By Talemoh Wycliffe Dah
The characterisation of Christmas as the season of love and giving trends. That most likely informs the practice of gift exchange among brethren in Churches as an expression of love.
In choosing or buying a gift one question to ask is what the giver wishes or will appreciate to have as a gift himself. That will determine a perfect or at least a proper gift, one that the giver cherishes or one that cost him something. And when you happen to know the recipient, you also give according to what he/she needs or will appreciate. That was how God gave. He gave what we need and what cost Him most.
Gift giving is a God thing borrowed by men. Before creating us He prepared gifts of the earth, the sun, the universe, etc for sustenance and enjoyment for us (Gen 1:29-30).
The Psalmist got the inspiration and told his soul to bless Him “who daily loadeth us with benefits..” (Psalm 68:19).
He gave laws to differentiate Isreal from others and make them a special people (Deut 7:6, Lev 20:24). He gave them a land that encouraged the production of every good thing (milk and honey) with fortified cities (Lev 20:24, Exod 3:8). He gave them prophets who spoke to them His words to give them hope and His promises.
Then He brought Salvation by giving them His only begotten Son (John 3:16). Then He gave the Holy Spirit who gave and is still giving gifts to regenerated men (Eph 4:8). He gave us the Scriptures (II Tim 3:16) and the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:10).
Men, wise men from the beginning, gave to God. Abel did it with the unconditional mindset of God (Gen 4:4). Abraham gave His son (Gen 22:10) and also learnt to give ten percent of his increase (Gen 14:29). David (one after God’s heart Acts 13:22)) knew some secrets and gave praises to God and got them penned down for eternity. Solomon gave unprecedented sacrifices making God to ask him what he wanted and to bless him (1Kings 3:5, II Chron 7:12).
The men and women that supported Jesus gave of their substances (Luke 8:3) while the Disciples gave their lifetime (Matt 19:27).
In this season of giving, and following God’s example and those of the Patriarchs and Saints (Cloud of Witnesses), we must give what men need most and what will cost us something.
Here, one is not writing about giving to others like missionaries so God’s work can be done. One is writing about a Gift to be given by ourselves. So in addition to physical things for the poor and needy (Deut 15:11) as well as giving to provoke to love and to strengthen fellowship (Heb 10:24), we must give the Good News, the Desire of Nations which humans need most and which may cost us most. Being the deepest need, all mankind seeks Him in one way of religion or belief or the other, albeit wrongly.
Even the atheist calls himself atheist because he has sought Him and, not finding Him even at his wits end (Psalm 14:1), gave up out of that frustration to adopt the God-does-not-exist attitude; for truly he still seeks Him.
In its best form, this Gift is best given in the way it was first ordered to be given (Matt. 28:19, Rom 10:9-10, 14, 17). A human must physically tell the other human the Good News. When he accepts it, he must verbally confess it. When words are spoken out or confessed, they are activated. Power flows to a soul when the Good News is spoken and when it is accepted (believed) and confessed, birth (rebirth) is completed. The deepest desire and need of that human is achieved.
Physically witnessing to people is the best and fastest way to meet his soul’s deepest need. It is the surest way of bringing closure to the transaction of soul winning.
There is grace and the enabling presence of the Holy Spirit during the verbal intercourse between a believer and the unbeliever that births the later into eternal sonship.
Pamphlets, letters, books, tapes, social media messages, etc are other ways and many people have come to the knowledge of the Lord through them. We are encouraged to keep on using them but they are not as effective and should never replace physically presenting the Gospel to people. It is the one that will cost us the most: our time, our pride and sometimes our lives.
Witnessing to others is not only giving to the lost souls. It is first and foremost the result of obedience. It is giving to God what gladdens His heart and what He appreciates most. God got us regenerated to be zealous in doing good works, to be Priests and Ambassadors reconciling the world to Him, to give (and bring) praises to Him and to fellowship with Him. And talking about fellowship, try to spend some time with somebody and you will in no time hear him express his need. So witnessing is a necessary response to God by anybody who fellowships with Him.
In prophesying about the Desire (deepest need) of Nations (peoples), the Prophet Isaiah said “Of the increase of His government there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7). One’s government increases when the number of people under him increase, among other things like wealth and military power. So a Local Government Chairman is ‘smaller’ than a State Governor who in turn is less than the President of a nation. And when you compare nations, the same is seen. We are recruited to be the labourers who will in turn recruit others by witnessing so that Christ will rule in their hearts and lives. In this way, witnessing is a gift to God and our Saviour, to ensure that His government increases without end; a gift He cherishes.
In working obediently and dutifully to put no end to the increase of His government, we see a ‘Nation’ where there is no unemployment. In fact, the King Himself said that “The harvest is plenty but the labourers are few” (Matt 9:37). If these few labourers should fold their hands, the ripe fields will rot and there will be no harvest, thus depriving the owner of His greatest need at this time. Sinners will die and go to hell and people will not be saved, putting it clearly.
The increase or expansion of His government means the reduction of the government of Satan. When a person who is witnessed to accepts Christ as his Lord and Saviour, the devil’s government is depleted. Christ sits at God’s right hand, as His enemies are made His footstool. Jesus rules and His people (we) are expected to be willing in these days of His power (Psalm 110:1-3). This depletion is meant to continue until Christ returns. It is thus imperative on us believers to continue to give gifts to God and to mankind as described, as long as we are on this side of eternity. Woe betide us if we don’t because His government will continue to increase even without us participating. We know what happened to the fig tree that was not fruitful (Matt 21:19) and the watered and manured tree in the garden that bore no fruit (Luke 13:7). We know of the story of the unprofitable servant (Matt 25:30).
Let us thus make every effort always, or at least in seasons like this, to give gifts, including the most important Gift, the giving of which both benefits God’s estate and lost souls. Let the company of those that publish the Word He gave include us and be great
▪Dah, an Abuja-based medical practitioner, sent this via firstname.lastname@example.org