The Gifts God Gives to us are Excellent

God’s gifts to us are excellent, absolutely excellent!

The gifts that we receive from Him are glorious to behold.

He spoke to what He made and called it good – yes, very good.

And when we trust in Him, we have good reason to be bold.

 

Those who believe in Christ will do the same works He has done,

Because His gifts are excellent, and giving them is fun.

Such gifts, which God dispenses, can result in signs and wonders,

Because, though man may fail you, our Lord Jesus makes no blunders.

 

He never doubted who He was but spoke with clarity.

The teachings that he fed the crowds rang with authority.

“For if you who are evil know to give your kids good stuff,

Your Father who’s in heaven will supply more than enough

 

Of what you need to live a joyful life upon the earth.

The love He lavishes is of immeasurable worth.”

In order to accept it, though, you need to know it’s real,

That using spiritual gifts does not depend on how you feel.

 

They are not based what you feel or think that you deserve.

The strength you need to offer them does not require raw nerve,

But a love for excellence you know can only come from God.

So, let that be the shoe with which your gospel feet are shod,

 

With praise poured through an earthen vessel resting on His Word,

And acts of faith well-grounded in the truths that you have heard.

For healing comes by being fortified in His great might,

So, take the time to edify yourself before you fight

 

By knowing that’s He’s excellent. His gifts to your are excellent.

The gifts that you receive from Him are glorious to behold.

He spoke to what He made and called it good – yes, very good.

And when you trust in Him, you have good reason to be bold.

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Faith’s Journey: From Seed to Shoot to Fruit

I. From Seed to Shoot to Fruit

Faith starts out as a seed that stretches to become a shoot.

That shoot is destined to eventually develop fruit.

 

Along the way faith learns to speak. It shall not remain mute,

Provided it receives good care and doesn’t “get the boot.”

 

Sometimes when Jesus puts a seed of faith in someone’s hand,

That person sees hard ground and simply cannot understand

 

How best to help that seed grow up into a miracle.

Faith is a substance which contains amazing potential

 

But if you wrap it up in rags of your own righteousness

Then you will surely find yourself engulfed by fierce distress.

 

For, like a buried talent, that poor seed of faith can’t grow

Through your own sin-stained toil. You must let God help you sow

 

The faith that works through love, made possible through his shed blood,

A perfect sacrifice for sin. Receive the cleansing flood!

 

Remember: Those who grew their talents did it through a trade,

Replacing their despair with joy for which their Savior paid.

 

His grace given so freely is the soil that will nourish.

Through the power of His Spirit, He enables faith to flourish.

II. Faith Produces Fruit Through Love

“For verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Miracles are a fruit of faith, but faith starts as a seed. The important thing here, however, isn’t the seed itself. It’s the  soil in which the seed is planted.

“But that (seed, of faith) on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” – Luke 8:15

So then, must we strain to bring forth fruit?

“Faith . . . works by love.” – Galatians 5:6

“God is love.” – I John 4:8

“Love (charity). . . believes all things. . .” – I Corinthians 13:1-7

“I (Jesus) am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.”

“Looking to Jesus,  the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2

“You shall know them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

 

 

 

 

Faith Working Through Love: The Fruit of Patience

Patience (aka long-suffering) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). It is also the first attribute associated with love in I Corinthians chapter 13.

How many people these days exhibit patience though? I know I struggle with it. I want people to be nice to me NOW.  When they get impatient, I get upset. I am impatient for them to be patient! Oh, what a flawed world we live in. We have more flaws than we know.

But God is patient. I John 4:8 tells us that God IS love.  To know God is to have this patient love living in us. As God the Father’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ demonstrated that love toward us (see John 3:16). It is a very patient love.

Acts 10:38 declares that Jesus did good and healed everyone that the devil oppressed. Out of love – the Father’s perfect love – He healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out devils. His love was full of patience  and endured  much  unbelief.

