Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Story of Faith, Hope, and Love – Part 2 - 3 Gifts of God

Michael continues from yesterday: First, the gift of “faith” ...  Rahab knew that she had to act on the word of Joshua's spies.  Believing faith upon the Word of God is the first step to receiving the promises of God.  She walked in faith and took a risk to commit herself to act upon the word. Her action to hide the spies was an act of faith. For by grace are ye saved by faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. This verse is about salvation.  What does it take to commit our lives to Him for salvation?  The ability to take that "leap of faith" is a gift of God. For instance, when you chose your spouse, there was a high degree of faith required. How do we know that Jesus Christ is the means by which we shall obtain eternal life? The only way to know is by making an absolute commitment to know something that we could not know by means of our own earthly minds. God made us with two natures, one with a desire for the things of the flesh, and another nature of the spirit to relinquish control of our own lives. A leap of faith requires that we relinquish control over our own lives and exhibit humility by trusting in his word.

The second gift given to Rahab was “hope”. She was a marginalized woman in a male dominated culture. She had no status within her society. Racially, socially, physically and culturally she was the lowest of the low without hope. God gives two types of grace: “common” grace and “saving” Grace. Common Grace is given to all men and women. However, you need God's saving grace in order to have hope. Rahab found hope in the promise of God's deliverance. She found hope in the God whom the spies served. Hope is the substance of things prayed for, the evidence of things not yet seen.

Rahab's third gift was the gift of “Love”. She found her rescue from spiritual darkness because of the Love of God. Our security may vary, but often we do things that make us feel loved. Unless we are loved unconditionally with the love of God, we will never know fulfillment. According to Matthew 1, Salmon, son of Nashon, had a son with Rahab.  Their son named Boaz married Ruth, who was in the line of David in the line of the coming Messiah. Rahab, a desperate harlot became a princess in the line of the King of Kings Jesus Christ. She was a woman without status, security, or worldly credentials, who sold her body to eke out a meager existence. Even though Rahab was known for reprehensible sin, the grace and mercy of God exalted her to the status of a princess.  Morning by morning new mercies we see. We want to be reminded not of our sin nature, but of the promise of the gift of God's salvation by grace. For he who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.  And now abideth faith, hope, and love...but the greatest of these is love.

What God did for Rahab, He did for the people in our lives:  He saved her by faith, he gave her the hope of the return of Jesus Christ, and he loved her unconditionally with the love of God.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael

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