Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Freely Receive, Freely Give 3-23-05

Good morning, Lord Jesus. I enter in to the place of prayer with this praise song on my heart: "He gave His life, what more could He give? -- O how He loves you; O how He loves me; O how He loves you and me." ... You gave Your life freely for us so that we can give our lives freely to others. As You sent out Your first disciples to lay down their lives for others in ministry, You told them"...Freely have you received, freely give" (Matthew 10.8). Then, as we give our lives away for others as You have given away Your life for us, there is no limit to the blessings and favor and grace You lavish upon our lives in Your ways and in Your timing. It's an application of Your spiritual principles: "For with the judgment you make, you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get (Matthew 7.2). "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow" (Galatians 6.7). It would be wrong to try to manipulate these principles for our own gain; and, at the same time, it would be foolish not to know these principles apply to our lives. Praise You for the beautiful and amazing revelation of these principles last weekend. A lady named MaryAnn came up to the team for prayer because of the pain in her shoulder from severed tendons, where she couldn't lift her arm. Her livelihood was as a woodworker and she had just restored and refinished a communion table for the local Baptist Church. Though she didn't have much, she felt You laid it on her heart to write across their bill, "No Charge." As she asked for prayer Friday night and tried to describe what she couldn't do, she was doing it as she lifted her arm straight up in the air. Soon she was lifting it up with joy and praise! It was as if You said from heaven, "No Charge," as You restored and refinished her. Then, if that were not enough to make Your point, another lady named Dianne ran up to her Saturday morning after hearing the testimony. She said she knew about the joy and blessing of giving in response to Your call to give when it seemed there was nothing to give, as she put several twenty dollar bills in MaryAnn's hand. It was a humbling moment for all of us. Then some of us heard "the rest of the story" Sunday morning at Dianne's local Methodist Church! She had come home Saturday night and her kids immediately noticed a fresh joy and peace in their mother's heart. Then she opened the mail to find a letter from Eastern Kentucky University offering a full, four-year scholarship for her oldest child. She couldn't quit shouting from the front of the church, "You can't out-give God!" No, we can't. It might not always happen so quickly and so directly from our limited perspective, but it is one of the ways You have called us to be like You. You gave Your life, what more could You give? Freely have we received, now we are to freely give. Whether it's our love, our time, our resources, or our forgiveness, any gift we have to give is just a gift you've first given to us. Give us the wisdom and the courage, the humility and the faith, to give our lives away to one another as You lead. For as we give to one another with grateful hearts, we are giving to You (Matthew 25.40). In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Be encouraged this day! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays To subscribe/unsubscribe/reply please send a note to me at Messiah Ministries -- "preparing the way of the Lord" -- God bless you!