Your immediate response?
Maybe something like “It is better to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Question for you: If no one is able or willing to receive, what is the point of giving?
You may choose to disagree with me, but I am experiencing, and therefore learning, over and over the generosity that overflows from receiving, as depicted in the picture below courtesy of Photos by Ravi :
Just so you don’t think I’m making this up, look at what God told Abraham would be accomplished by blessing him:
I will most certainly bless you;
and I will most certainly increase your descendants
to as many as there are stars in the sky
or grains of sand on the seashore.
Your descendants will possess the cities of their enemies,
and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed —
because you obeyed my order.”
Genesis 22:17-18 – Complete Jewish Bible
God blessed Abraham because He was thrilled at the way Abraham received what He promised to him. Abraham took God at His Word and God loved that; that thrilled God’s heart.
How can I say that? Hear how our Heavenly Father responded to Abraham receiving His promise of blessing.
And he [Abram] believed in,
(trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord,
and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God)
I’m thinking that’s a pretty big endorsement of the joy in God’s heart.
Back to my original question: is receiving selfish or generous? My answer is look at what came through Abraham taking God at his Word and receiving what God promised - Jesus! Seriously. Long story, great ending :) .
How does this apply to you and me? Our Heavenly Father is the same yesterday,today and forever (Heb 13:8). And, just what does that have to do with receiving being selfish or generous? Are you ready? Your Heavenly Father wants to bless you so that the people around you are blessed. In order that blessing overflows from you and reaches out to bless others.
Wouldn’t you like to be that?
Wouldn’t you like to impact your world with the blessings of God because you have been able to receive them for yourself? I would!
Our Heavenly Father is actually excited about when we come to Him to ask for and to receive His forgiveness and the freedom and fullness of life it contains. He wants you to receive that for which He paid the ultimate price. He wants for you to have health, freedom, blessing, favor. He wants you to walk into the newness of life that He has for you.
How do I know that?
He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son
but gave Him up for us all,
will He not also with Him freely and graciously
give us all [other] things?
Are you willing to turn from the hard, dry place of believing receiving is selfish and to open up your heart wide to receive the blessings Your Heavenly Father has to wash over you? Check out the video below to get an idea of what that might be like:
You might be wondering about the part where we are called to be good stewards of our blessings. By the way, I am talking about ALL your blessings (not just money – Jesus Himself, health, time, love, hope, wisdom, joy, freedom and the list goes on and on).
Being honest, until fresh revelation this week, I’ve always thought of the parable of the talents as a measuring stick for the level of “punishment” to be received if we weren’t good stewards. But this week the eyes of my heart were opened to see what our Heavenly Father was looking for – are they ready/able to handle more blessing!! When the landowner (i.e., our Heavenly Father) saw they were able to handle/invest/multiply what He had already given to them, He provided MORE!!
My point is – would you hand the keys of a car to a 10-year-old? Or, have you ever witnessed someone promoted before they were ready? Neither usually result in a happy ending.
This Easter my prayer and hope for you is that your ability to receive from Your Heavenly Father will grow until you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself! (Ephesians 3:19).
When that happens, those around you will be generously blessed from what you have received and the “hope light” gets turned back on!!