the gift of receiving
December 29, 2017

Freely Given

By: Loren Mitchell [Roanoke, VA]

My family was having a tough year.

We were dealing with things we never anticipated. I didn’t confide in many people, only my immediate family, close friends, and the pastor with whom I serve.


Abraham’s faith and deeds worked together. . . . You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe.
James 2:22a, 24 (CEV)

One chilly fall day, the pastor knocked on my door. He said, “When my family was going through a difficult trial similar to the one you’re facing, the nicest thing anyone did was to put money in my hand. So I am doing that for you. You’ll need it for gas or maybe food on the road. No strings—use it as you need it.”

Shocked by his generosity, I felt tears well up in my eyes. God knew my prayer even before I asked and sent
a blessing that was free for me to receive. This act of love was a glimpse of God’s grace—a gift freely given, not because we have earned it but because we so desperately need it. In response to God’s generosity, we can become Christ’s hands and feet in the world, combining faith and deeds through acts of kindness—not to earn grace but because grace compels us to serve God and others.


PRAYER: God, open my heart to receive the blessings that you would shower upon me. Help me to serve you in gratitude so that others might also be blessed. Amen.


30 Seconds of Thanks

Take 30 seconds to make a mental list of as many good things in your life as you can. As you acknowledge the source of these gifts, you might feel a deep sense of wonder and excitement building up in you, ready to burst out in gratitude. If so, close your 30 seconds with a shout of gratitude.

the gift of receiving

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