Tsidkenu....God our Righteousness

Jehovah M'Kaddesh  The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy

 

The giving nature in us comes from God...we may distort it and change its nature, but the root of giving is a God character. Satan loves to interrupt that nature in us because it fragments our ability to accept grace in the purity in which it is offered. It releases condemnation into our lives and causes us to move toward greed which is a satanic trait.

 

Our creator is a giver...he gave his very best to cover the very worst.  When Jesus was born to this earth, the gift was announced. When Jesus rose from the grave, the gift was complete.

 

 

Jesus the gift 

 

 

Galatians 1:3-5

 

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Galatians 1:3-5 NKJV)

 

I remember in high school and college, there were always a couple of guys on campus that were jokingly referred to as “God’s gift to women”. These were usually very vain, superficial guys that were one hundred miles long and one inch deep (speaking figuratively). And even though they were popular with the ladies, the truth of the matter is that they were walking heartaches. They left a trail of destruction behind them that can only be described as ruthless.

 

In contrast, we have Jesus. He IS God’s gift to mankind. He came, as the Bible tells us, “as a lamb to the slaughter.” It says in Isiah 53 that he was not attractive to the secular world. He did not have his ties to earthly culture, but had designs on the restoration of man to His heavenly father. There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be a goodness like that contained inside our Jesus.

 

His nature was not to come as a powerful potentate as the Jews had hoped, but a comely, humble, gentle, savior who was the perfect gift....He was presented to us without cost and without recanting.

 

 

Humanity the recipient 

 

Hebrews 4:14-16

 

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV)

 

Over two thousand years have passed and much of man still does not “get it”. This amazing gift that has been so graciously laid at our feet is rejected every second of time that ticks toward our destiny with God.

 

As the light of revelation comes on in our heads and in our hearts, we are called to reiterate the message of the goodness of God and the greatness of the gift given to us. This is what we mean when we say that we “witness our faith”. Many have tried to turn witnessing into an applied science...or a philosophy. Apologetics is the lame invention of man. The goodness of God does not have to be defended...simply shared.

 

Remember that you represent not a religion or a theological position...you simply represent the sum product of the goodness of God upon your life. That is what will empower you to reach your generation for Christ. Being a Christian is not adhering to a religious rhetoric, but living and fleshing out the results of a marvelous gift at work inside of you. A.W. Tozer explained the goodness of God and the finished work of Jesus upon the cross this way...

 

 

 

“The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.” ~ A. W. Tozer

 

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