Step 16: Learn to Receive.

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daily text logoMarch 6, 2015

Luke 12:22-34

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

LISTEN TO HIM

better than the best

When I feed the birds, I have never once thought of expecting anything in return. I’ve got a pretty good hunch that the birds have never thought about paying me back either. Yet by giving freely to them, I receive almost effortlessly from them. I enjoy the glory of their presence and their color and their song. Are they doing that for me? Heavens no! That is just who they are. They are being who they were created to be.

When I plant a flower garden, I don’t think about those flowers owing me anything. yet they give to me in ways I could never reciprocate. These flowers are not blooming for me but for the glory of it all. I have no claim on them yet I get to enjoy them.

What if my life could be this way? What if I could freely receive and freely give? When Jesus says, “Seek the Kingdom,” I think he is saying, “Learn to receive.” Here’s what I think. To the extent we can receive from God, our lives will be a gift to others. Doesn’t Jesus say as much?

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The fundamental brokenness of the human race, the essence of the brokenness that we call sin, is the inability to freely receive. Isn’t that the story of Eden; we preferred to “take” (i.e. steal) rather than receive. Fear and anxiety lead to “taking.” Faith and love lead to receiving.

I’m beginning to think the secret to being a generous person is the ability to freely receive. What if my ability to give is only limited by my ability to receive?

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

#LISTENtoHIM

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.

All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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