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~

Acts – Revealing Our Spiritual Love

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Acts, we have the story from the beginning of the Christian movement with its rise and expansion culminating with the power of holy spirit and spiritual love given for the believers to be genuine witnesses:

Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost {holy spirit, the gift of God} is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts opens up with the final gathering of Christ Jesus with his Apostles whom he had chosen. In Acts the believers would receive the spiritual power of holy spirit, and this inspired as well as empowered the new Church of God to begin walking with God in Christ in them.

The believers began experiencing God’s divine love in a much more dynamic way than was ever experienced by the individual believer before that time, for man would now have the love of God laden within their hearts through their receiving of the gift of holy spirit.

The Book of Acts shows a transition between the Gospel age and the new age of God’s grace, and with His grace upon their lives (as well as ours) the believers began enjoying God’s love in them and to one another, and they shared this with the world.

Romans 5:5 – And hope {of the return of Jesus Christ} maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit, the gift of God} which is given to us. {“Ghost” is an inaccurate translation of the Greek word, hagion. Our God is not a ghost, nor does He give His children ghosts, rather He gives holy spirit, and with this gift of holy spirit we have the love of God.}

The love of God that the believers were experiencing and enjoying literally propelled the first century Church into greatness, they were enjoying spiritual freedoms that had never before been given to men and women before the age of God’s grace.

Colossians 1:27 – To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Colossians reveals that we have Christ within; he is the epitome of love and he is our inspiration for living in love.

Even today the love of Jesus Christ within inspires Christians to walk in love, just as he had done in the first century Church as they loved not in word only, but in-deed and in truth (I John 3:18).

In the Book of Acts, the believers did exploits as they walked in love towards one another and presented to the people in the world the love of God.

Even though we cannot literally read the word love in the book of Acts, the powerful love of God in Christ was the motivating factor in their lives. Their love changed the course of human history and is underscored throughout Acts and is demonstrated in the lives of believers as they reached out passionately with love.

We cannot literally read for instance that Stephen in Acts chapter 7 stood up and with “forgiving love” opened up his heart and mouth to speak. Nor can we read about Philip’s “love of deliverance” in Acts chapter 8 when he went to Samaria and changed that city. Nor can we read in Acts 16 about Paul’s and Silas’ “saving love” when they were in jail at Philippi. Nor can we read about Peter on the roof with his “loving entreat” of the Gentiles to bring spiritual wholeness into the household of Cornelius and his friends with the Gospel. Nor can we read about the Apostles display of “magnifying love” on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Nor can we read in Acts 16 about Timotheus’ “obedient love” that was well reported by the brethren of Lystra and Iconium. Nor can we read in Acts 21 about Agabus’ “binding love” to rescue Paul. Why? The words “love of God” are not recorded in the Book of Acts, yet love is there, more real than if LOVE was written across the pages in big bold letters because love is the master key they utilized in order to live love as Jesus had instructed them in John 13:34-35.

Acts 19:20 – So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

The Word of God became living and real in the hearts of believers for they were motivated by love, becoming genuine witnesses of the resurrected Christ. Thus the Word of God grew mightily in their lives and prevailed in their culture.

Love was the motivating power and source behind almost every action that the believers undertook in the Book of Acts.

Today as we walk with God believing in the knowledge contained in the Church Epistles, then the same powerful love will still bless and motivate our actions. As God’s love grows within our hearts, love will inspire believers to reach out and offer to others the same spiritual love that has been so graciously given to us in Christ.

Luke who was inspired by God to write the Book of Acts omitted the word love, and instead he was inspired by love to write clearly on the effects that love produces, as is seen throughout Acts.

The inspiration of Jesus Christ and his love that is placed within our very hearts continues revealing Our Spiritual Love because his love still inspires us today to continue walking with him in God’s grace as the believers in Acts had done.

Ecclesiastes – Revealing Our Duty

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Ecclesiastes is really written to men and women who think with their hearts, who have had the deepest desire to understand and walk with God. David’s tenth son, Solomon, the second child born to Bath-sheba wrote Ecclesiastes.  He was the richest man in the Bible.  Solomon was also someone whom God greatly loved.

In I Chronicles chapter 1, God asked Solomon what he wanted, and God would give it to him. Solomon only asked for wisdom and knowledge, and because he didn’t ask for riches God gave to him both riches in extraordinary amounts of abundance, and wisdom with the knowledge to apply the wisdom of God.

There were many times that Solomon disobeyed God’s Word and did what he felt like doing, yet towards the end of his days he again began searching and finding his God because he found his Savior Christ in the Scriptures.

In Ecclesiastes, as Solomon looks back upon his life and reflects on all that he knew, all that he did, and all that he had, he finally came to the conclusion that without Christ and God in his life ─ life itself was just not exciting.

In Ecclesiastes he writes of the heart of the matter, finding reason and purpose to life itself, and today we will see the conclusion of all that Solomon’s wisdom had discovered:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

“Fear God” is a term that some people use to imply that without being genuinely fearful of God, His wrath and vengeance, then they say that God cannot and will not bless the believer’s life. Yet this is totally untrue, God always loves us.  The word “fear” means to have respect, to give reverence with honor to God. Never does God want His children to be afraid of Him for any reason whatsoever!

When we look to Jesus Christ as the way to the Father, he can teach us how to genuinely love God without fear. He said in John 14:31, “But that the world may know that I love the Father.” Jesus wanted us to know by his example that he also loved, and he knows how to not only love, but also he knows how to teach us how to love and respect our heavenly Father.

Then verse 13 says, “and keep his commandments.” Again as we look to Jesus we see that in Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus combines all the Laws and commandments into two and the two are to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and without knowing Christ we would become totally burnt out trying to keep all of God’s commandments. However, when we walk in love toward God and our fellow man, then we can only be pleasing to God.

Thirdly the verse says “for this is the whole duty of man,” this is not some of the duty, not the best part of our duty, but our only duty is to love and respect God, and walk in love.

There was a time in Solomon’s life that he refused God’s instruction, and misinterpreted the Word of God, and as a result of that he lost his duty to God.  Solomon spent years contemplating the essence of life without God, yet when he again began looking to Christ, he found his way and finally recognized his duty and began enjoying life again.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He {God} hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world {the ages} in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning {of the ages} to the end {of the ages}.

God gave man the heart to quest and realize that there is a spiritual force and power behind life (Romans 1:20), yet that force (Who is God) is just out of man’s reach until he comes to know his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John 1:17 teaches us that “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he {the Son} hath declared him.

Jesus Christ’s mission has always been to make known God (to know Him Who was in the beginning of the ages) and he assures us that (in the end of the ages), our final resting place will be eternally with our heavenly Father.

Romans 11:33-36 teaches us that man of his own abilities cannot discover God’s judgments, nor His true ways, nor can he fully know God’s thoughts or be His counsellor. But when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts and lives, we can put on in our minds the thoughts of Christ who in turn reveals the Father. I Corinthians 2:16 reads, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? {The answer is no one can.} But we have the mind of Christ.”

When we put on the mind of Christ by putting on God’s Word, then we will receive the “mind of Christ,” and his mind gives understanding to us so that we may discover our true duty before God.

To honor, respect, and love Him and to love our fellow man. This is the only heartfelt conclusion to life that we have in Jesus Christ and this is what will satisfy the believer’s inner quest for true spirituality.