Receiving

I think maybe at least part of the reason Jesus said, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive,” is because He knew how we we want to, or think we, deserve what we are given.

He knows we humans have a hard time humbly receiving gifts. We are either calloused and proud and want to make our own way, or, we are self-centered and proud and think we deserve everything. I guess that’s part of our fallen nature. But its a God-thing in us when we receive with meekness and honor the giver.

I was given probably the largest, monetary-value gift I’ve ever received this week. It was hard to receive with grace. I felt like it was so cheap to just say, “Thank you.” I didn’t know how to show my gratitude. I wanted to jump up and down and dance and scream and run around telling everyone what an amazing gift I was given. So I began thinking a lot about the right way to receive a gift. I’m learning four things you may think I should have already known: It’s important to say thank you. Honor the giver by how you use the gift. Remember God is ultimately the source of the gift. And remember the greatest Gift I’ve been given is Christ!

If I know I didn’t earn what I’ve been given and try to payback the giver in some way, I fail to honor the giver or show thankfulness.

If I think I deserve the gift, that its my “right”, then I have no grace or humility and also fail to honor the giver and express thankfulness.

God teaches me to receive gifts from people through how He’s taught me to receive His gift.

I think of the story in the Bible of the 10 lepers who Jesus had pity on and healed. Only ONE of the ten came back to say thank you. Jesus marveled that only one person expressed his gratitude. From this story God teaches me that He values expressing thankfulness to the giver.

The other story that comes to mind is the Big Story!

The Bible says God gave us His only Son. When we trust in the Son as our salvation we are given the greatest gift… and more gifts indescribable. And God specifically teaches us that we can’t pay Him back… we can never earn this gift. But we can live thankful lives and honor the Giver by how we live.

This teaches me not try to earn a gift I’ve been given, or pay back the giver, but to use the gift in a way that honors the giver.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above…”

“… it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”

“When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. “

“Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

“In everything, give thanks.”

“Our Father who is in heaven…Give us this day our daily bread…”

We don’t earn gifts. We don’t deserve them either. Earning and deserving are what we do to get a paycheck. Gifts are to be received thankfully, and used honorably.

So, if you’re reading this, and you played a part in the gracious gift I received this week, I know I said it before, but let me say it again, Thank you! I pray I can honor your generosity and God’s goodness by being a giver.

This generous gift also got me thinking about the gift of God. What I’ve received in Christ is far greater than anything I could ever be given in this life. Have I received what God has given me with such excitement and humility? Do I live a thankful life? Do I honor the Giver by the way I live? Oh Lord let it be!

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23

Quieted,
Sheila

Not comparing ourselves to others

Maybe you’re like me. Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Joanne’s all mind as well be horror shops! You walk in, you think everything is real intriguing and pretty, but the thought of buying various pieces of paper, or buttons, beads or trinkets and then whipping them up into some gorgeous, usable, handmade gift equals performing brain surgery in front of all the lead neurologists in the world!

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you think, “Oh, I love all those crafty things that other women make, and I’d love to be able to do those things, but I can’t… it’s just not my “gift” .”

If you’re like me, I’d love to encourage you with a word the Lord gave me awhile back.

YOU CAN! STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS!”

One day, after bemoaning my inability to make beautiful things like other women do, the Spirit really gave me a swift kick in the britches! He got to the motive of my heart and said, “You know Sheila. You can offer me whatever you make, and use by faith what I’ve given you, even if it is just ‘one talent’, for My glory, or you can not offer Me anything with your hands because you don’t think it’s as good as someone elses. Have I not created you in My image? Have I not created you to make things, and work with your hands? If so, then make things, offer them to Me and stop comparing yourself to others!

Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you.” 2 Corinthians 10:12-13

You and I do not need to go beyond our limits and do what God has not granted us. We don’t all have to be artistic, crafty divas! But we must offer God every part of our lives in the area of influence God has assigned us. And if the only thing that holds us back from offering God what we make with our hands is that we compare our product with what others make, and deem our merchandise inadequate, then we shrink back from letting every part of our lives influence those around us for His glory!

Maybe this isn’t for you! But this word is most definitely for me!

I cringe when I look at some of the things I’ve made or done with my hands in comparison to others. But then I hear the Lord I think, “You’re right Lord! This is ridiculous! You gave me people and lives to influence and You created me in Your image… even in the likeness of making things. If You gave me one ‘talent’ in that area let me invest in those around me for Your glory and not compare or hide because others seem to have 10 ‘talents’ in this area!”

Here’s a way you could step out there with me in giving what you make with your hands to glorify God- Pay IT Forward challenge

But whether you do this challenge or not, I pray you will step out in faith in the area of making things for God’s glory and put to death the comparing of yourself to others! I know I’m seeking to do that myself!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Redeeming the time,

Sheila

Advent Conspiracy and a "pay it forward" challenge

Advent Conspiracy

Have you seen this video?

It’s the desire of my heart to give the only thing of value I have to give… the life of Christ poured out of me in my surrendered life to others, and to teach my kids to do the same.

This video spoke that “conspiracy” beautifully!

The “pay it forward” challenge

Here’s a little bloggy way to give as unto the Lord to others…

I saw this at Lori’s place, All You Have to Give:

here’s how you play.

be the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on
this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me!!!

be willing to post this challenge on your blog, (meaning, that you will
then ‘pay-it-forward’, creating a handmade gift for the first 3 bloggers that
leave a comment on YOUR blog!!)
as far as i can tell, the gift can be any
price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item.

which means,
you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift
and have shipped your gifts.

wanna play????

Redeeming the time,

Sheila