Posts Tagged gifts
Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them. Isaiah 61:6-8
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Mark 10:15
Our Western society has a lot to answer for! In many ways of course it is responsible for so much progress and prosperity and we would not ever want to be ungrateful for that! But somewhere along the line we started having a really hard time receiving the promises of God. We seem so wrapped up in earning that receiving seems almost indecent these days. The word “earn” is used only five times in the whole bible. “Receive” is used over and over and over.
I was brought up in a family where earning was everything. Pocket money had to be earned, privileges earned. Everything good needed to be earned. In many ways I’m glad I was raised that way – not afraid of hard work. But have we made the rod for our own backs? We grew up with hearing “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”, “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is too good to be true”, “You don’t get anything for nothing in this world”.
Then we are born again and hear the good news of salvation and all the free gifts which are ours by grace – unearned gifts from our heavenly Father and is it any wonder we have trouble just believing that we receive? Is it any wonder faith, simple faith, is so hard for us?
The flipside of course is that we begrudge anyone else receiving unless they “deserve” to. Is it any wonder that we struggle just to give freely and without judging the recipients of our gifts? What should motivate our giving? Need. Just need and a whisper in our hearts from the Holy Spirit.
We need to practice our giving and receiving with grace over and over and over until it becomes second nature. The place to start of course is with giving. But don’t let feelings of doubt, unworthiness or lack of faith stand in the way of receiving either!