The Three Gifts

Ecclesiastes 5:19:
Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

“Wow, to be happy, joyful, and wealthy is a gift of God, yet this is almost an unheard of concept in today’s world, especially for all too many Christians. This gift does not necessarily mean that God will cause you to be rich beyond your wildest dreams, but He certainly wants you to have enough stuff to enjoy the more abundant life. We read in Philippians 4:19, my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus, and this is still true right now in the continuous present tense. There is nothing wrong with having money or being rich, as God’s will is for His children to have all of their need supplied ― abundantly.” ~LMJ~

A More Excellent Way (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 12:31: But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

But covet earnestly the best gifts is the way that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying the opposite; sure you can try your hardest (and covet earnestly) to get the best spiritual gifts, yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Paul was writing to an entire church of believers in Corinth, saying that there was another way to conduct their lives, a better way to live than the way they were currently living, a more excellent way. This way is the way of love, to conduct our lives with charity as the following verses in chapter 13 then explain. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because living with the love of God in our hearts is the best way to enjoy life and experience happiness.

The basis for Paul explaining to the believers that there is a more excellent way goes back to verse 27–31 of I Corinthians chapter 12, which shows some of the gifts that the believers in the church were coveting, thus prompting Paul’s discourse.

I Corinthians 12:27–30:
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
-28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
-29: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
-30: Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

This section of Scripture first states that we are the body of Christ and then that we are members in particular in that body. Each believer is unique within the body and each has a special place that is tailor-made for him or her with room to grow. As Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” It is this more excellent way of God’s love that allows room to grow and enjoy life as God intended for His children.

Then within this body, there are some ministries given by God in Christ Jesus, such as Apostles and Prophets and Teachers. Also, some believers in the body work miracles very well, such as ministering healing to others. As well, there are others in the body who are very diverse in the use of additional spiritual gifts and manifestations that have been supplied by God’s grace to help us walk with Him and with each other.

The verses above are not a shopping list from which we can pick and choose the ones we personally want to have; rather, God set some, i.e., God gives to His children what is needed at the appropriate time and in the proper measure to supply whatever would fit the spiritual need within the body of Christ. Paul is saying that when and where believers simply conduct their lives in love, they will then have tapped into the more excellent way as God supplies to His church (the body of Christ) the best and most needed gifts, which will be received effortlessly and enjoyed by all.

I Corinthians chapter 13 begins explaining some of the spiritual qualities of charity. The love of God (charity) is the more excellent way because it will bring the most needed and “best gifts” right to you at the appropriate time and in the right measure. The chapter unfolds to the believers the more excellent way with explanations of some of the greatness of God’s love applied, what it will accomplish when acted upon, and also what charity will not do. For instance “{charity} doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (verse 5). Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is a wonderful chapter for believers to read and reread over and again.

I Corinthians 13:6: {Charity} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Iniquity means wrongdoing, or unrighteousness. In other words, let us say we see someone who wronged us in some way in the past now going through a hard time and we think, “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or finding satisfaction with someone’s misfortune is where charity cannot and will not function because that kind of thinking does not emanate out of the love of God. This is because charity thinketh no evil.

“Rejoice” is spiritual joy repeated over and again! We will have and enjoy this continuous rejoicing when and where we have charity in our lives. When we look into the Scriptures, recognizing them as divine truth from God, it will cause our hearts to rejoice. When the truth begins to hold us up, then the love of God in our hearts will also begin to bubble over into rejoicing ― abundantly. I Corinthians 13:8 reads, “Charity never faileth” when active in one’s life. Now, how often will we fail when we have God’s love in our endeavors in life? Never!

How do Christians avoid being failures? Charity never faileth. When and where we have charity in our hearts, we will succeed. If charity could fail just once, then it would be worthless for it could let us down at a most important moment. However, and thankfully, charity never faileth.

Our loving, heavenly Father has given to His children a more excellent way to live, a more excellent way to follow, and a more excellent way to love. All that any believer can do is either walk into the abundance of God’s more excellent way and learn to be loving, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly fulfil your God-given talents and gifts as you continue rejoicing in the truth, for you will have tapped into a new spiritual love that will never fail you, for it is God’s more excellent way.

I Peter 4: 8–11 (The Amplified Bible):**
-8: Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
-9: Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).
-10: As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
-11: Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Rejoice and Be Glad in Righteousness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

God’s healing Word shows the believer how to receive God’s righteousness, and teaches us how to rejoice and be glad in righteousness. Righteousness is a gift from God of acquittal from all wrongdoing. It is to cause one to become right in God’s eyes, to have the spiritual ability to stand before the Creator without any feelings of fear and guilt because God has forgiven us of our past sins and made us right and just before and with Him. First let us discover how to get a hold of some of God’s righteousness, and as always, we will go to the Scriptures to gain a biblical perspective of how to receive from God.

