Our salvation blessings are the manifestation of every promise of God, a release of His miraculous power in extraordinary ways in ordinary lives.
But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” (Mark 7:27)
This seems a harsh and even cruel response to a mother pleading for Jesus to deliver her child. Especially in the light of the fact that salvation would soon come to the gentiles, which He knew. But this encounter with the persistent and quick-thinking Syrophoenician woman brings a clear reminder of a truth that seems to have been lost to the church. The bread – the full measure of salvation blessings purchased on the cross – is for the children of God. For the last month or so, He has led me on a challenging journey through issues of faith, our real identity in Christ, and the limitless provision of salvation. I know it’s far from over, but the significant shift in my understanding has, I’ve noticed, already spilled over into my prayer life. As children of God, we seem to have willingly handed over our blessings to unbelievers.
Signs and wonders or salvation blessings?
The easiest way to explain these is ‘same but different,’ an apparent anomaly that really isn’t contradictory. Salvation blessings are themselves miraculous. Every single promise of God is miraculous fulfilled in a believer’s life though the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead works in us to raise us from spiritual death into a life in Christ – a life full of the miraculous. It’s absolutely true that signs and wonders will follow the preaching of the Gospel as proof of the truth through revealing God’s power and glory. The unsaved need these as testimony of the saving grace of God. Jesus reaching out and delivering the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter is a type of the miracle working power that confirms the Gospel for unbelievers. His rising from the dead was the same confirmation that He had fulfilled all He promised.
In this respect, signs and wonders and salvation blessings are the same. Miracles are miracles. But Gospel miracles are limited to the preaching of the Word. They are events rather than daily occurrences, designed to make a point and to get the message across. Salvation blessings, on the other hand, are the bread of life for God’s children, not the ‘crumbs’ given to unbelievers. To understand this, we need only look at the Israelites in the wilderness and God’s miraculous daily provision. He had no hesitation in providing daily for His people in miraculous ways. Miracles were their daily bread, and He intends that they should be ours too. As difficult as it may be to get our head around it, things like healings – the one miracle that seems to catch everyone’s attention – should be part of our normal day-to-day lives. That’s the message of the Gospel.
Salvation blessings should be the norm, not the exception.
Sadly, the church seems to continually make excuses for God. In reality, we’re effectively saying He wants to give more to those who are not His children. We’re saying that the unbelievers get the bread and the children must content themselves with the crumbs. When we think of the terrible, agonising cost of the cross, it makes no sense. Today’s verse reminds us that the bread is intended, first and foremost, for the children. God hasn’t changed. He is still able and willing to provide for our every need through His miraculous power. If we don’t see miracles, the problem doesn’t rest with God. It’s because we don’t reach out to receive the limitless provision the salvation blessings bring us in Christ. It’s an insult to the infinite love, grace, and mercy of God when we live as if He cares less for His children than He does for others.
From an unbeliever’s perspective, why get saved? If they will enjoy less miracles as a child of God than they do as an unbeliever, what’s the point? As believers, we’re meant to manifest the glory and power of God as a light in the world. But how can we when we don’t live the resurrection life to the full? If others cannot see God’s power working in and through our lives, how will they see His power? These are questions we need to ask ourselves while we take a long, hard look at Acts. The salvation blessings should be manifest. Instead, we excuse their absence and diminish God’s glory. As God’s children, we have a right and a responsibility in Christ to live the full measure of the Gospel – living testimony to the nature, glory, and power of the great I AM. It’s a privilege we sadly neglect.
Learning the full measure of salvation blessings.
It’s time for us all to go back to the beginning and really examine the limitless miraculous provision of God in salvation blessings. Many believers, tragically, haven’t grasped that every single promise of God for His people is perfected and completed in salvation. Christ has made it possible for us to live in each one. In Him, all of these are yea and amen, a ‘done deal’ freely available to each one of us. This doesn’t mean that we go around living in a state of perpetual hype, chasing after dramatic miracles. For us, as children of God, the extraordinary should be ordinary. We should expect miracles rather than find reasons why they don’t take place. They should be part of our daily bread provided by a loving Father who cares about every detail of our lives. That is how God intends us to live.
Instead, though, many of us limp through life simply getting by. The full measure of salvation blessings remains untapped. Our testimony is strangled by our difficulty. The Bible reminds us that His people perish for lack of knowledge. I AM encompasses every need. It’s like a blank spiritual cheque that God’s people can present in prayer. He has already provided and all we need to do is receive it. Which doesn’t, of course make God our divine vending machine. The bread is for the children. If we’re living in Christ, consecrated and surrendered to our heavenly Father, we can and must partake of the children’s bread. The bread – Jesus – was broken so that it could be shared with the children of God. The extraordinary is waiting for each of us to take hold and live it.
Discovering the salvation blessings.
Our daily bread comes from our Father and it’s not limited to what we eat or drink. To discover what is included in salvation blessings, we need only look at the names of God. Names like Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, and Jehovah Rapha are promissory names. They reveal the promises of God to meet our every need. Jesus came to manifest the Father, to reveal and fulfil every one of those promises. Better still, He came to make it possible for us to enjoy them as children of God, not as beggars at the gate. We will still have trials and difficulties and encounter tragedy. But unlike the unbelievers, we have all we need in Christ who purchased every extraordinary, miraculous blessing with His body and blood. We were created to bring glory to God by living extraordinary lives in ordinary ways. Why do we settle for so much less?
Gracious Father, forgive us for missing this vital truth. Thank You for Your limitless promises fulfilled on the cross. Help us to draw near in Christ and to begin to live in Your miraculous power, expecting the supernatural to manifest as we serve and bring glory to You.