Every Good and Perfect Gift: Devotional Thoughts on the Gift of the Savior

Every Good and Perfect Gift: Devotional Thoughts on the Gift of the Savior

by Barbour Books (Compiled by)

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Overview


God has blessed us with many gifts—the greatest being His only Son, Jesus Christ. This new devotional celebrates “every good and perfect gift” from the heavenly Father. Ideal reading through the Christmas season—or at any time of the year—Every Good and Perfect Gift provides 31 encouraging, easy-to-read devotionals that turn your thoughts away from the stress and busyness of this world to the beautiful love, joy, and peace of heaven. Be reminded of God’s great love for you through Jesus Christ. . .and find your life refreshed and renewed all year long.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628368734
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/01/2014
Series: VALUE BOOKS
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.50(d)

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Every Good and Perfect Gift

Devotional Thoughts on the Gift of the Savior


By Barbour Publishing

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2014 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62836-873-4



CHAPTER 1

Salvation


Ever feel like it's too depressing to watch the news? In a single half-hour report, you can learn about a terrible car crash on the interstate, mistreated animals at a nearby farm, a political scandal in Washington, DC, and a suicide bombing on the other side of the world. Is there any good news anymore?

Definitely. And it's where we start our journey through the good and perfect gifts God has for us: John 3:16.

You probably don't even need to open your Bible. Even many who have yet to believe in Jesus know the words He spoke to the Pharisee Nicodemus in the dark of night:


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


The world is sick, but God has a cure. And He sent the cure as a little, helpless baby that first Christmas night in Bethlehem some two thousand years ago. The baby's name—Jesus—means "God saves," as the angel Gabriel told Joseph, who was planning to wed the young woman God chose as the Savior's mother:


And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

MATTHEW 1:21


Saved from sin! Everlasting life! It's very good news, indeed. But notice the catch: Though God loved the world enough to send salvation, it's up to us to believe in Jesus. God offers the gift; we need to accept it. He holds out His hand; we need to grasp it.

Whether you're reading this book at Christmastime or in the heat of summer, as the leaves burst out in the spring or turn colors and drop in the autumn, why not make sure you've taken the good and perfect gift of salvation that God has offered you. As the apostle Paul said in Romans 10:9:


If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.


PERFECT THOUGHTS * * *

I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.

GENESIS 49:18


But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

PSALM 13:5


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

ROMANS 1:16


Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

1 PETER 1:9


For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

ROMANS 8:38–39


GOOD THOUGHTS * * *

If you have ever come to God, crying out for salvation, and for salvation only, then you have come unto God aright.

CHARLES H. SPURGEON


God's salvation is not a purchase to be made, nor wages to be earned, nor a summit to be climbed, nor a task to be accomplished; but it is simply and only a gift to be accepted, and can only be accepted by faith.

HANNAH WHITALL SMITH


You might say the whole plan of salvation is in two words—Giving; Receiving. God gives; I receive.

D. L. MOODY


Your salvation does not depend on what you are but on what He is. For every look at self, take ten looks at Christ.

F. B. MEYER


MY GIFT TO GOD * * *

Lord God, I thank You for the gift of salvation. You loved the world enough to offer Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for sin—and my simple acceptance of this gift promises me everlasting life. May I always remember Your love and sacrifice, and respond in kind.

CHAPTER 2

Hope


Medical personnel did not offer high hopes for an immediate recovery for my ill, hospitalized son. After visiting him and noting his dire condition, I prayed for hope. "God, if I just knew my son was going to be okay. Could You just let me know that he's going to be okay?"

Minutes later, a neighbor whose path rarely crosses mine approached me to ask about my son's situation. Before I could greet her, she declared three times, "Your son is going to be okay. I know your son is going to be okay." After she offered the third emphatic statement of hope, she looked startled, as if she, for a moment, wondered where her certainty in his recovery had originated. The hope she communicated resounded in my spirit and bolstered my attitude. I knew she was God's messenger sent with the gift of hope in response to my plea.

The Bible reveals in Psalm 38:15 that God responds to our pleas for the gift of hope:


For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.


When we feel hopeless and circumstances give us no reason to hope, we can remember that God responds to people who have lost hope.

A story in Genesis tells of Hagar, Sarah's maid, who was forced by Sarah into the desert. Hagar sat without provision and without human help, waiting to die, but God stepped in and provided her with water and a message of hope.

