March 05, 2020 (Thursday) - Want Great Gifts? - A Reflection on Matthew 7:7-12

 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Nobody can give gifts like our Father in heaven! First he gave us the gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ. And through Lord Jesus, we received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the guarantee of our identity and our inheritance. “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16).

But that’s not all. The Holy Spirit comes with four bags of gifts, and they are ALL awesome. There is no rule about how we receive these gifts, but they usually follow a pattern. First are the gifts of sanctification, also known as the Isaiah gifts. These are the gifts that make one like our Lord, Jesus. They are wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and fear of the Lord, and piety (see Isaiah 11:2-3).

Second are the fruit, which result from the Isaiah gifts. Nine of these fruit are mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23: They are the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. The more we become like Jesus, the more we start bearing these fruit. 

When we start bearing fruit, God starts to use us in his service releasing a third bundle of gifts. Reference to these can be found right through Scripture, although one important passage is Romans 12:6-8. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us”, writes Paul. These are prophesy, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, showing mercy. 

And when we start serving God, he starts giving us the gifts of manifestation, also known as the charismatic gifts, which basically let everybody know he has our back. These gifts are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues (see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). These are, of course, the gifts that everybody wants, but if you want the really powerful among them, follow the route.

And, then, ask. And you will receive.