The Giver of the Gifts of the Spirit

Ed GhinnPosted on Monday, May 18th, 2015 by Ed Ghinn

Readings

Acts 1: 4-11

Introduction

We need to recover the expectation of receiving an exciting gift from a loving Father (that is if we’ve not already not already received it). Today we’re looking at the ‘Fatherliness’ of the Father, who is the Giver of good gifts.

The passage we’re looking at today relates events that take place at an amazing, yet confusing, time for the apostles. Jesus was appearing and disappearing in a way they hadn’t known before, giving many convincing proofs that He was alive (and in verse 3, just before the passage we referred to) he is speaking about the “Kingdom of God”.

A kingdom is a “territory subject to a king” – so Jesus is teaching about God’s rule on earth; so vital to the very purpose of God sending His Son, who has become our King. Jesus is emphatic about this and although our subject is the “Giver of…..” Jesus makes the connection between the Kingdom of God and the Giver of the Gifts at the very beginning of His teaching on how to pray, “Our Father…” (the giver) “…who art in heaven…Thy Kingdom come”.

And now we know that the same heavenly Father is the Giver of the Holy Spirit (verse 4 in Acts 1) – this is the fulfilment of an amazing promise, that they would be empowered (gifted) to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth (verse 8 but see also John 14:12) and with the Spirit inevitably come the Gifts of the Spirit.

These Gifts are given so that we may carry on the work of Jesus to the ends of the earth – (not restricted to a strip of land at the other end of the Mediterranean Sea, as Jesus was / chose to be).

What do we feel about a Father who is the Giver of such a gift? And what would we feel about having been given such a task without the equipping gifts to carry it out?

When I was a boy (to coin a phrase!) of about 13, I went to a school where woodwork / carpentry was taught. I saw the lovely things the teacher had made; perfectly fitting joints, beautifully made and finished pieces of furniture from ordinary pieces of wood that were transformed by His gifted and skilled hands – and it got to me! I told my father about this and how I”d love to be able to do it.
I completely trusted my father, because he was completely trustworthy – and he realised that I was serious about this and promised to give me some tools and equipment if I was definitely going to use them.
I said, “Yes”, and he fulfilled his promise, with the consequence that I proudly took hold of what he lovingly and confidently gave me, and put them to good use (I made a clothes horse as a present for my sister who was about to get married, for instance!!). After a while he gave me more tools as he saw

  1. what I could do, and
  2. what I needed to achieve what was designed

I used to think back to the things my teacher had made – and how he taught me. My father equipped me to do the same things – though not as perfectly achieved as my teacher”s work, perhaps!

The Giver of the Gift of the Spirit, our Heavenly Father, is like that and Jesus is like the Teacher.

Better still – the very Spirit who is in our Teacher is given to us – because our heavenly Father is absolutely faithful and loves us so much that He would not expect us to achieve the purposes of His will and design without graciously giving us His Spirit and His gifts.

Our Father enables us, by His Gift, to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary; achieving the purposes of His Kingdom design! – following the example of our Teacher, equipping us to be blessed and joyfully carrying on His amazing work here on earth.

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