Another well-known story tells of Job, who lost his possessions, family, health, friends, and status. Despairing and fainthearted, he found reason to hope in God. He proclaimed his hope in a statement recorded in Job 19:25–26:


For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth…yet in my flesh shall I see God.


We can hope that God will step in and work good in our circumstances. Often He does. He fully healed my son. But our ultimate hope, the expectation that will certainly be fulfilled, is the hope that one day we will meet God and that in Him all our hopes will be perfectly satisfied.


PERFECT THOUGHTS * * *

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

LAMENTATIONS 3:21–26


Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

PSALM 31:24


Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

PSALM 33:22


GOOD THOUGHTS * * *

Hope sees a crown in reserve, mansions in readiness, and Jesus himself preparing a place for us, and by the rapturous sight she sustains the soul under the sorrows of the hour.

CHARLES H. SPURGEON


For the future to be different, we need to reach and we need to hope. When we're discouraged, we don't have hope. But hope is an antidote to discouragement.

H. NORMAN WRIGHT


In Jesus Christ, God experienced the greatest depths of pain. Therefore, though Christianity does not provide the reason for each experience of pain, it provides deep resources for actually facing suffering with hope and courage rather than bitterness and despair.

TIMOTHY KELLER


MY GIFT TO GOD * * *

Lord God, thank You for the gift of hope. Please give me unflagging hope. You have provided for me when I have needed Your care. Help me to remember that. When things look grim, help me refuse to doubt but instead hope with great expectation for Your mercies. Thank You that You Yourself are my portion. You are the giver and You will complete all my hopes.

CHAPTER 3

Surrender


Sometimes life doesn't meet our expectations. We want health but get sickness. We parent our kids to thrive but watch with trepidation while they take risks and suffer the consequences of foolhardy decisions.

We reach for control, but circumstances spin out of control. Our best plans fail. Bills skyrocket and ends don't meet at the end of the month. Communication blunders cause friendships to fail.

When we feel the pain of life gone wrong, God gives the gift of surrender. Surrender is the essence of Jesus' garden prayer recorded in Luke 22:41–42. Dreading the task He faced, Jesus handed His future over to His Father:


He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done" (NKJV).


A lonely Jesus, facing betrayal, humiliation, and wretched pain, surrendered. And when He did, circumstances didn't immediately get better. Similarly, when we stop grasping for life as we want it or imagine it and surrender to the life God's given us, circumstances don't always look immediately brighter. And when we focus on the laying down of our desires, grief shadows us. We don't feel like we've received a gift.

But think about Jesus' surrender. It was the vital little gift that led to the magnificent gift of redemption—the answer to all our woes. And Jesus' surrender ultimately brought Him to a preferred seat at a celebration in God's company.


But this Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

HEBREWS 10:12 (NKJV)


If, like Jesus in the garden, we turn our focus to God, He gives us the ability to surrender our will and choose His will. In return, we get His company, and we get to watch, sometimes participate, as He works out circumstances and changes hearts in ways we couldn't have imagined possible. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:9:


Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him (NKJV).


So if you're going through a difficult time, stop resisting, stop squirming, stop trying to force your plan. Hold your hands out to God and accept the gift of surrender. Surrender is a little gift on the road to celebration and God's ultimate reversal of all our pain.


PERFECT THOUGHTS * * *

Then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God."

HEBREWS 10:9 NKJV


"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

MATTHEW 11:29–30 NKJV


I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

ROMANS 12:1–2


GOOD THOUGHTS * * *

There are many who have accepted Christ as their Lord, but have never yet come to the final, absolute surrender of everything.

ANDREW MURRAY


The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us.

A. W. TOZER


If we walk in the Spirit daily, surrendered to His power, we have the right to expect anything we need to hear from God.

CHARLES STANLEY


You cannot fulfill God's purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans.

RICK WARREN


MY GIFT TO GOD * * *

Lord God, thank You for the gift of surrender. Your Son Jesus showed me how to surrender when things look bleak. He knew Your plan was the absolute best, even though it led through difficult circumstances. Help me let go of my fierce grip on life as I want it and accept the gift of life as You've given it, knowing that Your plan is the best. I trust You. I depend on You. I surrender.

