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The Giver, Or The Gifts?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
James 1:17

Are you at life's peak, in perfect health and blessedness,
Is your life filled with abundance, wealth, and happiness,
Do you have everything you've ever wanted, almost utmost bliss,
Then I ask you, where's your faith -
In the Giver, or the gifts?

So many times we gauge our life by our position, our possessions, or our prosperity.
But what about our walk with the Lord?
Are we looking to the Giver, or the gifts?

When the nation Israel become prosperous, they took their eyes off of the Lord. Their faith was in the gifts, not the Giver. This brought them only heartache and grief. (See Deuteronomy 8) God tested the Israelites to see where their faith was, in God's Word (the Giver) or their prosperity (the gifts). Sometimes He lets His children have what they desire, but sends leanness into their souls, because they choose their desires over the Lord. (Psalm 106:15)

If the Lord took away your health, your wealth, and your physical prosperity,
where would your faith be -
In the Giver, or the gifts?

Are you blessed with all the friends that you could ever wish,
Do you have joy unending in your family relationships,
Or are you alone, abandoned, with those friends so sorely missed,
Oh where do you look for comfort -
In the Giver, or the gifts?

So many times in life we are satisfied by our earthly relationships, and we tend to neglect God. Instead of Jesus having the preeminence in our lives, He often takes second place. We are looking to our family, our friends, and our acquaintances (the gifts) to meet all our needs, to give us a sense of belonging, to let us know that we are loved, and we neglect the Lord (the Giver), except when we want something or face a crisis.

We neglect to maintain our fellowship with the Lord, and then when family or friends reject us, we cry out to God and blame Him, though He was always there. His love always remains constant and He doesn't change. We do. We walk by sight and look to the gifts, not the Giver - which we must look to in faith. Many times we use our loneliness as an excuse to go our own way, to walk in sin, to find comfort from worldly pleasures.

Yet we often forget that, in the Bible, many of God's children were abandoned, rejected, forsaken by men, but the Lord never deserted them!

We see David encouraging himself in God (1 Samuel 30:6), Jesus rejoicing that His Heavenly Father was always with Him (John 16:32), and the Apostle Paul proclaiming the Lord's faithfulness to stand by His servants when all others have turned away (2 Timothy 4:17). These men of God (and many other men and women of God throughout the Bible and throughout history) looked to the Lord for their comfort and solace. They maintained their relationship with the Lord (the Giver), so that when their other relationships (the gifts) failed, they had Something (Someone) Eternal to rely on.

They relied on the Giver, not the gifts.

Many times we look to the things of this world (the gifts) to give us satisfaction, to give us peace, to give us contentment, and we neglect to look to the Lord Jesus Christ (the Giver), who alone can give us true satisfaction, give us His perfect peace (John 14:27, and Isaiah 26:3), and to give us lasting contentment in Him.

Are you looking to the Giver, or the gifts for your real needs in life? The things of this world are only temporary, the things of Heaven are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Where are you looking for fulfillment in your life -
In the Giver, or the gifts?

My friend, who are you relying on -
The Giver, or the gifts?

Where does your strength come from -
The Giver, or the gifts?

Where do you look to for peace and happiness -
The Giver, or the gifts?

Where's your faith in times of trials and distress -
The Giver, or the gifts?

April 28, 2001
Jerry Bouey
Eagle's Wings Ministries

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