And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
I personally love to give, I enjoy being generous, and I have a feeling you do as well. We want to be like Jesus. The Spirit within us glorifies God and blesses and gives joy in our generosity. We know God is a giver. Even in our imperfection we enjoy giving, how much more then does our Heavenly Father enjoy giving? (Luke 11:13) God gives so very much, He gives faith, grace, strength, wisdom, spiritual gifts, provision, healing, and so much more. If He gives, then shouldn’t we receive?
I have trouble receiving. I don’t love to receive from my friends, my church family or my blood family, especially when I am in need of what they are giving. I sometimes feel shame when I receive. The giver doesn’t always convey a shaming attitude, but my own pride shames me and at times has blocked me from receiving the gift or blessing offered to me. I learned as a giver that giving blesses a person in multiple ways. And even reminding myself that saying, “no, thank you” steals blessings from the kind person offering a gift doesn’t always cut my selfish pride.
If I cannot receive from a person I can see, it is no wonder I have trouble receiving from the Lord from time to time. I want to receive everything He has to give me. Don’t you? So, join me in learning to receive.
If we are not receiving something we are asking for or in need of, it is not God, it is us. There are numerous scriptures that say what Mark 11:24 says,
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Have I asked? Do I want it? For me personally, I can say, ‘yes, I have asked.’ Have you asked for it? There is no shame with Christ. He wants you to ask; He said it many times.
Do you believe? Well, if you asked God to give it, I would guess you believe He can, but do you believe He will? Why wouldn’t He give it? He loves you! He chose you! He is Good, Able, and Mighty! Perhaps, you do not think you are worthy, good enough, or deserving? Remember, the work Jesus did for us means we do not have to earn gifts and blessings; we don’t have to try to be good enough to deserve gifts. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says,
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
How much more deserving of gifts can we get than being the righteousness of God? I mean He is I Am! I know I believe God can but I think I sometimes forget that He has made me worthy as Jesus is worthy. Colossians 1:9-14 says,
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
There are times when we ask the Lord but we do not depend on Him for what it is we have asked. For instance, we ask for provision and then go to the bank and get a loan. Don’t we understand or believe how great God is? Don’t we know that God can, God will, and God has? Psalm 81:10 reads,
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Do you truly know God has done great things for you? He delivered you from sin and death. He can heal, provide, give spiritual gifts, bless, give, save, and do anything. Nothing is impossible with God.
How do you feel when you offer a gift to a person and they refuse it? I have felt insulted in the past. Now I realize that nothing can insult me as a daughter of the One True God, I still feel some disappointment that my gift is refused or unwanted or unused. Do you think God can be disappointed for us or sad for us that we do not receive what it is He is giving? We want to please God. Let’s have faith that God can, will, and has. Let’s choose to receive what He is giving.
We cannot give what we do not have. It is all God’s. We have to receive it before we can enjoy giving. I will end our devotional with Psalm 24:1-6. Let it encourage us, righteous brothers and sisters, to receive from the LORD.
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.