God is a Giver

March 15, 2011

The Holy Spirit

I was thinking about gifts today.  While letting my mind wander for a bit I started thinking back on some of the birthdays and Christmas’s of my childhood. I remember the excitement as I tore the wrapping paper off of the gifts, and how stoked I was to see a toy that I had been wanting inside. As I opened the box to play with this new treasure, my heart began to sink as I saw the words on the side of the box, “Batteries NOT Included.” As a child, there is almost no greater disappointment. It seemed that these were always the times when for one reason or another there were no batteries to be found in the house. Now my parents obviously didn’t do this on purpose. They had just missed that one little detail. There was something else that was necessary for me to be able to enjoy their gift to it’s fullest. Sometimes I feel like we as Christians feel the same way about gifts of the Spirit from God.

In his letter to the Corinthians the Apostle Paul says, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7) Throughout the rest of chapter 12 he goes on to elaborate upon the gifs of the Spirit that are a result of the “manifestation of the Spirit.” Each of us has been given at least one gift, but few of us truly walk in them. Why is that? In part, I believe that this is because we project our parents oversight in some of the gifts they have given us onto God. We don’t see the gifts clearly working so we assume that He forgot the batteries, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth! You see unlike our earthly parents, our heavenly Father is not only the giver of gifts, He is also the creator of the gifts. No one knows the inner workings of the gift more intimately than the one who created it. He knows exactly what you need in order to make it function correctly and as a result has already provided it for us. You see the missing component is grace.

The grace of God is multifaceted and beautiful in a way that I am sure I will never completely understand. Unfortunately we often boil this glorious term down to the mundane definition of “getting what you don’t deserve.” Sometimes we Christianese it up a bit by saying it is “God’s riches at Christ’s expense.” Now these definitions aren’t wrong, they are just incomplete. There is an active and powerful aspect of grace that isn’t represented in either of these. Ephesians 2:8 doesn’t say that BECAUSE of God’s grace we have been saved, it says that we have been saved BY it. It was grace that ripped us from the kingdom of darkness and lovingly deposited us into the kingdom of His beloved Son. Graham Cooke likes to refer to grace as God’s “empowering presence.” Of one thing we can be sure: there is a definite aspect of power inherent within the multifaceted treasure that is the grace of God, and it is precisely this power that fuels our gifts.

God didn’t forget the batteries. Speaking again of the gifts in Ephesians 4:7 Paul says, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” In the greek, the word for ‘measure’ that Paul uses here is metronMetron means “determined extent or portion, required measure.” So in essence what Paul is saying is that each one of us has been given a gift by Christ and that along with that gift, the required measure of grace was given to enable us to walk in the full determined extent of that gifting. The problem isn’t God and His oversight in the gift. The problem is us. I think there is some truth to Graham Cooke’s definition of grace as the “empowering presence” of God. If our gifts run on grace, what happens when we withdraw from God’s empowering presence? God is a giver and He knows what’s required for you to enjoy His gifts to the fullest. Trust that He has given you the necessary grace to walk in the fullness of His gifts, and focus instead on staying in the presence of the giver, who is Himself the source of power by His Spirit.

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About Brandon Cantello

Husband to Nicole, Lover of God, Dependent on the Spirit, Passion for His Church. My name is Brandon. I love Jesus. For more visit My Blog

View all posts by Brandon Cantello


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