verb: to get or be given something, to react in a specified way, to welcome

“Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.”  Philippians 4:23 MSG

The annual Christmas card from our sponsored child in Bolivia arrived the other day.  She is old enough now to draw a cute little picture for us of a girl, a rabbit, and a Christmas tree with a gift next to it. Translated below the drawing, we found this sweet, simple message from her:

“Receive lots of blessings of God.” 

Lots of blessings of God?  Yes, He does give us lots. He gives them all the time.

But do we really know how to receive them?

This tiny little girl across the world might be reminding us of something extremely important…

Maybe she's reminding us that receiving is an action­-that it’s something we do. And it matters how we do it. One translation of the Greek word for receive in the Bible means to take something in with deliberate and ready reception. 

It’s kind of like when the UPS truck is outside and somebody dressed in brown sets a box on our porch.  The doorbell rings, and in our house, we look at each other with curious faces.  We don’t exactly remember what we ordered, but we can usually assume it’s something we wanted. Or needed. Fun.

So, we have some choices:

1)    Leave the box on the porch.

2)    Take the box inside, but don’t open it for a while.

3)    Tear into the box immediately-pulling off long strips of tape and ripping the cardboard apart.

When God gives us His blessings, we have these same choices.

Maybe He wants to give us a new experience that will strengthen our courage and faith.  Maybe He is providing an unexpected opportunity that will refresh our spirits. Maybe He has a creative idea to plant in our hearts, or a person for us to meet that will draw us closer to Him. 

What will we do when God comes bearing gifts?

We might choose option 2, and wait a little bit to make our hearts ready to receive.

Or we might choose option 3, and eagerly begin to enjoy them right away.

Maybe sweet Andreza just wanted to remind us not to choose option 1, not to leave them unopened on the porch.

Oh, this amazing grace of Jesus! He wants us to experience it deep, deep within ourselves…

Let’s invite Him in: Jesus is at the door of your heart with all kinds of packages.  He has LOTS of blessings for you–things you want and things you need–all wrapped up in His amazing grace. He’s chosen them just for you. Ask Him to help you to receive your gifts with gratitude and joy. Merry Christmas in August!