78 Receiving GiftsPosted: October 18, 2013
A man actually managed to bring his gold to the pearly gates. As he held his bar of gold, the angels asked each other, “Why is he bringing pavement?”
The tenth secret to finding humility is receiving gifts.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
“Grace is God’s promise to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves.”*
Salvation is a gift, our eternal home with God in heaven is a gift and life is a gift. Even our faith is a gift from God. All we have and can do is ultimately a gift from God. We can never earn what God has freely given us. It does not even cross His mind that we would attempt to earn His love; He wants us to receive His love as a gift. Our relationship with God relies on Jesus’ blood not on our attempts to please God.
Even if we know all this and believe that God’s love is unmerited, we still struggle to receive His love. We resist His gifts. We try to earn His favor. We know in our heads His favor is undeserved but we need to be honest about our internal process and the lies within our hearts that say we can earn it. If we seek to earn God’s love, the relationship we are trying to have with Him is not consistent with His nature. Have we resolved in our hearts that His love is gift or is there a falsely earned “gift” in its place usurping the place of His true gift? We can espouse correct doctrine yet what truly matters is our heart’s attitude toward Him.
The old self or flesh pulls us towards rationalizing our salvation and relationship with God. After all, why did God choose us to believe in Jesus? We need to remember…
He Who did not spare His Own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will he not also…graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God Who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, Who died—more than that, Who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:32-33
We want to give ourselves at least some credit for our salvation and God’s gifts so we can feel good about ourselves. When we want the credit, we need to worship God and give Him all the credit.
God utilizes people to distribute His gifts. In our old selves, we resist receiving gifts or help from people. Friends and family bring both. God has broken down my resistance by showing me how weak I am. We cannot do what God calls us all to without each other.
To God be the glory, great things He has done,
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*Francis Frangipane 7-21-13 at River of Life Church in Cedar Rapids, IA.