Word of the Month

Gifts of God

August 1999

In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote that God did not spare his own son, but instead delivered him up for us all (Romans 8:32). Thereby, God gave everything that was necessary for mankind to attain redemption and salvation. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus gave us the gift of himself through his sacrifice. Now it is important to receive Christ in the way he reveals himself today: at the altar, through the messengers sent by him, in word and grace.

When people give a gift to somebody, they occasionally do so with the ulterior motive that they may receive a present in return or in order to influence the recipient in their favour. Not so the Lord! He took the sins of the world upon himself on the cross and was victorious over hell, death and the grave through his resurrection. All power is given unto him in heaven and in earth and through the fullness of this power, he gives everything that serves towards the completion of our souls. Out of love, God wants to help all of mankind, so that not even one soul is lost, but that all shall be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), even those souls which are already in the yonder world.

What do we receive from the Lord? Truly everything? Let us be totally honest, who among us has not at least once prayed for something with all their heart and nevertheless did not receive it! Let us ask ourselves, was that which we prayed for really important for the salvation of our soul? Only that counts! Everything else will one day be trivial. Our body and our belongings will perish, nothing will remain of even the greatest works of mankind; all this will fade into the mists of time. But what God creates and builds, that will remain! He wants salvation for the soul. That is why he gives us everything that we need to reach the goal of our faith, the eternal fellowship with him and his son.

There are many things that we need on our walk of faith and our Lord grants us all of them! First of all strength - it flows into us out of his word, that is brought to us in his house. Prayer also conveys strength. Should we ever feel feeble or weak, then we can talk to God, our Father, in a quiet moment and share with him all that which moves our innermost being. We will then experience that he grants us strength and renewed confidence.

Peace is also a gift of God, which we can acquire if we open our hearts. And how gladly do we not receive joy as a gift of heaven! What is the greatest joy for a child of God? The promise of Jesus to come again and take his own unto himself. In addition, the Lord gives us blessing, comfort and hope. Moreover, he offers his grace daily and anew. If we grasp his offer of grace in faith, then we receive forgiveness and redemption through the sacrifice of Christ. To be freed and pardoned from the burden of sin - what a sublime gift! It entails the participation in the marriage supper of the lamb as the crowning gift (cf. Revelation 19:9). With heartfelt greetings,<br/>

Richard Fehr