'God's Gifts Are Available Now'
by Travis Wiginton
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From the Israelites of the Old Testament to the present, God has pleaded for His people to possess their possessions!
To me, this means for us to lay hold by faith (and experience) on all of the blessings that God wants to give us. Paul put it best in Philippians 3:7-10 and 4:19.
Jesus told the story in the Luke passage about a great supper that was prepared and many people were invited. However, many made excuses and did not accept the invitation and missed the blessings. I've said before, 'excuses are reasons with holes in them' and God sees through those holes. Others were invited and many came and received the blessings.......but oh, the sorrow of those who did not!
By the time my Dad and we 4 sons worked in the cotton fields on our farm in Southwest Oklahoma (plus milking 22 cows by hand), we were ready for Mom's suppers! I can see her now as she waved a white kitchen towel from the back door of our home, calling out "Supper's ready".
How much greater is going to be God's Suppertime!
I call this "Come Home, it's Suppertime". (Luke 14:15-24)
Let's look at the great supper that is being prepared for us.
(All begin with the letter 'p' to help us remember the blessings of God's supper.)
~God provides the supper
~Jesus presents the supper
~We must accept the supper
~PAST (I John 1:9)
God takes care of the past by His forgiveness. God's grace equals mercy that takes the cup of sins and empties it and wipes it clean, with Jesus' blood and fills the cup with love! So 'grace equals mercy plus love'...but please remember that he who forgets the past...
is in danger of repeating it.
~PRESENT is cared for by His Presence (Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 28:20)
So many miss the God Who is...by concentrating on the God Who was....
or the God Who will be. God is the Eternal I Am.
~PROSPECTS are as bright as the Promises of God
Abraham believed (Romans 4:20-21)
Moses believed (I Kings 8:56)
Paul believed (Acts 27:25)
Jesus by His Crucifixion and His Resurrection underlined that all of His Promises are TRUE!
Truly, the future IS as bright as the Promises of God, but we must know the Promises.
~PLAN and PATH (Jeremiah 29:11-14 and Proverbs 3:5-6)
His overall plan for us, is followed by the path (Way) that He leads us. (John 14:6)
But remember Proverbs 12:15, 14:12 and 16:25, tell us that 'there is a way that seems right to man, but it is the way of destruction'.
I like Proverbs 16:7, 'when a person's ways please the Lord, God makes even his enemies to be at peace with him'.
God gives light for us on His path. (Psalm 119:105)
God's Will and Way is like a two-seated bicycle, but make sure that Jesus is in the FRONT seat!
~PERSON - We can relate to God as a 'person' -
He loves....we love.
He desires fellowship and so should we.
He desires intimate relationship with us and we must desire it with Him.
However, the person who REALLY relates to God must come God's Way and we believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
~POWER (Matthew 28:18)
Jesus said, "All power is given unto Me, in Heaven and in Earth."
Before He ascended, He promised to send the Holy Spirit, to give power (John 16:7-14).
"Greater is the power in you, than any power in the world." (I John 4:4)
In Ephesians 5:14-21, there's a great study on the Holy Spirit.
Paul's 'Gospel in a verse' is great. (Philipians 3:10)
Two Greek words for 'power' are dunamis (dynamite) and pneuma (wind). (John 3:8)
~POSITION - Paul's favorite topic is 'union with Christ'
'I am in Christ and Christ is in me'.
We take a position by repentance and faith, then the Person and Power of Jesus is in us.
"The first makes me fit for Heaven, the second fits me for earth...
The one changes my destination, the other changes my destiny.
One makes Heaven my home, the other makes the earth my workshop." (Ian Thomas)
~PASSION - (Like Paul in Romans 10:1-4)
Paul never lost the wonder of what happened on the Damascus Road. (Acts 9)
He shared this experience often and we need to share our experience.
Christ in you (Col.1:27) can give you a passion, for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
The PATTERN for our life never changes...... Christ likeness! But our intimacy needs to stay constant - the Word and Prayer can help this. These days, much passion can be wasted on good things (sports, movies, music, etc.) yet we can still miss the best.
I have a sign in my study which reads: 'OU is Number 2...God is Number 1".
I had passion when I played baseball for OU (Oklahoma University), but I hope my greatest passion has been my work for the Lord.
The world can leave you 'flat' but God can:
~lift the load
~turn our disappointments into His appointments
~turn obstacles into opportunities.
We are truly BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING.....
but we can not, if we do not know 'the Blessor'...and the Blessings.
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Yes, we are blessed to be a blessing and you are certainly a blessing to me. Thanks again for your obedience in sharing what the Holy Spirit gives you. Love in Christ, Julia