Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Why is saying "thank you" so difficult?

Image by petalouda62
"Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?" Romans 8:32 (NLT)

Her petite frame bent low, worn from nearly a century of living. Small in stature but oh, her heart - full and generous and always giving - barely containable. One could never out-give her, never repay her. "Just say thank-you, that's all," she'd say.

Open hands to receive and a grateful heart is all she asked in return. She gave what we couldn't earn. She gave more than we deserved. All because she loved - delighted in providing for others. And today, nearly 14 years since her passing, my heart spills gratitude; not for the gifts but for the giver.

Sarah Young, in Jesus Calling reminds us, "Sometimes {God's} children hesitate to receive {His} good gifts with open hands.
Feelings of false guilt creep in, telling them they don't deserve to be so richly blessed...When a child of {God} balks at accepting {His} gifts, {He} is deeply grieved. When you receive {His} abundant blessings with a grateful heart, {God} rejoices."

Oh the love of the greatest Giver of this universe cannot be contained or out-given. We can do nothing to earn his love nor do we deserve it. But. He. Still. Loves. Us. He can't help but love us because we are his children, made in his image. He gives generously - holds nothing back - not even his Son. All he asks is that we receive with open hands and a grateful heart. And when we do? He dances, sings, rejoices!

What gift is God holding out to you, today? Do you find it difficult to receive because you feel undeserving? Because you can't repay him? Because you don't believe it's a "no strings attached" gift? Young makes a poignant remark, "{God's} kingdom is not about earning and deserving; it's about believing and receiving."

When we accept God's gift with true gratitude our hearts overflow, spill out toward others. Receiving with gratitude and giving with heart-full love is stepping into God's kingdom flow. This is the abundant life Jesus came to give - still gives. Will you receive it?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17 (NIV)

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b (NIV)

Prayer: Oh Lord, we stand here today with open hands and grateful hearts. Thank-you heavenly father, for holding nothing back from us; for freely giving us your Son so that we may come into your presence, live with you forever. Teach us to believe with open hearts, to receive with open hands, to live gratefully and love generously.

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