Pastor Ronald & Carol Regular
"Our Thanksgiving Precedes the Gift"
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, (Is 9:6 KJV)
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Cor 9:15 KJV)
We are now entering into the season of celebrating and gift giving. I raise, therefore, the question as to which precedes the other: thanksgiving or gifts? The normal practice in the world today is to give thanks after receiving the gift. This wasn't always the case. There was a time when the future was ever present with us; yet in a different manifestation. And I would submit that the fact is still the case. (Read all of 2 Corinthians 9.)
As we ponder the text above, the Old Testament comes before the New Testament scripture. (As well it should) For the Old is looking forward to the New. When the truth is revealed in this NT verse, to attain the full import of it, we must consider the objective of the whole chapter- "God loves a cheerful giver."
Ancient Hebrew scholars always did acknowledge God as sovereign, Holy, eternal and Creator. As such, He is the giver of every good and perfect gift from eternity past to eternity future: "16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every Good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of this his own will begot he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." (Ja 1:16-18 KJV) God's chosen people were given these truths to pass on to the whole world. Hold on to your seats as I try to summarize quickly.
2 Corinthians 9:15 thank God for Jesus. In Isaiah 9:6, God gives us Jesus. Although written second, our thanks precede the gift of God. Yes, even our thanks come from God who gave us the Holy Spirit manifested through our words. The Apostle Paul summarized the entire chapter IN VERSE 15. After he paused at the end of verse 14: "Fresh thoughts of a different kind are working in his mind, and rousing feelings of a very different kind from those which had been just expressed. Paul realizes that God gave us a gift that keeps on giving; which elicits, Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. Our first breath was a " Thank You" response.
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