It was the team matriarch's 75th Birthday and I thought what can I give? What would be the Greatest Gift to someone we love?
Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel
our father, for ever and ever.
Thine, O Yahweh, is the greatness,
and the power, and the glory,
and the victory, and the majesty:
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Yahweh,
and thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come of thee,
and thou reignest over all;
and in thine hand is power and might;
and in thine hand it is to make great,
and to give strength unto all.
Now therefore, our God, we thank thee,
and praise thy glorious name.
(1 Chron. 29:10-13)
If I was to think of the greatest most stupendous gift I could give anyone, nothing can surpass the vision of splendour of the hope of the Bible. What kind of gift would the most magnificent palace be, if it came without power and wealth? If we could be granted vast areas of land, it would be nothing without also granting perpetual victory over any inhabitants or neighbours. Then we must always consider that whatever we have in our hands to give others was first a gift to us from Yahweh Elohim! Even the least thing we can give others is not 'ours' to give, so in the same way is the greatest gift of all.
The common round of daily life tends to lead to a downward narrowing in focus, yet the hope of the Bible leads to a vast upward and outward expansion in the scope of thought.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the congregation by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Eph 3:14-21)
We are asked to consider the might of the Spirit we have access to find daily strength. How wide? The width of the earth.. it is truly a great width that even today takes a day to travel over half. How deep? How deep is the ocean, can we ever reach or know by experience its depths? Only very few have gone deep into that darkness in special submarines. See how Paul says last, to consider how high! How high is the extent of heaven we can look up into daily. We truly can see into forever there. The Bible opens these expanses of thought to us, that in Knowing Yahweh Elohim we aren't bound by narrowness. We need never fear. This Spirit that fills heaven and earth and the depths of the sea, is able to work in us, if we receive also the greatest gift that Paul was praying would be granted to the Ephesians. Now if that gift is received, there is no limit to what may be granted. What might then be given us, is above what we could possibly imagine.
Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. (Isaiah 64:1-4)
This great gift, greater than we can imagine, that seems to encompass the end of all evil, is expanded by Paul in terms of a great breadth of wisdom we are given in the Lord Anointed.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Cor. 2:7-12)
This great expansion of our normally narrow vision of things under the sun, allows us to see things that turn out to be a free gift.
The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Not only is the gift free, it satisfies as nothing else can, and is a great good.
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. (Isaiah 55:1-3)
A free but enriching everlasting gift of merciful lovingkindness, that has no sorrow.
The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)
When we consider the breadth and depth of the richness and future majesty of the gift of eternal life in a place where all sorrow is removed we would echo the words of David,
I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
All thy works shall praise thee, O Yahweh; and thy saints shall bless thee.
They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
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