Enjoying God’s Gifts
Matthew 7:9-11 – James 1:17
1. Enjoy the Gift of God’s Creation.
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:31
But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. Isaiah 65:18
…rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. Proverbs 8:31
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. Psalm 92:4
Illustration: The joy producing effects of sunrises & sunsets, ocean waves, mountains, trees, dolphins, Labrador retrievers, Kitty Cats (well not cats), meteor showers, falling stars, pink skies.
The cultural advancements of humanity are a product of the creative abilities that God has given us since we are created in HIs image. Therefore, even the joy that arises in our heart through human creativity such as the awe of a skyscraper, or the joy of listening to music or the refreshing that comes from reading a good book or video chatting with a loved one is a gift of God that He has allowed us to have. These things like can be used for good or evil but when they are used in a wholesome manner the joy they produce is a gift from God.
2. Enjoy the Gift of God’s Provision.
For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. Deuteronomy 16:15
And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. Ezra 6:22
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Provisions: homes, clothing food, phones, modern medicine, health
3. Enjoy the Gift of God’s People.
…rejoice in the wife of your youth, Proverbs 5:18
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. Proverbs 23:24–25
I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people. 1 Corinthians 16:17–18
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. Philippians 4:1
The enjoyment of gifts must be grounded in the Giver!
Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. . . they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:22-23, 25
I. Ground your joy in God by giving thanks for His gifts.
he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Matthew 15:36
The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God. . . Romans 14:6
Illustration: What a blessing it is when our children give us a big hug and thank you for a gift we give them and they begin to enjoy. Yet if there is no thanks and the gift is set aside and never used we think, “what a waste.”
II. Ground your joy in God by being generous with His gifts.
Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly. 1 Chronicles 29:9
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 2 Corinthians 8:1–2
Illustration: What a blessing it is when our children share the gifts we give them with their siblings!
III. Ground your joy in God by fasting from His gifts.
Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Joel 1:14
… while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. Romans 14:6
Illustration: Husbands your wife gets you for your birthday that top notch, big screen 65″ 1080P television complete with Dolby surround sound. Action-filled movies – unbelievable. Football games – you feel like you are on the field. You totally enjoy coming home from work and sitting on your lazy boy and taking in it. But, as you begin to pick up that remote, something hits you. You think , I do like this and am thankful for it. But what I love is not the gift but the giver. And so you, turn to your wife and say, tonight I’m not turning on the television. Honey, I thank you for this gift, but I love you. I just want to sit here with you and hear about your day. I want to be with you. You are much more important that this television.