1 Corinthians 12:4-11
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
-Gift in Hebrew is written as machau which means a present, offering, donation, talent, sacrifice, bribe, contribution, donation, blessing & benediction. In the Bible we see many references including; gift as a bride price (Gen 34:12), an offering given by God to the priests & their families (Num 18:11), gifts were given by priests as offering to God (Heb 5:1), Abraham gave gifts to sons of his concubines before sending them away (Gen 25:6), king Jehoshaphat gave gifts to his sons as inheritance (2 Chr 21:3), gifts can be used to gain friends (Pro 19:6), ones gifts present opportunities of influence (Pro 18:16), bribe to a judge to obtain a favorable verdict (Ex 23:8; Deu 16:19), it is a gift from God to enjoy life (Ecc 3:13), the magi presented gifts to Jesus (Mat 2:11), God has given us the gift of salvation through grace (Eph 2:8), righteousness is a gift from God (Rom 5:17), God has provided for us an indescribable gift (2 Cor 9:15), gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4-11), heavenly gift (Heb 6:4) etc.
-The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts, ministries & diverse activities for the edification of the body of Christ according to His will. These spiritual gifts include:- gift of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning spirits, tongues & interpretation of tongues. Apostle Paul describes the gifts of prophecy as superior for it speaks edification, exhortation & comfort to all (1 Cor 14:1-4). The Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us spiritual gifts for the benefit of the whole community & has granted us saving faith through Jesus Christ our Lord & Savior.
We thank You Abba Father for the gift of life & this far You have brought us, it is not by our power nor by our might but by Your Spirit Lord. All glory & praise belong to You. Enlighten our hearts Holy Spirit with Your gifts that we may function according to Your purpose for the edification of the church & for the glory of Your name. Heal us all oh Lord & we will be healed; save us all & we shall be saved; for You are the one we praise. Amen
“A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.”
-In many occasions we have seen different individuals interacting with the highest authority of the land where their gifts & talents make these provisions. Gifts & talents evidenced in areas of sports, art, music etc present many privileges & open up sereval doors. Bezalel was an authority in the area of art work & masonry, & was tasked to work in the tent of meeting & on the ark of the covenant. His skills were not natural but he was filled with the Holy Spirit, granting him wisdom, understanding, knowledge & all kinds of skills; to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver & bronze, to cut & set stones, to work in wood, & to engage in all kinds of crafts (Exo 31:3-5). David got the privilege of playing the harp for king Saul. Joseph & Daniel were also guided supernaturally & were granted the gift of interpreting dreams, which enabled them to accurately interpret their king’s dreams. God grants us various gifts & talents which should be cultivated & utilized as He leads us.
Lord You are good & Your mercies endures forever. Have mercy on us Jesus for we sinned & fallen short of Your glory Lord, forgive us our sins & cover us with Your precious blood. Thank You for the gifts & talents that You have already given us & those that You are yet to manifest, give us the wisdom to understand them & guide us to be able to fully utilize them for the glory of Your name Lord. Give us innovative ideas in Your deep wisdom & enable us to expand our potential for our good & for the benefit of many. Your love & mercy for us Lord is everlasting, guide us always according to will. Amen
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
-Jesus often cautions about unforgiveness & in the above scripture, He reminds us that before we give our tithes, offerings & alms, we must forgive first so that the gift may become a blessing to us through reconciliation. This is mirrored in the Lord’s prayer that; before we ask for forgiveness we must forgive those who have offended us so that God may forgive our trespasses too. During this time of lent, we are reminded to forgive all those who have offended us as a sign of love that Jesus calls us to take hold of; at every moment of our lives. This is a season of fasting, prayer & alms giving. It is also a time of self examination & changing our ways to reflect the life of Christ as His children through the help of the Holy Spirit. In Titus 2:11-13; we find that salvation came to all men through Gods’ grace, teaching us to deny ungodliness & worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously & godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope & glorious appearing of our great God & Savior Jesus Christ. It is therefore important that we maintain high moral conduct through holiness, righteousness & faith, not only during this season but all our lives as Christ calls us.
