Friday, December 18, 2009

Giving: defined by Jesus

From Monica- Encourager Coach-
As Believers, We Are God’s Gift to Jesus – What a Blessed Thought!!!
In my study of the apostle John this year in Bible Study Fellowship, I was amazed when I learned that I’m actually a gift from Father God to my Lord, His Son, Jesus… In this “season of giving” I thought how appropriate to dwell on that idea. Just like faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a gift to us, we’re also gifts to Him … gifts that are far more precious than gold, or silver, and sweeter than honey (like it says in Psalm 19). Below is an excerpt of some really excellent commentary taken from www.biblegateway.com. It also speaks of how we are always working out our salvation. I love knowing that He who sovereign to save us is certainly sovereign over our sanctification, too… Thank the good Lord for His work in us, Amen! He IS our perfect model of discipleship. Hope you enjoy reading this…
John 6:35-40 (New International Version)
Jesus the Bread of Life
35Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Commentary (taken from www.Biblegateway.com):
The Father is the God who wills salvation, and Jesus is the agent of that will (vv. 37-40). Jesus begins with God's grace, that is, his act of giving: All that the Father gives me will come to me (v. 37). We just heard of the Father as the one giving them true bread from heaven (v. 32), and now the Father gives disciples to Jesus (cf. 17:2, 6, 9, 24). We are the Father's gift to his Son (cf. Loyd 1936:89)! Again the Father is seen to be the source of all. In one sense believers come to the Father through the Son (cf. 14:6), but in another sense they were already the Father's before they became disciples of Jesus. At this point we are at the edge of a great mystery, peering into the ineffable realms of eternity. Here we have a clear affirmation of divine sovereignty. If this text were all we had in this Gospel on this topic, then we would be confronted with pure and simple determinism. We have already noted, however, that the teaching in John's Gospel is more complex than that.
This text also affirms that no one who is to come to the Son will fail to do so. Yet deeper comfort is conveyed when Jesus adds, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away (v. 37). The combination of all in the first part of the verse and will never drive away in the second part of the verse (very emphatic in the Greek; cf. Wallace 1996:468) has made this text the source of great comfort to many believers. Some, however, have misused it, as though a someone's one-time decision for Jesus guarantees a ticket into heaven, assuring salvation no matter how ungodly a life one then lives. We are not to sin that grace may abound (Rom 6:1)! Salvation is a matter of sharing in God's life through an intimate relationship with him. The one who has such a relationship will not live a life characterized by contempt and rebellion, even though we all have pockets of resistance as we live out the war between flesh and Spirit (Gal 5). Our assurance is not in our decision to follow Jesus, but in the graciousness and faithfulness of the Father and the Son who hold fast to those who are of God.
But how do I know whether or not I am one of those who are of God? Any number of people have been driven to despair by this question. The teaching of the Bible on assurance is many sided, but at the end of the day it comes down to trusting God for our salvation. Since we know he wills all to be saved we can be sure that we are included. The only way for that salvation to be effectual in a person's life is by God's grace. So we trust him for that grace, and we live our lives accordingly. In this way our assurance is complete because our confidence is entirely in him. Our job is to receive, trusting him for both the ability to receive and the obedience that is part of the life of salvation. The Christian life is both a resting in God and a supreme effort.
The reason Jesus will not drive away any that the Father gives him is because he has not come to do his own will but the will of him who sent him (v. 38). Jesus' complete obedience is fundamental to his relationship with the Father. In this he is the model of true discipleship.

1 comment:

  1. Gail McConnell: When I love like I've never been hurt and live like it is heaven on earth, I am a gift from God. This was Jesus. He loved like He'd never been hurt and He lived like it was heaven on earth. Sound good huh?
    Is this really possible? In my own intellect and own ability, the answer is absolutely not!
    But God did not leave me an orphan to think, speak, and act in holiness on my own. He left me His Holy Spirit and His Word Who work together to transform my hardened heart into a heart of flesh that is sensitive and responsive to His holy touch (as promised in Ezekiel). The Word renews my mind as I hunger and thirst for righteousness and the Holy Spirit is my helper to resist the temptation to react from my flesh and to retrieve the Word just when I need it. This has been a slow progressive process in my life because the old way of lie based thinking did not want to die. It wanted to terrorize me...to keep me captive. I wrestled with God. After I wrestled with Him, I surrendered. Then He came in and rescued me. Fire and water. Fire and water. This is how it happens. Burning away the old self-centeredness and healing the wounds...and filling me up with the new river of life. It is not something to be learned. It is something to be encountered. Then and only then does the light of Jesus live in me and shine out of me during trials of faith. Then and only then am I girded in the full armor of God so that through the Spirit I can discern the enemy's schemes that would attempt to trigger my emotions and tempt me to react in self-loathing or in resentment and bitterness. There is a childlike change that takes place inside of me. I am His beloved; He is mine. We are one with each other and with the Father. I truly become born again into a world where I live in it yet am not of it. I truly become a follower of Jesus and I truly trust Him to protect me, provide for me, comfort me, and use me as He has so ordained and purposed before the beginning of time. I pray that we all allow the fire and water to work together for His glory. If He is burning away the old, praise Him...even though it hurts real bad! The new is soooooo good! Salvation was His gift to us. Wrestling through the fire of sancitifcation and trusting Him for the outcome is out gift to Him. After that He says "Go and be My disciples for the baptism of the Holy Spirit by fire and water has consecrated you for my glory!" May you meditate and cling to Hebrews 12: 10-14 "For (our earth fathers) disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (a harvest of rruit which consists in righteousness--in conformity to God's will (in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God). So then, brface up and reinvigorate and set riughyt your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees. And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet (yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction), so that the lame and halting (limbs) may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured. Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will (ever) see the Lord."

    Love, Gail

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