How I Used Truth - Lesson 7 - Annotation 7
What is a gift? What is the "gift of God" to man?
7. A gift according to Webster's dictionary is: "anything given; anything voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation . . . some quality or endowment given to man by God." Even an outer gift cannot be purchased or earned. By the same token, a gift given by God to man cannot be purchased or earned. (See the Annotations for Lesson Eleven of Lessons in Truth, which deal with the term gift as well as "spiritual gifts.")
While a gift from a loved one or a friend can neither be purchased nor worked for, we have to accept the gift or it is not ours. Likewise, the gifts of God require a certain work in our own soul consciousness before we are able to accept and use them, or benefit from them. First must come the awakening of our consciousness to the gift, then the mental work involved in denying any limited beliefs that would seem to keep the gift from us, and finally the affirming or claiming of it as ours by divine right of inheritance.
The text (How I Used Truth 77) repeats the scriptural verse from which the title of this lesson comes, "If thou knewest the gift of God" (John 4:10). Reference to the incident in the ministry of Jesus is given in the first Annotation of this lesson. The text then continues with an explanation of this "gift of God":
As explained in the Annotations for Lesson Eleven, Lessons in Truth, the "gift of God" is really the greatest gift to us, for it is God Himself as our own true nature. It is God's own image-likeness in us as the Christ, or I AM. This "gift of God" is the all-inclusive gift because as the whole nature of God it includes all of the divine qualities or ideas. At any given moment in a person's experience he might feel that life (health) is the most important gift to him. At another time he might need harmony. In another instance, he might feel that abundance is the greatest gift that could be bestowed upon him. However, in the over-all picture we see that it is only the completeness of the God-nature that can fulfill all the needs of everyday living.
There is nothing wrong in desiring the fulfillment of some outer need. It may be that the particular quality needed to supply that need is being unfolded in an orderly way. However, to put our attention on any one of the God-qualities to the exclusion of others leads to imbalance. There is a sense of security when one is aware of the truth that there is an all-sufficiency for every need. We can feel assured that God will guide us in bringing forth the supply in divine order.
The text says of this "inestimable gift" (How I Used Truth 78) that it provides "redemption from all human lack and suffering." It does just that. If God in us is the Fountainhead of all that we can ever need for fulfillment in our lives, then awareness of His presence in us as our all-sufficiency can redeem us from lack and suffering. The secret lies in being aware of this Presence and then availing ourselves of its redeeming power.
How do we contact this power? Through prayer. It is not the formal prayer attesting God's greatness and our unworthiness that makes contact with spiritual power. It is the eager, simple prayer that acknowledges God as our loving Father and turns to Him in complete trust. To know the "gift of God" is to take of the living water which is the power of God's Spirit moving in all phases of our life. It is far more than intellectual knowledge of this gift. It is conscious acceptance of the gift itself that is our salvation, for the "gift" contains, as the text states on page 78, "the very substance of everything this human man can need or desire."
Preceding Entry: Explain how the condition of evil is a "delusion of the senses" (text, pages 76-77).
Following Entry: What is grace, and how is God's grace manifested?