God’s Good Gift (By Chris Barnes)
Over the last week as I helped prepare the gifts for the Angel Tree program, I was constantly reminded about the great gift I have with God’s presence in my life. As I continued reading through the book of Jeremiah, I was quickly reminded of this gift once again.
In the book of Jeremiah we see that Jerusalem was under siege form the Babylonian army and the Lord told Jeremiah that he was about to hand over the city to Babylon. Surely it seemed to God’s people that he had turned against them for good. But the Lord had more to say about the future of his people:
This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury……..I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put my desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy in doing good for them. (Jeremiah 32:36-27, 40-41)
‘I will never stop doing good for them,” God said. In fact, he said that he finds joy in doing good for them.
Jesus also spoke of God as a father who enjoys doing good for his children:
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11: 11-13)
Here Jesus gets specific about the “good gift” God wants to give his children that will bring them so much satisfaction and bring him so much joy – the Holy Spirit. And what does the Holy Spirit do? Jesus said, ‘When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth……He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me” (John 16: 13-14).
God finds joy in doing good for us. And his greatest gift to us is Jesus. He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us to understand and embrace Jesus. This good gift is a sign that he will never withhold anything good from us. “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? (Romans 8:32).
Prayer – Gracious God, could it really be true that you find joy in doing good for me? The enemy wants to tell me that I cannot expect this goodness from you. But then I look at Christ. The Holy Spirit speaks to me of Christ. And my heart is captured by your overflowing goodness. AMEN.
Song: Goodness of God (Bethel)
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.