God Is The Greatest Giver
John 4:10, “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
Jesus asked this woman for a drink of water, but it wasn’t water He was interested in. He wanted to give this woman eternal life.
God is the greatest giver there ever was. He lives to give. When He asks something of us we can be assured that it is only so He can multiply it and give it back to us.
God is not interested in the water we can give Him. We don’t have anything to offer God that He doesn’t already have. God wants us. And by asking us to give of our time and money or desires, He is really asking us to give ourselves.
Many a person has walked away from God sad, like the rich young ruler because all they could think about was what they would have to give up, Mark 10:22. All of our achievements and possessions are nothing compared to what God offers us in exchange.
Just as Jesus turned this woman’s attention toward what He had to offer her, we need to focus our attention on what the Lord has given us in Christ. He is no fool who gives up what he can not keep to receive what he cannot lose.
God’s Idea Of Greatness
Luke 3:20, “… that he shut up John in prison.”
John spent 30 years preparing for a six month ministry, followed by one and a half years in prison before he was beheaded. Many people would not consider his life very successful, yet Jesus said John was the greatest man who was ever born, Matthew 11:11.
John’s greatness didn’t lie in his own success, but in the success of another. John stirred up the hearts of an entire nation in expectancy of their Messiah. The ministry of Jesus owed much of its success to the work of John. John had prepared a people to meet their God, Malachi 3:1.
In our celebrity conscious society, few people want to be the backup singer or the announcer who introduces the main speaker. We have adopted a mentality that unless we are in the limelight we have failed. That’s not the way the Lord looks at things.
When the Lord passes out rewards in heaven, we may be shocked to see how He evaluates greatness. Many people who did not receive recognition while on earth will shine like the stars in eternity. The Lord will judge our works on what sort they were and not what size they were, I Corinthians 3:13.
There Is A Righteous Anger
John 2:15, “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables.”
Jesus brought the message of “love your enemies” to the world and demonstrated it in such a way that some people have forgotten instances like this when Jesus showed anger. Anger can also be a godly emotion.
Ephesians 4:26, tells us to “be ye angry, and sin not”. This means there is a righteous type of anger which is not sin. This is why we are told to hate evil, Psalm 45:7; 119:104, 163; Proverbs 8:13; Romans 12:9.
Ephesians 4:26, goes on to say, “let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”. That doesn’t mean that it’s alright to be angry during daylight as long as we repent by nightfall. Rather, it is speaking of this righteous type of anger. We are never to let it rest. Don’t ever put it to bed, but keep yourself stirred up against the things of the devil.
The key to distinguishing between a righteous anger and a carnal anger is to discern our motives and the object of our anger. Godly anger is directed at the devil with no consideration of self. If we are angry with people, it’s carnal, Ephesians 6:12. And if our motivation is self-serving, then it’s wrong.
God Is Not Cheap
John 2:6, “And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.”
God has been represented as a God who is on a tight budget and who disapproves of us asking for anything more than just the necessities. However, this first miracle of Jesus disproves that.
Scholars suggest that a firkin was equal to about nine U.S. gallons. This would mean that six of these water pots would hold 162 gallons of wine. That’s a lot of wine!
In a similar instance when Jesus was asked to provide food for the multitude, He once again supplied more than the need, Matthew 14:15-21; Mark 6:33-44; Luke 9:11-17.
These examples show the Lord’s willingness to meet our needs with plenty to spare. God is not cheap!
Today, don’t limit God to barely meeting your needs. If you have enough, then believe for extra so that you can bless someone else. “Let God the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant”, Psalm 35:27.
Luke 1:80, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.”
John the Baptist had the most important job assignment ever given to any mortal in the history of the world. He was to prepare the way for the coming of the long awaited Messiahm Verse 76.
How did the Lord prepare John for such an important task? What university could teach him all he needed to know? Who offered a course in becoming the greatest prophet who ever lived? Matthew 11:11. Of course, no one could prepare John for such an important position, so the Lord taught him personally. John was in the deserts until he was thirty years old. He was tutored directly by the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
The personal touch of the Lord became very obvious. Six months after John began his ministry, the whole nation of Israel was experiencing revival and anticipating the coming of the Christ. When Jesus came, the Jews wondered how he could know things he was never taught, John 7:15.
