Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Give the gift of receiving.

Luke 17:11-19

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 
12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 
13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" 
14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 
16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. 
17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 
18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 
19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

Grace Shatters Our Pride...

Yesterday was a hard day for me.  Many things had gotten me caught up in the corners of my mind.  There seemed to be no escape.

I went out, it was a beautiful day, and began gathering some pine.  I had some thoughts about placing around in the den with some pine cones I had also collected with a friend.

In the midst of it all, a friend called.  She is one of my most fun friends.  She has a little black convertible.  She ask what I was doing and did I want to go for a ride.

We did go and it was so wonderful.  She was such a gift from God to me.  In our ride we began to talk about gift giving.  Other things have brought to mind to me how Grace, the gift of God, shatters our pride.

It is so much easier to give than to receive.

As I think about Christmas, I ponder grace and the receiving of gifts from God.

Have you ever heard or made one of these statements before?

If you don't like it just exchange it.  Feel free.

I think I will just regift.

It is easier for me to give mercy than receive it.

I think I will just put this away.  It is too pretty to use.

I don't really like this but they were so sweet to think of me.

What on earth will I do with this?

I don't have them anything.

I wonder how much did this cost.

Is this all I got?

I don't deserve this.  I have to repay them somehow.

Oh no..not a present.

You know me...I hate to shop.

You can't please them anyway.  They have everything

Maybe these are more familiar?

Thank you, this is the most wonderful gift I have every gotten.

I have never felt so loved by you.

You make me feel so special.

I will think of you every time I use this.

You are such a blessing to me.  Thank you.  I love you.

I will cherish this forever.

You make me feel so special.

How kind of you to think of me.

 I gave our daughter a piece of my jewelry.  She wisely gave it back to me.  I thought my husband gave that to me.  Now is not the time to give it to my children.

Maybe someone has given you so much you can never repay them.  A family, a person, ministry.  All you can do is say because of you I know grace.  I am so thankful for you and pray for you.  I promise to pass all you have given me on to another.  There is no way I deserve it.  All I can do is be indebted to grace.  TO give myself away.

The love and all that went with it I will give away.  I am different because of you.

This is all Jesus ask.  The Father ask.

Grace, Jesus, is the unearned favor and gift of God.

I want it to grip me daily what the Father has done for me in Jesus.   I want to be one of the ones to return and say thank you to all.  Only through Christ can I have this kinda heart to recognize the blessings in each and every day.

God not only gave us His Son

He keeps on giving

and giving

and giving.

Receiving and enjoying the gift and the giver is one of the most wonderful, blessed, humble things we can learn to do.  It not only blesses us but it blesses the giver.

It is more blessed to give than receive we are told.  There has been a time I have given to be blessed.  Sometimes when I have given I have given for me to be blessed.  It made me feel good to give.  That is ok.  It does feel good to give.

But when someone gives to me.  For me to bless them.. by being blessed by them... is an amazing gift to all.

This is what God did for us.  

He taught us how to receive when we don't deserve it.  He reached down to us in our unworthiness and made us His own child.  He took us off the streets and brought us into His own home and loved us.

When a person gives you a gift they are counting you as valuable and loved to them.  You are important in their lives.  You are special, unique, and they want you to enjoy the gift.  To enjoy them.

So this not only a good gift giver but even better, a good gift receiver.  

No matter if that gift is a very small package.  If it is completely not understandable to you. If you cannot see its purpose.  If it is not something you thought you needed or wanted.  If you think you don't deserve it.  If it is dirty and smells.  If it doesn't look like you expected.  If it did not come from where you thought it did.  If it is not pretty and esteemed not by appearance.  If no one else recognizes its value but you...

                Look into the eyes and the heart of the Gift Giver.  

That small bundle is more than you can possibly imagine.  Welcome Him and receive Him.  And all He brings with Him,  with love in return and gratitude more than you have ever had.  More than you have ever been given before, to the 
                                         Present Giver.

Then you will know no greater joy than this...The Third Week of Advent...JOY!

P.S. God gives us sursies each and everyday.  Look for them.  Expect to be surprised by Him.  He will be blessed and so will you.  He loves you so and is only about good gifts to His own.