We thank You Lord our Father for the gift of life & for granting us salvation through Your beloved Son Jesus Christ. Have mercy upon us, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies. Give us the grace Jesus to forgive all those who have offended us & bless the work of hands. We acknowledge our transgressions & our sins are always before us. Against You, You only Lord, we have sinned, & done evil in Your sight. Blot out our transgressions merciful Father, wash us thoroughly with Your blood from our iniquity, cleanse us from all sin & remember them no more. Create in us clean hearts, O God & renew a steadfast spirit within us. Do not cast us away from Your presence & do not take Your Holy Spirit from us. Restore unto us the joy of Your salvation & uphold us by Your generous Spirit. Our Father who at in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread & forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power & the glory; forever & ever. Amen
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
-By Adams sin; condemnation came into the world causing death but through Christ we receive pardon, justification, abundant grace & the gift of righteousness yielded life everlasting. The gift of righteousness indicates Gods’ very own righteousness that clothes us & makes us acceptable before God. Through the same gift; we have gained access by faith into Gods’ grace in which we now stand before His holy presence as co-heirs with Christ. Through Christs’ death & resurrection we have been reconciled to God so that much more certainly by His grace we may be saved. Our identification with Adam, the first man reveals insufficiency but our identification with Jesus Christ results to true love in certainty of abundant life.
We rest secure in Your salvation Jesus, have mercy on us & grant us Your grace. Thank You Father for always being there for us, protecting us, providing for us, sustaining us, redeeming us from all unrighteousness through Your merciful love & granting us the gift of righteousness through faith. Be with all those who do not know You Jesus that You may transform them by Your grace. May Your grace which is sufficient for us all remain in our lives, homes, work places, businesses, schools, relationships, marriages, societies, government & nation; through Your loving kindness. Heal all those who are sick, suffering, struggling in various area of life merciful Father. We cast all our burdens unto You Jesus for You care for us; give us rest Lord. May Your peace that surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts & minds always through You Christ Jesus. Amen
“And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!”
-Simon; not the disciple but the sorcerer of Samaria astonished the multitudes with his signs & was called the great power of God. When Philip began to preach the gospel of Christ, baptizing people & performing signs & miracles, many believed including Simon. The apostles laid hands on the new believes; they received the Holy Spirit & were saved. Simon was astonished by these signs but came from the wrong premise of sorcery; offering money to receive the same anointing. He thought that Gods’ gift can be bought by money, not knowing that the Holy Spirit in His own will imparts in us different gifts. Peter rebuked him telling him that he should repent from his wickedness & pray for forgive & deliverance from bitterness & captivity of sin. Like Simon many times we have lost direction & fallen short of the glory of God. We are called to repent, believe in the gospel, be baptized by the Holy Spirit, proclaim Gods’ word to many & always have faith in Christ; an account of righteousness.
Only You Lord are holy, only You are God, have mercy on us & on the whole world. Renew our hearts & minds; & cleanse us from all unrighteousness through Your grace. Fill us Holy Spirit with Your fruit & gifts according to Your will so that we may accomplish that which You have called us to. Baptise us Holy Spirit that we may always have faith in Jesus Christ our Lord & Savior. Have mercies on us, our families, leaders & the whole world Jesus; & guide us as we walk towards Your cross that we may always die to self in humility & be saved through faith in You. We thank You, we praise You Lord & proclaim Your faithfulness now & forever. Amen
“And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us. ” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.”
-Jacob was confronted by mixed emotions of guilt & need for reconciliation when it became necessary to visit his brother Esau. Filled with anxiety & fear of the unknown he presented several gifts including; cattle, sheep, camels, donkeys, goats, male & female servants in stages through his servants to pacify the situation before he got to Esau who had four hundred men with him. The adverse situation originated from his deception when he took hold of Esau’s birth-right. Gifts have a way of creating & mending friendships as one who gives gifts has many friends (Pro 19:6). Despite the disagreements & difficulties we are facing, God reminds us to secure our hearts from anxiety but with prayer, petition & thanksgiving; make our request known to Him (Phil 4:6). Jacob prayer & God granted Him favor for his brother received him well, they made peace & reconcilled.
