The Gift Of God

1 Peter 4:10 (KJV)  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.


Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Thanksgiving has passed, and we have all enjoyed the particular blessings of God and His mercy. Not everyone was as blessed as we were. There are homeless people, poverty stricken people who did not have a great Thanksgiving. But by and large throughout America we gathered around the table and ate a little too much. We celebrated. Hopefully you all thanked God for His great bounty, His blessings upon us.

Psalms 9:1-2 (KJV) .. I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.  [2]  I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Following Thanksgiving many went out on “Black Friday” looking for a bargain. All I have ever found on Black Friday was a crowd of people, dangerous traffic, and heartburn. But people are flocking to every store that Friday and throughout the weekend. Why? Because Christmas is upon us, and we MUST give people we love a Christmas present.

Why must we? Because it’s Christmas. Where was this tradition established? Not to be a Scrooge, but Christmas Present Giving is not particularly Scriptural. If you look up the origin of Christmas gift giving on the internet you’ll find a variety of guesses as to where this tradition started. One place I looked said that Christmas gift giving began with the celebration of the Winter Solstice in Rome. As Christianity became more widespread it began to be done in the name of Christ. Another site stated that Christmas gift giving began with the Wise Men who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus (Matthew 2:11). What is interesting about Christmas and gift giving is that the early Pilgrims (our founding fathers) celebrated Thanksgiving but would not give gifts on Christmas. In 1659 the Massachusetts Bay Colony banned Christmas and gift giving, a ban that stayed in effect for 20 years.

Is it wrong to give Christmas presents? I don’t think so. I think generosity is a Christian virtue. We shouldn’t let Christmas be just about gift giving, but should let our focus be on Christ. The Apostle Paul said:

Acts 20:35 (KJV)  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Christians should be generous and giving. Not just at Christmas, but at all times. But let’s not just give a temporal gift this year. Let’s share Jesus with others, and explain that HE is the reason for this blessed season.

Have You Received The Gift?

1 Peter 4:10 (KJV)  As every man hath received the gift …

Have you received “THE Gift”? I’m not talking about some electronic gadget, a game console, shoes and clothing, or jewelry. I’m not talking about something that will perish and fade away, a thing that will end up in the landfills of America in just a few short years.

Have you received “THE Gift”?

This Gift is eternal, and never fades away. This Gift is from God Himself. It is the only Gift that changes a life and makes your life worth living. Jesus spoke of this Gift to a Samaritan woman one day. He said to her:

John 4:10 (KJV) …. 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.

The Gift of God is Jesus Christ.

When Christ is received to oneself then He brings with Him forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit of God. The early Apostles preached of The Gift:

Acts 2:38-39 (KJV) …. Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive THE GIFT of the Holy Ghost.  [39]  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

To receive this Gift you must put down all other gifts. You must REPENT, turn from following the god of mammon and the gods of human prosperity. You must REPENT and come empty handed to the Master, laying your life down for Him.

This Gift cannot be purchased with money

During the Spanish-American War a number of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders” fell sick from undernourishment. Teddy heard of a local lady by the name of Clara Barton who had opened her home to nursing wounded soldiers. He went to Clara and asked, “Will you sell me some supplies for my men. We are desperate need!”. Clara refused. Teddy then asked “Well how then can I get these things. I must have proper food for my sick men.” Clara said “Just ask for them, Colonel”. When he asked, he got all that he needed.

The Gift of salvation is not for sale at any price. Salvation is purchased by the Blood of our Lord Jesus. When you receive Him, believing He died for you and rose again, then you are born again. The Holy Spirit comes to you and you become one of God’s children. This is why the Scripture calls salvation:

the manifold Grace of God (vs 10)

Too many people think that the Grace of God can be purchased. It cannot be, because it has already been purchased. Some come to God with a pledge to turn over a new leaf, to live better, to give more. A confused man named Simon the Sorcerer sought to purchase that great Gift from the Apostles. Peter told this confused man:

Acts 8:20-23 (KJV) … Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  [21]  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.  [22]  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  [23]  For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

The Gift cannot be purchased with money, but it is freely given of God. Yet this Gift was not free to God Himself.

In order for God to offer us this Gift – this marvelous and unparalleled Gift – He had to give up His only Begotten Son. The Apostle summarizes what happened to secure this gift with the words “sent forth”:

Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  [5]  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The Son of God was “sent forth” from Heaven. He was not born in a palace, but in a manger. He was not born in the Temple, but in a small town called Bethlehem. There was no room at the inn, so Christ was sent forth to the lowest place possible. On the night of His birth into humanity the angels of God marveled. Here is the Gift of God! Who shall attend this great moment? Lowly shepherds.

Luke 2:9-14 (KJV)  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  [10]  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  [11]  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  [12]  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  [13]  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  [14]  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The Gift that God gave would change human history forever. Through this tiny Baby God would offering Himself to humanity. The Gift of God offers salvation to all who will believe.

The music group Casting Crowns does a beautiful song about the coming of the Gift of God. Called “While You Were Sleeping” part of the lyrics say:

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left his throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight
Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

God the Son lowered Himself to come to this earth for you and I. The first Adam was made of the dust of the ground, was kissed of God, and placed in a Paradise. Yet the first Adam sinned and brought sin and death into the world. Given the gift of life and peace the first Adam chose instead the temporal pleasures of life. Rather than love God’s gift the first Adam stole a gift – a forbidden fruit – and brought us all into misery. God could have wiped us out and started fesh, but He did not.