Matthew 6:33:  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

“These things” are the necessary ingredients for life such as having our food and clothing. But first Jesus taught us to “seek” God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and when these are sought after and discovered, then, God Himself begins adding to our lives not only the necessities for life, but also His kingdom and His righteousness become ours.

Romans 10:9–10:
-9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
-10: For with the heart man believeth unto {God’s very own} righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto {your very own} salvation.

I Thessalonians 2:12:  That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

To literally “walk worthy” is to walk (conduct and behave ourselves) as those who are already righteous before God (Ephesians 4:1–3). Knowing that we absolutely are truly deserving of His kingdom and His glory lightens our hearts with joy and gladness. Without believing in and knowing of God’s righteousness within, we could not accept or partake of this wonderful God-given gift and spiritual right of righteousness. When we believe and confess Jesus as our Lord, we receive God’s very own righteousness and with our confession of the resurrection we are given salvation and our most special calling!

This salvation is being made whole in body, soul, and spirit, and salvation means to be saved for heaven for eternity. This is a wonderful reason for believers to rejoice and be glad. Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:7 to “seek, and ye shall find,” and the search will bring a man or a woman to Romans 10:9–10 (above), wherein one finds the greatest discovery of all time because he literally will discover the righteousness of God – within his or her very soul.

Psalms 68:3: But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

Obviously, this verse recognizes that righteousness can be found, that being righteous will bring gladness, and righteousness allows and encourages us (the righteous) to rejoice – exceedingly!

Psalms 32:11: Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. {To be “upright in heart” is to accept and acknowledge our God-given righteousness with rejoicing and gladness.}

Rejoice and Be Glad in Salvation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In Habakkuk 3, we see the subject is on struggling through days of trouble and hardship, not unlike today when at times things may not seem perfect. Yet even when times are rough, our God can give to us rejoicing and gladness in knowing that we also have salvation, just as He did for the Old Testament believers.

God is always with us; we only need to trust in Him. Did you know that when you become saved by confessing Romans 10:9–10 that you are saved even today? It is true, even today, we are already on the journey of eternity, and we may enjoy living with the knowledge that we will live throughout eternity.

Habakkuk 3:18–19a:
-18: Yet {through difficult times} I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. {Whenever life seems too difficult, a wonderful key is to look to our God through Christ rather than focusing even more negative attention upon a currently awful situation.}
-19a: The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make {cause} me to walk upon mine high places . . .

A hind is a mother deer that first checks the rocky cliffs with her front feet to insure that her back feet will land safely on solid ground. This is the promise to believers: our God can watch our steps like the hind, so that even through a difficult time we do not fall. Thus, the lesson here is to still rejoice in the LORD through a difficult time and we will be brought to our high places, to the place where the desire of our hearts will take us. And now, God in Christ in us is like that hind, checking our steps before we ever walk into danger and placing our steps on firm ground, up on high.

Psalms 37:4: Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Galatians 6:9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

We can dispel darkness by focusing of the light of God’s Word, rather than on a current dark event. In Philippians 4:12–13, Paul taught that whether he had to endure lean times or times of abundance in his life he always looked to God and the strength that his Savior Jesus Christ gave him, just as Christ strengthens us today and we are blessed.

 Matthew 5:11–12:
-11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
-12: Rejoice and be exceeding glad {and this is why}: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Well, we certainly are in good company! And God gives us great expectation of receiving a great reward in heaven, for looking to Him and confessing His healing Word.

Psalms 40:16–17:
-16: Let all those that seek thee {God} rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually: The LORD be magnified.
-17: But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me {Can you imagine, you are upon His mind and in His thinking, see: Jeremiah 29:11.}: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying {come to my aid speedily}, O my God.

As the Psalmist prayed for God’s speedy deliverance, so can we, and we can be assured that God hears our requests (Philippians 4:6–8). Our God truly loves us; we are forever in His thoughts. He has given to us salvation, today, in the here and now to comfort our souls through life’s difficult times. He is with us, so:  Rejoice and be glad in His salvation.

Christ’s Return for You!

By whom {by Jesus Christ} also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God– Romans 5:2. By the faith of Christ, we have complete access into all of God’s grace and therein we are encouraged to stand, with a further view that we can rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. This hope of the glory of God is the return of Christ in which we can genuinely rejoice and anticipate with a yearning desire. As we stand on the grace of God, we can live without the fear of future retribution because we have the hope for Christ’s return to receive us up into the heavenlies to be with God for eternity. So please continue looking forward to that great and glorious day, the hope of Christ’s return for you!” ~LMJ~