Thursday, January 3, 2013

Godly Gifting

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

When God gives a gift…it speaks of His character. God gives us qualities that are manifest in Him. Here we read that God has not given us one thing, but other things…power, love, and discipline. When we realize that these things are gifts, we must receive them, and thank God for them. The power of God surpasses the power of men. My power has its limitations. God’s power is boundless. His power is more than sufficient for any human condition or circumstance. Death is not beyond His power to restore. Life is not beyond His power to sustain…or stop. Love is a many splendored thing, so the old song says. But our human understanding of love is insufficient for what God wants us to have. Love is wrapped up in His nature. And He wants love to be part of ours. The reason God loves is because He’s God. If He’s living, He’s loving. And God gives us the gift of sound judgment…discipline. He gives us what we need to judge rightly and live disciplined lives. He gives us a right standard to judge by…His Word, His Holiness, Himself. So God gives us gifts that are essentially His very nature. So what is it that He hasn’t given? Here we read a spirit of timidity. But it’s more specific than that. A spirit of fear is what is displayed in some translations. But what is really being said is that God has not given us a spirit of cowardice. This is especially instructive for me. Cowardice is a type of fear that is particularly disabling. Cowardice is being afraid of doing the right thing...even when we know the right thing to do. I have heard it said that courage is fear that has said its prayers. Cowardice does not talk to anyone. It’s too ashamed. Cowardice is too afraid of its fear. Cowardice is too afraid to pray. The reason God has not given us this kind of spirit is that God is not a coward. And when God gives us gifts, He brings them Himself...personally. His presence brings His presents! This is the reason He consistently says to His people…fear not, I am with you. My encouraging word today is that God will give me courage, not cowardice. If fear is courage that has said its prayers, maybe that’s the problem. Cowards don’t talk much with God. If cowardice is found in you, talk to God about it. He is able to give you something different. Courageous people hear from God…and do what He says. They gain the courage that overcomes their cowardice. Perfect Love casts out fear!

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