We thanks You Father for You have sustained us, given us the gift of life, ability to breath & good health; all glory & honour belongs to You Lord. Have mercy Father on those families which have lost their loved ones through the plane crash & other causes; that You may settle their hearts with Your perfect peace. Give us the grace to reconcile with all those who have offended us & those we have offended Lord; & may Your eternal love reign in all our relationships & interactions. Deliver us from all fear & anxiety for through Your death & resurrection we are more than conquers through You Christ Jesus. Many are in prison, others homeless, sick & suffering; have mercy them Lord & deliver us all from our pains & struggles. We present all our prayers, petitions & hearts desires with thanksgiving, be gracious unto us Father & answer all our prayers. Amen
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.”
-God is Sovereign & His purposes will always prevail. In His own wisdom & power He makes everything beautiful at His time & calls us to endure in patience & love through faith in Him. Who can know the things that God has stored in our hearts unless the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. God has freely given us the gift to eat, drink, enjoy & rejoice in our labour through His loving nature. Unfortunately, sometimes we are blinded by a few challenges here & there; & do not fully appreciate the gifts that God has freely bestowed unto us including the gift of life. Other times due to need for competition & the nature of man to lack satisfaction in worldly desires, we find that others are better than we are in one way or another. God reminds us to be satisfied by Him alone through seeking first His Kingdom & His righteousness, & all other things will be added unto us. God also calls us to rejoice in Him always & again He says rejoice (Phil 4:4). According to king Solomon; this is the best thing, to rejoice, & to do good, eat & drink, & enjoy the good of all our labour. We are also reminded that God has good plans for our lives; plans to prosper us & not to harm us, plans to give us hope & a future, & therefore we should not not worry about anything but in everything give thanks to God.
You are our King of king’s, our Lord of lords Jehovah our Almighty God. You are the Beginning & the End, the First & the Last; we praise You & exult Your holy name. Thank You Holy Spirit for the precious gift of life & the gift to eat, drink, enjoy our labour, do good & rejoice in You; we praise You & exult Your holy name. Thank You Father for the victorious gift of salvation that You have given unto us through Your Son Jesus Christ; we praise You & exult Your holy name. Help us Holy Spirit to always remain in Your presence as You reveal unto us the deep things of God; that we may journey with You in the right direction of purpose according to Your wisdom. Bless the work of our hands Father, shine Your light of generosity into our hearts that we may give to those who need us & increase our capacity to receive the gifts that You have prepared for us. Our Father who at in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread & forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power & the glory; forever & ever. Amen
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—”
-God has given us the victorious gift of salvation through His sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. Christs’ death & resurrection is the foundation of our Christian faith by which we have received the greatest gift of salvation; so that through faith in Him we may have eternal life. We know that we all have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God & it is not possible for anyone to absolve or save themselves from sin which leads to death lest anyone should boast; but it is only through Gods’ mercy & grace. By believing in Christ we have received His righteousness through faith & have been freely justified by His grace through the redemption that came by our Lord & Saviour Christ Jesus (Rom 3:22-24). There is therefore no Jew nor Gentile but all of us who are of faith have been justified as one in the body of Christ.