This special knowledge which comes directly from the Lord through the Holy Spirit is now available to every believer.
It’s a part of the new covenant, Hebrews 8:11. The Holy Spirit has been sent to be our teacher, but we have to show up at class and expect to receive, John 14:26. He’ll even show us things to come, John 16:13.
Luke 1:46-47, “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
Here, Mary makes a very clear distinction between her soul magnifying the Lord and her spirit rejoicing.
Our soul is the part of us that is considered to be our personality. It is our intellect, emotions and will. Our spirit is the part that gets changed at salvation and it is always operating in “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance”, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:22-23. That’s true whether our souls (feelings and emotions) “feel” it or not.
Many believers wait until their emotions feel like praising the Lord before they enter in to worship. They think it’s hypocritical to act like they are rejoicing in the Lord if they don’t “feel” it. But our spirits are always rejoicing in the Lord. It’s actually hypocritical to go by our feelings and not magnify the Lord with our souls when our born again spirits are already rejoicing.
Our born again spirits are always in tune with the Lord and walking in the joy of the Lord. Our flesh is often dominated by what it sees and feels.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like praising the Lord, but the choice rests with our souls. If we choose to praise the Lord, our emotions will follow.
The decision is yours, Deuteronomy 30:19.
Nothing Is Impossible
Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
What a statement! If we just believed this, how different our lives would be!
From birth we are trained to know our limitations. You can’t have this. Don’t touch that. Don’t put things in your mouth. You can’t touch the fire. On and on the list goes.
As we grow up, it’s actually a sign of maturity to recognize our limitations and learn to live within them. There are limits to everything. It’s a fact of life.
But God has no limits. When we enter into the realm of the supernatural, we have to take off all the limits. We have to renew our minds with the truth that God is not like us. He can do anything.
We have an awesome God whose power is so great that we can’t even comprehend it. He created the universe and it didn’t even tax His ability. Yet many times we find ourselves wondering if our situation is too hard for the Lord. We can’t see how even God can pull us through.
The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”, Jeremiah 32:27. The answer is a resounding NO! The only thing that limits God is our unbelief, Deteronomy 7:17. Today, let’s honor God by believing that nothing is too difficult for Him.
Knowing God’s Will Is Not Enough
Luke 1:34, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
Contrast Mary’s question and Gabriel’s response with the question that Zacharias asked Gabriel and the response that he received, Luke 1:18-20. You will find the questions are similar but the responses are totally different.
Both Mary and Zacharias asked how these miracles would occur but it is evident that Mary was asking “how” in faith while Zacharias was asking “how” in unbelief. It is a clear Bible teaching that unbelief doesn’t please God, Hebrews 11:6, but the Lord doesn’t mind us questioning Him for the purpose of instruction so we can cooperate with His will in our lives.
Abram knew that it was God’s will for him to have a son but Abram and Sarai came up with their own plan which caused them and the world much grief, Genesis 16:1-6. Abram would have avoided many problems if he had asked the Lord how He was going to accomplish this miraculous event.
If Mary had not questioned this angel, she might have reasoned that Jesus would be born through the natural union of her and Joseph. This would have been a grave mistake. It would have disqualified her from being used.
It’s not enough just to know God’s will. We need to continue to seek the Lord until we know God’s plan for accomplishing that will.
NOW, OR THEN?
John 1:16, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”
The Christian life is not like an insurance policy that only pays off when we die and go to heaven. Every believer has now received the grace of God and the fullness of God. We are now complete in Him, Colossians 2:9-10
When we receive Jesus as our Lord, we are instantly changed in our spirits, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Many Christians aren’t aware of the change that takes place in their spirit. They continue to live within their physical and emotional realms and are oblivious to the new, born-again part of them that has received the fullness of God.
You can’t see or feel your spirit. You just have to believe what the Word of God tells you because God’s Word is spirit and life, John 6:63. Your spiritual salvation is complete. Nothing can be added to it. In your spirit, you are right now as you will be throughout all eternity, 1 John 4:17. PRAISE THE LORD!
To the degree that we will renew our minds to these truths and believe them, we will experience this fullness in this life, for as a man “thinketh in his heart, so [is] he”, Proverbs 23:7.
Pray the prayer of Ephesians 1:15-23 and let the Holy Spirit reveal “Christ in you, the hope of glory”, Colossians 1:27.