God promised a Great Gift.
That Gift was His Son Jesus.

The Apostle speaks of this free Gift:

Romans 5:15-21 (KJV)  But not as the offence, so also is THE FREE GIFT. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and THE GIFT BY GRACE, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  [16]  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is THE GIFT: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but THE FREE GIFT is of many offences unto justification.  [17]  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  [18]  Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one THE FREE GIFT CAME UPON ALL men unto justification of life.  [19]  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  [20]  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  [21]  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gift that matters is the FREE Gift that God offers to us all. It is Jesus Christ His only Begotten Son. Christ was born of Mary, birthed in Bethlehem, ministered throughout Israel, and crucified for our sins. Jesus died for our sins to take us away from sin.

Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is THE GIFT of God:

When you receive Christ as Lord and Savior you receive Heaven in place of hell, God’s kingdom in place of a temporal kingdom, and eternal life in place of temporal life. You receive all of the benefits of Heaven along with the companionship of God the Holy Spirit Who dwells within you. What a blessed Gift God has given us in Christ!

The Gift Given Is Meant To Be Re-Gifted

Have you received the Gift of God? If so, then the rest of the sentence applies to you. We read:

1 Peter 4:10 (KJV)  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

I’m 60 years old this year, and over the years I have received many gifts that were not exactly what I wanted. I remember one Christmas the youth of the Church I was in gave me a Spongebob Squarepants tie. Preachers receive a lot of ties. I supposed I have about 150 pounds of ties handing in my closet. I’ve worn most of them – but I draw the line at a Spongebob Squarepants tie. Actually I did wear that tie one time while I was preaching, but so many people were focused on the tie it became a distraction to God’s message. I re-gifted that tie to a young lady years ago who loved Spongebob Squarepants.

Have you ever re-gifted anything?

I’ve heard stories of people receiving something they didn’t want who accidentally re-gifted that present back to the original giver. That would be embarrassing. Yet this is exactly what God tells us to do with the Gift that we have received from Him. He said:

1 Peter 4:10 (KJV)  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

If you have received The Gift of God’s Grace you have not received it just for yourself, but you have received it to share with others. You are to share this Great Gift by how you behave towards others in the Family of God. We read:

1 Peter 4:8 (KJV) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

The word translated “charity” is the Greek ἀγάπη agapē which means “to love as God loved”. We are to fervently (ektenēs) or without ceasing to have the same love for our brothers and sisters in the Lord as Christ had for us. We neither earned nor deserved what God offered us in Christ. Jesus went to the Cross of Calvary not for His sins, but for yours and mine. His Blood was spilled for the whole world:

2 Corinthians 5:15 (KJV)  And that {Christ} died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

John 3:16-17 (KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  [17]  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

His free Gift is offered to all, whether the “All” receive it or not.
You are to love OTHERS as He loves YOU.
Love the UNDESERVING for you did not deserve His love.
Neither did I.
Love your enemies, do good to them.
You were once an enemy of God.
His love ministered to you.

Jesus died for the blasphemer, the sinner, and yes, even for you and I. What does the Scripture say?

Romans 5:8 (KJV)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

His love to us came to us without strings. We received His great Gift of Grace through His suffering. We are therefore to – without limits – love one another. Christ said:

John 13:35 (KJV)  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

You are to re-gift His gift.

Have you been sinned against by a professing brother or sister? Was not Christ sinned against? Have you not sinned against Christ this past week, this past month, this past year? Has He not forgiven you for His Blood’s sake? Then forgive others, and have unceasing love – loud and outrageous – toward one another.

1 Peter 4:9 (KJV)  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

The phrase “use hospitality” is only found here in the New Testament. It is the Greek “φιλόξενος philoxenos” which means “to be generous to others – to make them feel at home”. We are to do this “without grudging”. Not because we are forced into it, but because the Spirit within us wishes it. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:46-48 (KJV) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Love is the mark of perfection. As we have been loved, let us love. Jesus put it simply when He listed the great Two Commandments of God:

Matthew 22:37-39 (KJV) … Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  [38]  This is the first and great commandment.  [39]  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

To those who come to your home, Church, or Business make it your business to treat them with love. Give them your best, as if they were valuable – for they are. That which wins others to Christ is the love of God manifested through His people. You were given a great and gracious Gift in Christ, a Gift you did not deserve. Love others as God has loved you!

1 Peter 4:11 (KJV)  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.

You – dear Beloved Believer – are God’s representative on the earth. Speak as if God were speaking through you. Guard your tongues:

1 Peter 3:9-10 (KJV)  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.  [10]  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

Let God be in your speech. Let God be in your hands. You were given the great Gift of Christ so that you can be His hands and feet on this present earth. As the late Billy Graham once said:

It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict,
God’s job to judge, and my job to love”

Do all things to the glory of God. Let your lives share the Gospel of salvation to all who will hear. This is the Gift that keeps on giving.

That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
To Whom be praise and dominion forever and ever.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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