Tuesday, December 02, 2014

God Gives Great Gifts

The surest way to receive nothing from God is to be satisfied with less.

Luke 1:46-55 Mary responded, "Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For He took notice of His lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.

49  For the Mighty One is holy, and He has done great things for me.  50  He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear Him.  51  His mighty arm has done tremendous things!

He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.  52  He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.  53  He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.

54  He has helped His servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.  55  For He made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever."

Do you want God’s blessing in your life? Can anyone honestly say, “Nah! I’m not interested in that!” Yet we don't always see God's plans for our life as a blessing.

We all need and want God’s blessings. We all want to receive good things from God. He made us and therefore He alone knows what we need most. As a loving Father, He is ready to give His children the best gifts. But sometimes his plans are not our plans and he may be leading us to a huge blessing as we are reluctantly going along with what he is doing.

God doesn't hand out gifts to everyone indiscriminately. If your children are on the naughty list they don't get as much as they might if they were on the good list. God has criteria for gift giving and even though you cannot manipulate God you should have certain characteristics that will make your life "blessable."

God satisfies the spiritually hungry with good things.

In Luke verse fifty-three Mary tells us that God "has filled the hungry with good things.”Obviously God isn't preparing a buffet for us to quench our physical hunger. God is interested in satisfying the appetite of the spiritually hungry.
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
With the abundance of food that most of us have we don't fully get the picture of how spiritually hungry God wants us to be. There are a couple of things that are true of hungry people, they are focused on how to satisfy their hunger and their satisfaction doesn't last for very long before they want more. We pay a lot of attention to satisfying physical hunger and God wants us to be just like that about spiritual matters.

How often do you get spiritually hungry and long to fulfill that desire?

Satisfaction comes from God alone, he made us, he understands us, he knows what we really need and what we yearn for. He knows my deepest need and he wants to meet it completely. We will never have that hunger fully met before we step into God's presence in Heaven. We will hunger and thirst to know him more than we ever will in this body.

God sends the self-satisfied away empty.

The surest way to receive nothing from God is to be satisfied with where you're at. If you are looking at your own ability to take care of yourself or if you are looking anywhere else for satisfaction then God will send you away. Do you look at yourself and feel that you are okay without God? Are you satisfied with what you know about him and what he wants to do in your life or do you want more?

The Jews probably would have guessed that the Messiah would come through the chief priest or one of the many rabbis but God chose a poor carpenter and his wife. a couple that didn't have any significance. Those in Jerusalem who thought that they were spiritually “rich” were overlooked.

Mary says that God “sent away the rich empty-handed.” In this world, the rich are the full and the hungry are the empty. But in God’s order, the rich are the empty and the hungry are the full.
Revelation 3:17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
It reminds me of the church of Laodicea. This church was in a prosperous city, the saints there had the impression that their material wealth was a sign that God was okay with them. They were saved and satisfied, they didn't have any desire for spiritual growth, they didn't have any idols and there wasn't any immorality mentioned but they still received a harsh message from God.

There isn't any room for pride when you are approaching God. I must see myself in the same condition as God sees me, he knows how wretched and despicable that I am without Jesus blood, I need to appreciate what he has done for me that I could never deserve and I could never do on my own.

The cares of this world, riches, pleasure and self fulfillment are sure ways to miss the greater gifts that God wants to give us. (Luke 8:14) The worst thing that could happen to anyone is to be full of the passing pleasures of this world, but to be empty-handed when you stand before God at the judgment. He promises that those who are focused on their spiritual hunger are the ones that will truly be satisfied.
Revelation 3:20 "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
This same church received an offer from God. He is willing to be their friend, he wants to draw near, he wants to develop a closer relationship with them. We must come to God on his terms, see ourselves the way that he sees us and then we will be able to receive great gifts from him.

Dear God, I want to seek for satisfaction in you alone. Thank you for the great gifts that you give, especially the gift of your son, help me to never forget my miserable condition without the gift of salvation.