CHAPTER 4

The Word


It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

LUKE 4:4


In the beginning, before anything that we see or experience, was God (John 1:1–3). This God—the Creator—spoke a word and all the beauty and splendor that we could ever imagine was formed! Our ears dance at the sound of the meadowlark. Our eyes twinkle when they capture a rainbow. Anxieties are calmed with a simple embrace. Yes, God is an almighty and most excellent Creator, and He creates by speaking.

Yet such magnificence was not enough for fallen mankind, and so the God of all glory provided a way for His children to come back to Him. In His unfathomable mercy, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Word made flesh (John 1:14). He and He alone is our hope, our Savior, our great gift.

This Jesus walked the earth, and He talked. He called things that were not as though they were. With the Word He healed the sick and gave breath to the dead. He told those around Him in His day, and now in ours, to do the same. He is the Word, and He gave the Word to us that we, too, may believe and walk in its power. We are to speak and believe the Word, Jesus Himself. He is our daily bread, our hope of salvation and an eternity spent with Him in heavenly places.

The Word, spoken from a place of absolute belief in the One who gave it, is powerful.

Hebrews 4:12 declares such awesome power:

The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


Jehovah blesses His sons and daughters with innumerable gifts. It is at Christmas, this time of year, when He sent us the Word, wrapped in flesh, come to save whosoever will.


PERFECT THOUGHTS * * *

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

PSALM 119:105


Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

JOHN 17:17


It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

JOHN 6:63


So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

ISAIAH 55:11


The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

ISAIAH 40:8


GOOD THOUGHTS * * *

His words are truth—not lies, like the enemy's. They're the daily bread which nourishes our soul so we can confront and manage each day and all that He allows that day to bring.

KAY ARTHUR


From the first word of Genesis to the last word of Revelation, God's Word is true and trustworthy. All we need do is obey the words of Jesus and abide in that Word and we'll have an answer for any lie or temptation Satan throws our way.

TONY EVANS


When you stand before the Word of God, you are not merely encountering a concept; you are standing face-to-face with God.

HENRY AND TOM BLACKABY


MY GIFT TO GOD * * *

Dear Father, there is no greater authority on earth than what is spoken by Your own breath. Thank You for sending the Word, wrapped in the flesh of Your Son, for our salvation. It is in Your Word that we find all we need to satisfy our souls and strengthen our weaknesses. Thank You that even though the flowers will fade and the grass will wither, the Word of God will stand forever. Amen.

CHAPTER 5

Adoption


For many of us, Christmas means dusting off extra table leaves and unpacking Grandma's china for a big family dinner. For others of us, though, Christmas means a TV dinner in an empty house—yet another reminder of our painful divorce, our empty nest, or our deceased loved ones. Instead of bringing joy and warmth, the holiday season reinforces feelings of grief and abandonment.

But there's good news for the forsaken ones.


A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families.

PSALM 68:5–6


As our Father, God never deserts us. Through the gift of His Son, He adopts us into His family.


Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

ROMANS 8:15–17


With God as our Father, Christ as our brother, and the Holy Spirit as our seal, we're adopted heirs. We're sons and daughters of the King with a place reserved at His table in heaven.

In addition, God gifts us with a spiritual family here on earth—the members of our church. John 13:35 says,


By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


Whether our homes are empty or full, we are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ as our very own family. When we feel isolated, we should gather with the church. When we feel contented, we should gather with the church. Especially during the holidays, we should watch for the neglected among us and invite them to join us for Christmas dinner or to serve meals alongside us at the homeless shelter. When other people see the way we love our church family, they'll know that we belong to the King.

During Christmas and any other season, we as the family of God must cling to one another. After all, this world is not our home. When Christ returns, we'll sit at His table together to celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Every Good and Perfect Gift by Barbour Publishing. Copyright © 2014 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction: Every Good and Perfect Gift,
1. Salvation,
2. Hope,
3. Surrender,
4. The Word,
5. Adoption,
6. Affirmation,
7. Simplicity,
8. Example,
9. Humility,
10. Comfort,
11. Delight,
12. Discipline,
13. Growth,
14. Fellowship,
15. Immanuel,
16. Brokenness,
17. Joy,
18. Contentment,
19. Grace,
20. Guidance,
21. Hospitality,
22. Redemption,
23. Peace,
24. Strength,
25. Patience,
26. Relationships,
27. Love,
28. Wonder,
29. Spirit,
30. Truth,
31. Seasons,

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