Focus on the Father – Spiritual Gifts 

“True faith is faith only if the actions of your life are in harmony with it and never contradict it.”  — Leo Tolstoy  

The concept of faith—a gift we may give ourselves—is in some ways misunderstood, as are other fundamentals of evolutionary religion. Urantia Book students have more clarity on the concept, as careful study sweeps away confused definitions. It becomes a problem for humanity when true religious ideals are minimized or limited by the avoidance of spiritual meanings and values in a quest for an easy existence. The consecration of faith does require effort; there is a wide gulf between the human and divine, but we have an inner bridge.  

When it comes to the bestowal of spiritual gifts, the Father is limited by man’s capacity for receiving these divine endowments. Although the Father is no respecter of persons, in the bestowal of spiritual gifts he is limited by man’s faith and by his willingness always to abide by the Father’s will. 166:4.11 (1831.2) emphasis added

Jesus brought to God, as a man of the realm, the greatest of all offerings: the consecration and dedication of his own will to the majestic service of doing the divine will. 196:0.10 (2088.5) emphasis added

The affectionate dedication of the human will to the doing of the Father’s will is man’s choicest gift to God; in fact, such a consecration of creature will constitutes man’s only possible gift of true value to the Paradise Father. 1:1.2 (22.5) emphasis added    

Faith and worship are two key examples of the conceptual confusion prevalent today; faith can be complicated for those whose beliefs are materially circumscribed. For instance, one doesn’t have to believe in life to keep breathing—a natural axiom wrapped within an intellectual activity: thinking. Yet one must be faithful to ascend Godward—a spiritual axiom wrapped within a soul activity: faithing. Worship also requires serious study of the revelation to dispel misconceptions. Like faith, it is highly personal, though group worship is grand!   

Faith-insight, or spiritual intuition, is the endowment of the cosmic mind in association with the Thought Adjuster, which is the Father’s gift to man. Spiritual reason, soul intelligence, is the endowment of the Holy Spirit, the Creative Spirit’s gift to man. Spiritual philosophy, the wisdom of spirit realities, is the endowment of the Spirit of Truth, the combined gift of the bestowal Sons to the children of men. 101:3.2 (1108.1) emphasis added

All these spiritual gifts are endowed, and yet it remains true that we cannot make a gift of our faith to any other person. Faith can certainly motivate and activate our gifting, but faith is personal and must be sought and nurtured within the heart and mind of each person. “Let the term ‘faith’ stand for the individual’s relation to God… Have you faith? Then have it to yourself.” (99:5:7)

Our teachers make it very clear that mortals are not ascending, not growing, not discovering divinity without faith and hope, living faith, true faith: “Mortal man earns even his status as an ascension candidate by his own faith and hope” (3:5.16). “Man’s sole contribution to growth is the mobilization of the total powers of his personality—living faith” (100:3.7). “Mankind can never discover divinity except through the avenue of religious experience and by the exercise of true faith” (101:10.4 emphasis added).

Gift giving is associated with our celebration of the birth of Jesus, never mind the factual date. It is a generous custom that now graces the celebrations of everyone’s birthday. It’s implicit that giving a gift to someone means you care for them, respect them, even love them.  

We gift for good reason; we gift for God reason. 

The custom reminds us deeply about value. We spend something of value (money), or we create something of value with our hands to show people they are valuable to us. Christmas is a celebration of divine value; it could be said that we imitate God because he gifted Michael to our cosmic neighborhood of the friendly creation. It could be said that we imitate Jesus Christ because he gifted his life and teachings to us as a present of tender yet massive fatherly love.   

To see God—by faith—means to acquire true spiritual insight. And spiritual insight enhances Adjuster guidance, and these in the end augment God-consciousness. And when you know the Father, you are confirmed in the assurance of divine sonship, and you can increasingly love each of your brothers in the flesh, not only as a brother—with brotherly love—but also as a father—with fatherly affection. 140:5.13 (1574.6) 

Cradled in the mighty ideal of giving—whatever gifts are given—is LOVE. Jesus gave us love in his words, his friendship, his ministry, and his suffering. “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends” (140:5.21). “Jesus revealed and exemplified a religion of love: security in the Father’s love, with joy and satisfaction consequent upon sharing this love in the service of the human brotherhood” (196:3.19). 

We know his Father did not send him to die for us, but Jesus’ death becomes an indelible example of how deeply he loves us. And, to dramatically demonstrate the divine value of his holy axioms:  

Love your enemies. Return good for evil. Supreme values, indeed. 

Religion is designed to find those values in the universe which call forth faith, trust, and assurance; religion culminates in worship. Religion discovers for the soul those supreme values which are in contrast with the relative values discovered by the mind. Such superhuman insight can be had only through genuine religious experience. 195:5.8 (2075.11)  

Truly, the universes are a miraculous gift that keeps giving—the heavenly Father and his associate Deities in Paradise are the infinite and eternal gift givers. If they stopped giving, all the lights of the far-flung cosmos would go out, including our joyful Christmas lights.  

These gifts of Supreme, Ultimate, and Absolute love are showered upon all the persons and places that exist; love comes down, we receive it in our hearts, and we share it with those whom we value. It always bears reminding that the best way to show our gratitude for the gift of all that love coming down is to gift ours back up.  

Circulate the love. Send it now.