Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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"What can I give you?" 1.8.2017
A Blessed New Year to you in the Lord. May you grow in the awareness, in the knowledge and in the experience of who God is, that which God has done for us and who we are in Jesus Christ, Our
Lord and Saviour!

If you heard an audible voice from God, asking you what He could give you, how would I/you respond?

As we look forward to the New Year and what it will bring, may we look at all things through the lens of what is contained in the first paragraph. In order to do this, we will take a look at a couple of places in the Scriptures, one from the Old Testament and the other from the New Testament. We will see the same pattern in both readings: Namely, that being blessed by God He invites us to be a blessing to others.

1 Kings 3:5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

We remember that the first king that was given to the nation of Israel was King Saul, and who was dethroned by God for being disobedient in his office. His successor was the Shepherd boy David who reigned until the time when his son Solomon succeeded him as king. in this account of his life, we see the heart of God towards His people and in this case namely Solomon. God wants to pour out His blessing upon him with the desire that His people would be blessed under the rule of their king.

The occasion that we have before us illustrated the heart of Solomon in the following ways:

1) Solomon remembers the faithful kingship of his father to God and that the opportunity for him (Solomon) to succeed him was a blessing and gift from God.

2) Solomon recognized and demonstrated his humility before God.

3) Solomon recognized that he needed the wisdom of God in order to faithfully rule His people.

4) Solomon asked God for an understanding and discerning heart in order to be able to govern His people.

How did God receive this prayer? Very favorably!

1 Kings 3:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

Essentially, because Solomon asked for things by which he would be a blessing to others, God poured out into the life of Solomon, wisdom, riches and honor. I am reminded of what this same Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs ( 22:4) By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

Now let's take a look at our New Testament reference, from Apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesian congregation. As I previously stated, it follows the same pattern in that God has poured out His blessing upon us who are created by Him and for Him. He has blessed us that we might be a blessing to others around us.

In the first 14 verses of this letter, it is laid out very well what God has done for us and who He has made us in His Son Jesus Christ through His atoning and redeeming death and resurrection. In verse 15 the Apostle Paul begins to apply into our lives that which God has already done, that which has been given to us as gift by grace through faith. Let us look as to how Paul applies God's blessing into our lives to the end that we will be a blessing to others.

Ephesians 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

Paul prays for all believers of all time that the spirit of wisdom and revelation would be increased in the knowledge of God! And how is this to occur? Let us continue on...for he breaks it out into three different aspects of this increased wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

He prays that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened in order that:
1) We may know (more surely) the hope of our calling
2) What great riches we possess in our inheritance in the saints.
3) We would know and experience the exceeding greatness of Christ's power toward us as coming from Christ Himself.

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

He closes this chapter by pointing to the resurrection of Christ, how He is ruling at His (God's) right hand and is above all others powers and that all things are put under His feet, and He is head of the church, His body!

There is a lot to digest here, and we will allow the Spirit to bring this to us in a deeper manner. But I would like to go back to the simple question that I posed in the beginning: If God came to you in an audible manner and asked as to "what He could give you/me", how would we respond? How will we respond into the New Year with all its opportunities, occasions and options?

May we consider the two scripture references as consider our answer to God's question. For He has blessed us that we might be a blessing to many others, not only in a physical manner, but more importantly in a spiritual manner. By this I mean that He has given us life and salvation through Christ to the end that we would have an eye out for those who are in desperate need of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins that He brought for all mankind.

How will you and I respond to God's goodness and grace as we move forward in the New Year?

Blessings to you,

Pastor Orval
Posted on 08 Jan 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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