God’s Indescribable Gift
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
—2 Corinthians 9:15
The story “The Unspeakable Gift” is told about a king who ruled in Persia. He was a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working-man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler.
One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful, kind words to him. Then he left. Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, “I am your king!”
The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn’t. Instead, he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the course food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!”
The King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave himself to you and me. The Bible calls Him, “the unspeakable gift!”
- Source unknown
This story is quite fitting as we enter this holiday season. This is the time of the year where most people will scramble to find the perfect gift to give. The tendency, however, is to give to people who have, but we give too little to those who really need our gift.
Jesus is the best gift anyone can receive – it’s an indescribable and unspeakable gift. When we offer the gift of Jesus through our giving to others who are in need, Paul told the Corinthian believers in 2 Corinthians 9, there are rewards.
By the grace of God, when we give, we are rewarded three ways: (1) givers are enriched by such giving (vs. 6-10); (2) those who receive, their needs are met (vs. 11-12); and (3) God, who is the source of all blessing is praised.
God’s response to generosity is “to make all grace abound” to the giver. (2 Corinthians 9:8.) Here, the noun grace (charis) refers to the giver’s unmerited favor from God. When we give, especially to those in need, we will be rewarded for our generosity. This concept is difficult for people to understand and especially during this time of the year where we buy with the idea of getting a comparable gift in return.
Paul says the best gift is God’s indescribable gift of His Son. One way we can share the gift of the love of Jesus this holiday season is through our service to the “least of these” (Matthew 25:31-46). Numerous shelters are searching for volunteers to help with donations of clothing, food and serving meals.
During this tough economy, many families struggle with having enough money to afford the necessities of life. The elderly are forced to make a choice whether they will buy medicine or eat; while hard working families struggle to make ends meet and many children must go without food for several meals.
Jesus said “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). When we give to the “least of these,” we are actually ministering unto Jesus Himself.
Undeniably, God’s greatest gift is eternal salvation and spiritual riches through His Son. Such a gift is what Paul describes as indescribable. In the Greek, this word means unable to recount or tell fully. Those givers who have benefited from such a spiritual gift should not hesitate to benefit others. Not only does the giver benefit from generosity, but the recipients benefit as well.
“This service that you perform,” Paul says, “supplies the needs of God’s people” (v. 12). “Needs” denote a shortage or deficiency of necessities. In the 1st century this amounted to food, clothing and shelter (2 Corinthians 11:27). Therefore, the help offered through the Corinthians’ contribution was because of necessity, not luxury. Twenty centuries later, needs have not changed.
This holiday season, let us think about others who do not have much and give a gift that expresses the love of Jesus. The godly man/woman has a heart that mirrors the heart and character of God. What will you give this holiday season?
The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o Fellowship of Love M.B.C. at P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.
August 19, 2012 //
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