Every good and perfect gift comes from God. This is a simple and yet profound statement which provides Christians a great deal of strength and comfort. Christians relish the blessings that are dripped or poured on them, having their hearts dance like children in the rain. Good and perfects gifts reflect the character and nature of a God who has committed himself to strengthen his children’s faith and lighten their afflictions.
The existence of the people of God is contingent on God’s greatest gift to the world, Jesus Christ. God loved the world in a manner that was real, physical and sacrificial. John the apostle reflected in his writings that God coming into the world impacted the auditory, visual and tactile senses of many. His coming into world was so real and physical that John says they “testify to it and proclaim...the eternal” (1 Jn 1:2). Finally the gift of God was lovingly sacrificial. The gift became the absorber of wrath. The real, physical Jesus became historically present with man in order that he would absorb the wrath of God meant for man. Our existence is contingent on a real, physical and sacrificial gift that was willing to stand in our history and receive our deserved agony.
Our entrance into the kingdom of God does not result in our immediate rapture from this earthly existence to a location of perfection. We long for that moment when we stand face to face, seeing with new eyes the glory of Jesus and all that entails. God has not seen fit in his wisdom to evacuate us from the world but he has given to the world another gift that reflects his supreme gift. The church is God’s second gift to the world, not to reconcile men to God (because only Christ himself could accomplish such a work), but to love the earth in a real, physical and sacrificial manner.
Remember what he said, “All authority in heaven and earth is given to me...” “Our Father who art in heaven...thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven...”
How is the authority carried out in the first statement? The authority is executed in the people of God who go, teach and command others to obey what Christ commanded. Therefore the real and physical presence of the people of God is experienced by the world as we move from spaces of comfort to spaces that challenge our assumptions, prejudices and idols. It will mean that we will have to be touched, heard and seen by those who remind us of our own fragility.
How is the will of God done on earth, as it is in heaven? God’s will is accomplished once again through his people who request God’s provision, who forgive their enemies and who resist rebelling against that will. Therefore the people of God will have to be known for sacrifice. So will we have prayers that seek God’s provision of strength to give more away? Will we share with the world that we forgive them as they fly planes into our buildings, call us intolerant and reduce our religious freedoms? Finally, how can the world experience the sacrificial love of the people of God as we resist rebelling against God?
The people of God are God’s gift to the world. We are God’s second gift to a world that he created and we are to reflect his greatest gift which is real, physical and sacrificial. The authority and will of God in Christ is clearly to be accomplished in heaven and on earth. Just as the people of God are gracious recipients of his rain; the world because of the presence of the people of God experiences that rain as well.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above.