“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” - 1 Corinthians 2:12
All good parents love to give to their children. Mothers and fathers all over the world sacrifice time, money, even their own wants and needs to give the best they can to their sons and daughters. Often times though, Christian parents get caught up in the world’s way of giving. We begin to focus on what our children think they want at the expense of what they need. Our desire to protect them from hurt or disappointment leads to a schedule packed full of practices, lessons, and other activities that result in a level of busyness that leaves families disjointed and exhausted. The truth, however, is that what our children need and desire most is not more from us, but simply us.
The perfect example of this giving model is our Heavenly Father, who also loves to give to His children. It would take all of eternity to name the gifts that God has given. He gives His love, His forgiveness, His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He gives His mercy, His grace, His kindness and patience. He gives His beautiful creation, the gift of life, and the food we eat and clothes we wear. He gives His Word so that we may know Him and His Spirit so that we may commune with Him. The list could go on and on. The question is not whether or not God has given freely, but whether or not we have received what He has freely given.
Gifts aren’t meant to be merely offered, but also to be received. This is supremely true in Christianity. God freely offers Himself to us through the gift of His Son. But if this extension of grace is not received in faith, it is not ours. I believe this is one of the greatest issues facing Christianity today…congregations of people whose eyes have been opened to the gifts of God, but who have received nothing.
When a person is born again, he knows that it is because he has received Christ as a gift from Almighty God and not because of any decision that he has made. Salvation happens when we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ – the forgiveness of our sins and the indwelling of His Spirit. No man decides to be forgiven. Instead, he lets go and receives the gift of forgiveness through faith in Christ.
Have you received the gift that God has freely given?
Father, Thank You for all of the gifts You have given to me. Search my heart and uncover any areas where I am not receiving the fullness of Your grace.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.