One time there was a man whose son had a deaf and dumb spirit. Jesus’ disciples could not cast it out. When Jesus heard this, it frustrated him. “O unbelieving generation! How long must I remain with you?” he said. “How long must I put up with you?” In other words, “How patient must I be?”

Why did he say that? Perhaps it is because people still questioned His ability to heal, despite the many miracles He had done.  Imagine, for example, that you are an expert table maker.  If anyone can make a table, you can. But despite the fact that people know you built thousands of tables, they question your ability to build another one. Perhaps they suspect your “table-building anointing” has run out. They asked your workers for help but they weren’t as skilled, so they wonder if perhaps you  have resigned from the business.

“I know  you did  it before, but are you sure you can do it again?” they ask.

You know you still have what it takes to build tables, but most people doubt you can. Even after seeing you at work, they’re still not sure. You feel the patience draining out of you.

“Oh, puh-lease! You’ve doubted me a hundred times and I’ve had it up to here! No more, that’s it, I’ve reached my limit. I’m finished, do you hear me? Completely finished with you!”

That’s what Jesus could have said. But love is full of patience – aka long-suffering – meaning that it suffers long. Despite the continual episodes of unbelief His people demonstrated, Jesus showed them patience.

He said, “Bring the boy to me.”

The father made another mistake. He said, “If” – as in, “If you can do anything, please help us.”

Again, Jesus showed patience, by encouraging him. “If you believe, all things are possible to the one who believes.”

The father asked Jesus to help his unbelief and Jesus did.

The fruit of love is patience, and patience comes from God.

 

 

 

 

 

Faith That Works Through Love

The Bible tells us God is love,

And love believes all things.

It’s Jesus’ faith that saves us

With the righteousness it brings.

He never fails to show us

All the great things He can do.

If we will keep our eyes on Him,

Then He will see us through.

He promises to give us hope,

A glorious future too.

He healed the lame, made blind men see,

And cured the lepers too.

He never once made people sick,

And when they were in doubt,

He used his quiet authority

To cast the demons out.

One day a man who had no hope

Said “Jesus, if you can

Do anything, then help my son,

Because there is no man

Among your followers who knows

The way to calm his rage.

Please free this boy tossed to-and-fro

Inside that unseen cage.”

Amazed to see such unbelief

Displayed before His eyes,

Yet brimming with compassion,

Not a lick of compromise,

He drove out the evil spirit,

Overruling every doubt.

Though, as the boy lay on the ground

(it looked as if he’d died),

As Jesus helped him to his feet,

It could not be denied

That something great had taken place,

A miracle of faith.

God’s own belief brought wholeness

And rebuked the wrathful wraith.

No unbelief can stand against

A love so pure and true,

Through which all things are possible.

I know that love. Do you?

A Man of Mind-boggling Super Powers

He had a power some might call mental telepathy:

Discerning people’s thoughts and giving words of prophecy.

To tell the future He did not require a crystal ball,

Because He was a perfect man, untarnished by the fall

 

He didn’t need some special mix of herbs to cure the sick,

Or some weird mesmerizing power to make His teaching stick.

By giving thanks, He greatly multiplied the loaves and fish,

To feed a multitude of people. Such a filling dish!

 

He didn’t have to cast a spell to turn water to wine

Or walk on water He created, for He was divine.

He didn’t have to pray for hours to try to raise the dead.

He simply spoke the Word and lifted them right off the bed.

 

Though being in nature God, He took no credit for the power,

But leaned upon the Holy Spirit every single hour.

His powers were mind-boggling, yet He declared we’d do the same

If we’d simply believe on Him and call upon His name.

 

He didn’t do it for the money, pride or worldly fame

But for the love of Father God. Such love is not a game.

He gave his life to save us from our sins and make us whole.

To ransom us from everlasting death He poured His soul.

 

Death couldn’t hold Him in its grip, for He did nothing wrong.

His resurrection power defeats the grave and makes us strong.

So, let’s lay hold of it, because it’s not about the motion,

But centers on the person who deserves our full devotion.

 

Worthy is the Lamb… (Revelation 5:12)