I once bought a ten dollar gift certificate to the local coffee shop for a friend of mine. Since he and I had coffee every morning at that coffee shop, it seemed like the perfect gift. I was surprised when he opened up the card and said, "I told you never to spend your money on me!"
Receiving a gift from someone can often be awkward and uncomfortable, that's true for most of us. Two thoughts usually pop into our mind; I don't deserve this gift, and, what is expected of me in return? We just can't seem to wrap our minds around the idea of someone wanting to give us something, and needing nothing from us.
I was sick, and in bed when my phone rang, and my friend from the coffee shop was outside my front door with a bag of groceries. I felt awkward. I was sick, but I wasn't unable to provide for my family. I remembered the gift certificate, and how I had felt about his reaction. I swallowed my pride, took the bag, and thanked him for blessing my family and I.
Receiving is an action verb, something we must do. Often we are so busy doing things for the Kingdom, that we forget to be still and soak in what God has to offer us. We learn an important lesson in the Gospel of John;
'He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." -John 13:6-8
Peter felt the awkwardness of receiving something that he didn't deserve. Can we imagine ourselves in Peter's position? Would you react the same way if the Son of God wanted to kneel down and wash your feet? Peter needed to be reminded that he was not only serving the Lord, but that the Lord was also serving him.
As followers of Jesus, we need to come to a realization that we serve a God who wants to serve us. We can't earn our salvation, it's a gift; freely given to us when we ask for it, and then receive it. Many hear the Gospel, but only those who receive it find salvation.
' And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.'-Mark 4:20
So if by faith in God's promises we receive our salvation, we can apply this principle to other needs in our lives, knowing that God wants to serve those who serve him.
'And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.'-Philippians 4:19
We often feel like we don't deserve the blessings that God wants to pour out in our lives, and the truth is, we don't deserve them.
We need to put ourselves in a position to receive his provision, by recognizing that he wants to serve us, and having faith that he will do what he promises.
'But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' -Hebrews 11:6
'Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.'-Mark 11:24
We serve a God who wants to do great things in our lives. We bring glory and honor to him by trusting him to serve us in the impossible situations we face. Faith is the action required to receive what God has planned for you in your life. I pray you will be encouraged, and through faith in him, will put yourself in the position to receive his blessings in your situation.
"'"The Lord bless you
and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace."' -Numbers 6:24-26