At no time of year is God’s generosity more evident than Christmas and the New Year. He gave His Son, an event we’ve commemorated for over 2000 years now, and He has just given us another year of life and blessings. It is fitting, therefore, to also consider some of God’s other generously-given gifts as we close out this year of focus on generosity. (Conclusion coming next week.)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. –James 1:17
God gives the Holy Spirit.
When I was a kid, I played Pac-Man on our Atari game system. (Y’all know I’m old.) I could maneuver Pac-Man to chomp a power dot, then I could go after the ghosts instead of running from them. But the power only lasted fifteen seconds or so, then I was back to fleeing the ghosts.
God permanently and overwhelmingly
provides the Holy Spirit to us.
The Holy Spirit isn’t like a power dot. We don’t get to use Him every now and then for a spurt of spiritual energy. No, God permanently and overwhelmingly provides the Holy Spirit to us. Jesus promised it would be so.
He said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” –John 14:16
To help you and be with you forever.
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. –Titus 3:5b-6
Poured out on us generously through Jesus.
Do you treat the Holy Spirit like a power dot—something you use only when you can’t manage on your own? That’s my tendency. But we can live in a state of permanent power, walking constantly in the Spirit.
(Man! I could have busted that high score on Pac-Man if I had a permanent power dot!)
God gives wisdom.
God’s unique and perfect
wisdom is available for us.
Wisdom…that intersection of experience and knowledge of which we all need more. How many times could I have used a heavy dose of wisdom in the past! God’s unique and perfect wisdom is available for us, if we’re paying attention. In my experience, it grows gradually, but if we seek it, He lays it out for us in abundance (Luke 11:9-10).
It’s the power dots again. The game gives them to the player, but you have to see them pulsing, go after them, and then use them wisely.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. –James 1:5
Ask God, who gives generously…
God gives spiritual gifts.
God never begrudges us the
spiritual gifts we need.
It’s easy for us to look around, compare ourselves to others, and feel like we are lacking, but God never begrudges us the spiritual gifts we need, especially as the Body of Christ. In His inestimable wisdom, God empowers us with personality traits and skills that make it easier for us to help each other and represent His Kingdom in this world.
As part of the local church, we will have everything we need to fulfill God’s specific plan for our community (2 Peter 1:3). If there’s an area where I’m weak, for example, God will give me the strength directly or bring someone alongside me who excels in that exact area. Often, He gets more glory from cooperation of His children than from one individual “going it alone.”
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. –1 Corinthians 12:7
The New Testament doesn’t use the word generous in reference to spiritual gifts, but the implication is that He generously supplies such gifts to His followers.
This holiday season, take a minute to give thanks for these “good and perfect” gifts God gives His children: the Holy Spirit, wisdom, and spiritual gifts.
Can you think of something else God gives generously? Add to the list in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking!