J.D. WALT: LEARN TO FREELY RECEIVE
“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.’ Luke 12:32-34
“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.”
During Lent, many people think that growing in generosity is learning to “freely give” for a season when in reality, it is the time when we must learn to “freely receive” for life in the kingdom (see Matthew 10:8). When we think of generosity as flowing from our finite capacities, it will be paltry at best. When it wells up from God’s abundance that we have freely received, we become joyful distributors of material and spiritual blessings.
Will we learn to freely receive this Lent so that we can freely give in life?
Gary G. Hoag
To read more from Lent Companion by Gary G. Hoag, please visit https://www.gtp.org/resources/ebooks/lent-companion