O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving in our hearts; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise, for our Lord is great above all gods & His love for us is everlasting. Have mercy on us Father & clothe us with You righteousness for Your name’s sake. We rejoice in You Lord the joy of our salvation. Have mercy in all those who don’t know You that they may believe in You Jesus & be saved. You are our strength & our song Lord; in Your divine blessing we rest secure in You as we partake of abundant life with our descendants. We thank You Jesus & praise You for the free gift of salvation that satisfies our hearts now; until the end of time. Amen
2 Corinthians 8:20-21
“avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us— providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”
The congregants of Macedonia were very generous in giving lavish gifts & large contribution to the church. Apostle Paul applauded them for their sincerity in service & diligence in charitable deeds; required in the works of ministry, reminding them to hold fast love. However, he presented a caution against accounting for all submitted resources & giving gifts to be seen by men but encouraged giving for the glory of God. Jesus reminds us that when we administer charitable deeds to be seen by men; we have no reward from the Father. But when giving alms, the left hand should not know what the right hand is doing; so that these private acts may be rewarded openly (Mat 6:1-4). We are also reminded that Christ was generous in sacrifice, for He was rich yet for our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich & abound in everything; in grace, faith, speech, knowledge, diligence & in love.
Thank You Jesus for Your mercies & grace upon our lives. Thank You Jesus for all the generous gifts that You have always given us & for Your sacrifice on the cross for us all; for when You were rich; You became poor so that we may become rich & abound in love, faith, speech, knowledge, grace & all diligence. All glory, honour, wisdom, riches, strength & praise belongs to You Lord. Enlighten our hearts Father so that we may always exercise humility in service, alms giving & administer gifts to the church; for the glory of Your name Lord. Remember merciful Father; all the homeless, hopeless, jobless, street children, orphans, widows & all those who are sick & suffering, that You may deliver them from all their struggles. Bless us all Lord indeed & expand our territories in all spheres of our lives; for Your grace is sufficient for us all. Amen
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
-Matthew defines the relationship between a parent & his children bringing out an association of love in provision. A comparison between an earthly father who provides good gifts to his children & our Father in heaven in His nature of love providing good gifts to us His children. God in His goodness cautions us against anxiety telling us never to worry about our lives what we will eat or drink, or what we will wear for He feeds the birds of the air & we are more valuable than them & by worrying we cannot add anything to our lives. God reminds us to ask anything according to His will & He will provide to us generously. We are commanded to maintain good relationships with God & our neighbors through love; which is a fulfillment of the law & the prophets.
Generally, in scripture the word gift has three senses; gifts men give to men, sacrificial offerings presented to God & gifts God gives to men, especially in connection with provision, sustenance, salvation, righteousness, faith, love & grace. Gifts to men create & mend broken relationships & enhance reconciliation. Gifts to God remind us of Gods’ goodness & mercy upon us through His precious gifts that He has graciously given to us through His sacrifice on the cross. We give to God in different forms including; tithes, offerings, thanksgiving, alms & other sacrifices in good works & especially our bodies as pleasing sacrifices to Him. The gifts of the Holy Spirit cannot be manufactured or bought, & they result in good fruits when effectively utilized; bring glory to God. To utilise our God given gifts; we need to exercise them & eventually; we become fluid when performing them, & they become a part of us. Christ became the First fruit; liberating us to God through His death & resurrection, that we may bear many good fruits & inherit eternal life through faith in Him. God has made us His children through sanctification by His precious blood & we belong to Him. Through His love though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich through His precious gift of salvation; that we may never lack any good thing as we place our eyes on Him alone.
God You are good & Your mercies endure forever. You have given us every good gift Lord our Father through Your everlasting love for us; we thank You & praise Your holy name. Have mercy on us Lord & on the whole world, & always cover us with Your precious blood. Give us the grace Lord to be reconciled with our neighbors & set us free from every anger, pain, oppression, depression, insufficiency, sin & grant us love that we may always offer our bodies as pleasing sacrifices to You holy God. Shepherd us always Lord as we give our tithes, offerings, alms & sacrifices that You may receive them merciful Father. You have aligned our heritage in You Christ our Lord through Your gift of salvation that we may never lack any good & perfect gift, we praise Your name forever. Lord by Your mercies give us the desire of our hearts & make all our plans succeed. Grant us all our requests, prayers & petitions according to Your will; loving Father. You give victory to Your anointed Lord; grant us Your grace. By the victorious power of Your right hand Lord shelter us with Your love from Your heavenly sanctuary & grant us peace. We put all our trust in You Lord our God & exult Your holy name forever & ever. Amen