Created heavenly gifts really encompass everything, for everything in our own lives and everything around us, both physical and spiritual, were created by God when He created the heavens and the earth.
And, since we are created in the image of God, we must have the same heavenly love, compassion, and empathy that God has, that is, unless we have sold out to the corrupt ways of this world.
So, in todayís message letís concentrate our discussion around the created heavenly gifts of love, compassion, and empathy, which we all were given, but only a small percentage of us fully utilize.
Letís begin our Biblical journey by looking at Genesis 45:1-15, and see what insights it gives us about Godís created heavenly gifts.
1. Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried, "Have everyone go out from me." So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
Joseph couldnít control himself because of the joy of being with his brothers, and even though most of them wanted to kill him, he only had forgiveness in his heart; he felt only love, compassion, and empathy for his brothers.
Joseph had Godís created heavenly gifts even if his brothers didnít.
2. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it.
If a lot more people felt like this, we would do away with most of the violence in this world, the violence that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
3. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
Most of the world doesnít understand this kind of heavenly love, and they are dismayed when they come across it.
4. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come closer to me." And they came closer. And he said, "I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
He was reminding them of their evil intent, but he had no thought of taking revenge on them, even though he had the power to do so.
5. And now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
This statement showed Josephís faith and trust in God; unconditional love is from God and revenge is of the corrupt ways of this world, as was their evil intent, and we believe that he wanted his brothers to understand this.
6. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.
Joseph went on to explain how God planned for Joseph to not only save their lives but the lives of many others.
7. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.
8. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Joseph was telling them of his power, we believe to show the degree of his unconditional heavenly love and lack of any thought of revenge.
9. Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph," God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.
Then Joseph focused upon a personal aspect of his life, for in order to truly love others, we must also love ourselves, but never selfishly.
10. And you shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have.
Joseph is providing a home for his family, and we believe that with his heavenly love, compassion and empathy, he did it without displacing any others.
11. There I will also provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, lest you and your household and all that you have be impoverished."'
Joseph also was reminding them why he was doing this.
12. "And behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which is speaking to you.
Joseph must have sensed their continued dismay and he was trying to dispel it.
13. Now you must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and all that you have seen; and you must hurry and bring my father down here."
So he told them again what he wanted them to do.
14. Then he fell on his brother Benjamin's neck and wept; and Benjamin wept on his neck.
15. And he kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.
There is far too much family infighting and lack of true heavenly love in this world, and we need to end it.
Even if we have been wronged, we are to forgive.
We are to be filled with Godís created heavenly gifts and encourage others to do the same.
Now letís look at Matthew 15:21-28 and see how Jesus addresses Godís created heavenly gifts.
21. And Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon.
The district of Tyre and Sidon, which is part of Lebanon today, was a non-Jewish area then, too,
22. And behold, a Canaanite woman came out from that region, and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed."
This Gentile woman was expressing her faith in God and Jesus to help her daughter.
23. But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came to Him and kept asking Him, saying, "Send her away, for she is shouting out after us."
Unfortunately His disciples only saw this woman as a distraction, and didnít even seem to consider that Jesus chose to come to this non-Jewish district.
24. But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
We believe that Jesus is saying this to test the faith of the disciples as well as the woman, or remind them of their greater mission of loving the whole world.
25. But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
Nevertheless, the woman persists.
26. And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
Jesus is saying this to the woman in the hearing of the others.
27. But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
But the woman persisted in her faithful request.
28. Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once.
This is one of the reasons that we believe that Jesus chose to come to this area.
He wanted others to have the same kind of faith, whether they were Jew or Gentile, and this womanís faith appeared to be much stronger than that of most Jews.
Jesus is showing us that there really isnít any limit to Godís love, and we all should be filled with Godís created heavenly gifts and share them with the world around us.
In Romans 11:28-36, Paul teaches us a lesson that we should apply to the whole world around us, but especially to the Christians, for they should know better, as the Jews of Paulís day should have known better.
28. From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;
We believe that Paul is referring to the Jewish people who have not accepted Jesus as their Messiah, but God still loves them.
29. for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
In our opinion we believe that this statement clarifies the above statement, and we also believe that this applies to the Christians of today too.
Not everyone who calls themselves Jewish or Christian is one who possesses the gifts of the calling of God; some are Christians and Jews because they were born into that religion and never themselves responded to the calling of God.
Paul seems to be saying that unless a Christian or Jew possesses the gifts of the calling, they may not be accepted into the kingdom by grace alone, whether or not they are born again and living in the heavenly will of God.
From our standpoint, this is one of those gray areas that depends on the intent of the heart, which only God can see.
30. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience,
Here Paul seems to be speaking to the Gentile Christians who may have thought that the Jews should be excluded because they didnít give up their kosher laws or hadnít accepted Jesus as Messiah.
31. so these also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.
In other words, because they see the lives of the true believers and the mercy of God upon them, they might also become peacemaking children of God and receive Godís mercy.
32. For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.
We believe that this is saying that the disobedience of those who possess Godís created heavenly gifts will all be shown His mercy.
33. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
In other words only God can make the determination of who is saved and who is not.
34. For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?
And the answer is no one.
35. Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again?
No one, for we do not possess the ability to pay God anything for covering our sins and for His mercy.
36. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
For everything that has ever been created is God, both spiritual and physical, which include His created heavenly gifts, of which love is the greatest, for from heavenly love flows compassion and empathy which allows us to feel the pain and suffering of the whole of Godís creation and do something about it.
And as Paul wrote, if we possess these created heavenly gifts, they are irrevocable.
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