On mother’s Day, our grandson, Jake, was quietly bothered that there were no gifts for his grandpas. When we got up to leave, Jake ran to his room, grabbed a couple of his best diggers, hurried back down and gave them to his grandpas.
It cost Jake a lot to give away two diggers. Jake loves his excavators, backhoes, and bulldozers. He treats them as if they are his children; he disciplines them when they act up, tucks them in at night, kisses and hugs them, and even plays with them.
G-pa and Papa treasure their new diggers because these gifts reveal the heart of the giver: Jake gave away what he loves because he loves his grandpas and wants them to know it. G-pa and Papa didn’t ask for diggers, they probably asked for a hug or a kiss good-bye, but they got diggers. Jake gave away that which was valuable to him because he thought it was the right thing to do.
God also gives away that which is precious to Him:
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. – John 3:16-18 (NLT)
G-pa and Papa had a choice when Jake handed them the diggers: they could accept or refuse his gifts. Believe it or not, they tried to talk Jake out of the gifts, but Jake wouldn’t have any of that. He insisted they take the diggers and keep them, “till you go to heaven because you won’t need them there; heaven already has the best toys.”
God, however, doesn’t insist on our taking the gift of his Son. He lets us choose. He tells us the consequence of refusing: judgment; but the choice is ours. We can choose to receive or reject any gift God offers to us. God also allows us the freedom to ignore Him over the summer. We know the consequence: we lose intimacy with God; but the choice is ours.
My challenge to you: spend time with God and receive the gifts that He is offering you this summer! And, while you’re at it, thank Him for all the gifts He has already given you.
In order to do this well, you must think of all He has given you: Life, breath, love, salvation – and those are just the beginning. Determine to acknowledge that everything you have is a gift of grace; that you haven’t earned anything. Recognize that even the things you might think you’ve earned are in reality gifts from God.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” – James 1:17 (NLT)
God has so many good and perfect gifts He wants to give you this summer, but you must be available to receive them. Will you come into His presence daily so that you can be surprised by the precious things He is waiting to give you?
… and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…: — Hebrews 10:22-25(NIV)
8 thoughts on “Challenge: Receive the Gifts!”
Wonderfully put Marcia. When I saw the spur on your blog, I thought of this on Sunday as our priest during his homily talked about not taking a vacation from God during the summer. But encouraging us to keep moving forward on our faith journey. Love you
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Thanks, Lisa. Yes, we need all the encouragement we can get during the summer!! I think writing the blog is one tool the Lord is using to keep me closely connected LOL. Love ya! M
Awesome thoughts. We all have a tendency to put God on the backburner during the summer. HE IS OUR ONLY CONTINUING GIFT and our only way to heaven.
Thank you for your gifts for the right words. Your messages make my day.
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Barbara, it reminds me of the hymn, “Come Thou Fount”… ‘prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.’
Thank you for the sweet encouragement!
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.
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Excellent connection! Thanks, George!
I visited a church last Sunday . It was an awesome sermon about what are we doing as Christians in a world needing volunteers for the master. And yes this was a church we visited as part of our vacation. It may have been a little church in the north but the message was sent and dropped in our lap. And even though this is our summer, we can walk the talk.
How gracious of God, Bev, to have a sweet message for you as you visited a new church. Blessings to you, Marcia