“It is better to give than to receive.” We hear that said; but on Christmas morning I think the little ones might argue that point. I know when my boys were little, I would make them all wait at the top of the stairs to come down together. The excitement of running down to see what Santa brought was pure joy! They loved to receive.
This past week the idea of receiving has come up several times. I believe many of us have forgotten the joy of receiving. “God loves a cheerful giver”, but what about a cheerful receiver? We can rob the giver of the blessing with our negative response. We let feelings of guilt, embarrassment, pride get in the way.
Think about Starbucks and “paying it forward”, The person in front of you buys you coffee so you buy a coffee for the person behind you and so on. No one actually received anything, except a surprise bill. Whatever happened to taking the coffee and saying "Thank you so much"? If you did, would you feel bad? Undeserving? You might think to yourself; “He didn’t have to do that.” How can we be cheerful givers if no one receives?
God loves to bless us in tangible and intangible ways. Someone told me the other day that compliments were the worst, and that they never knows what to say. I suggested that they start with "Thank you". Have we forgotten what Gods blessings look like? Or do we just feel undeserving? We have a loving Father that wants to provide for us, and we need to allow Him to do that.
A couple of weeks ago, Gods blessings showed up in the form of Santa Clause at my front door. We were having all the kids home to decorate the Christmas tree, when a visitor came to the door. Our surprise guest was none other than Santa Clause and his wife. We had a great time having my granddaughter Chloe sit on Santa’s lap and ask for what she wanted for Christmas. For Chloe it didn’t seem crazy to have Santa sitting on my couch. She later told me, “Mimi, I almost cried when I saw Santa.” She felt the joy of receiving a sweet gift. Before leaving Santa had one more surprise, an envelope with a card and money for Richard and I. Unlike Chloe’s childlike Joy, we felt uncomfortable. After the year we have had with job lay-offs and starting a new business, we are extremely grateful! However, we had a hard time being cheerful receivers. Feelings of the fact that others need it more, pride, and embarrassment crept in. We were quickly reminded that this is Who God is and what His favor looks like! We are thankful and we lift praise and thanks that Gods provision comes in many forms, He can even use Santa Clause at our door. We still do not know who sent Santa to our home, but we know that all good and perfect gifts come from God. We were letting our feelings rob us of the joy of Gods great gifts. He wants us to have our hands open with expectation of His goodness and to say Thank You for who He is and how much He loves us.
This week we celebrate Gods greatest gift of all, His son Jesus Christ. He gave His perfect son to save us from our sins, all we must do is receive Him. "He didn't have to do that", but thank goodness for His Grace. Are your feelings or pride or unworthyness standing in the way of you receiving God’s gift? I encourage you to let go of what hinders you and receive the amazing gift of salvation. If you have questions, message me, I would love to share with you!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16