Thursday, January 30, 2020

"What Do You Give?" (to the One who has everything?" Part 1 - Giving By Receiving

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"What Do You Give (to the One who has everything?)"

Part 1 - Giving By Receiving

   What do you give to the person who has everything?  We wonder this during the Christmas season, or when pondering birthday presents for people who have the things in life they need, and give little indication of desiring other gifts we might bestow upon them.  Of course, it is not literally true that any human being has "everything."  There is One, however, of whom this can and must be said:

    "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1).

    Technically speaking, we can give nothing to "the Possessor of heaven and earth" (Genesis 14:22).  Everything in creation belongs to its Maker and Sustainer.  How then can we give anything to our Heavenly Father since everything already belongs to Him?  The answer actually lies in His giving.  Scripture reveals a Lord so generous in disposition and dispensing that He must be viewed in terms of the most glorious and wondrous generosity.  God is the most cheerful of givers, even as the hymnwriter exulted, "Out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again."   This beautifully reflects the Apostle Paul's affirmation of our Lord's lavish bestowal, based on His loving generosity: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).

   What do we give to such a One?  We give our receiving.  By definition, God's infinite loving nature of unselfishness - "Charity seeketh not her own" - means that the only way utterly dependent creatures can please our generous Lord involves reception of the gifts He gives.  Consider this in the most obvious human terms.  If a loved one sacrifices time, effort, expense, and everything necessary to grace us with a gift, our receiving of their kindness blesses them no less than it blesses us.  Even more.  "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).  Our happiness, gratitude, and benefit grants a gift to our generous benefactor no less than their bestowal on us.  Amplify this a trillion-fold with God.  He possesses everything.  He loves to give.  Thus, our only way to respond involves giving to His heart the pleasure of giving to our hearts.

   In every day, we can bestow gifts on our Heavenly Father by receiving gifts from Him.  We can trust Him that "my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).  We can express heartfelt gratitude for Heartfelt lovingkindness and its ongoing gift of "life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).  We can give to the One who has everything.  Moreover, our proper reception of God's good gifts will not result in our being spoiled, self-centered brats.  As we frequently suggest in these messages, only our Heavenly Father can freely give in a manner that results in our becoming unselfish rather than egocentric narcissists (II Corinthians 3:18).  We more and more learn to love as we are more and more blessed by the love of God.  "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).

    The capacity for faith built into us by our Lord constitutes our organ of reception, as it were.  Thus, as we trust Him for all things, we please Him by our reception, giving the only gift we can bestow on our Heavenly Father.  We also greatly honor Him as our reception transforms us into being the vehicle of His giving to others.  What do you give to the One who has everything?  We give our receiving, blessing His generous heart thereby, and blessing others as His gifts flow not only to us, but through us unto others.

"It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
(Luke 12:32)

Weekly Memory Verse
     And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(I Timothy 1:14)



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