God is a Giver, Are You a Receiver?

Above all else, God is a Giver. His nature is to give….freely and openhandedly. God so loved us that He sacrificed His beloved Son to bring us back to Him. For we were like the prodigal son, “a long way off.” Now in Christ we’ve been “brought near.”  Now, in Christ, we have a compassionate, unfailing, amazing, generous, Father’s love longing to touch us every day of our lives. He “showers us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.” (Eph 1:3) He gives us our daily bread.

Here are more Scriptures about God’s giving heart:

  • Every good and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars. James 1:17
  • He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. Ephesians 1:6
  • Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Psalm 37:4

God says His divine power has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3)  These blessings are free and unearned, but we must receive or take possession of them before they become real in our lives. If that weren’t true, would we not be experiencing them daily and walking continually in peace, victory, holiness, faith, joy, health, glory, prosperity…..all the blessings in the heavenly realm that are already ours in Christ?

Receiving the Blessings That Are Already Ours

The rest of 2 Peter 1:3 says “….We have received all of this (all things pertaining to life and godliness) by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.”

Let’s read that again — Peter said we receive everything we need to live this life by coming to know Jesus Christ. But how do we come to know Him? If you study the Scriptures,  you will see certain characteristics in those who come to know God and move “from glory to glory” in their reflection of Him.  God reveals Himself to us directly in proportion to our:

HUNGERING AFTER GOD. “He gave plenty to drink to those who were thirsty. He filled those who were hungry with good food.” Psalm 107:9.

ASKING. “If you ask me to do something, I will do it.” John 14:14

EXPECTING. “The eyes of all wait for You [looking, watching, and expecting] and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favor. (Psalm 145:15, 16 AMP).

In Christ all the promises of God are “yes and amen to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:20). Experiencing these promises – our inheritance — is a result of hungering, asking, and expecting them to manifest in our lives.   Jesus longs to reveal more of Himself to us.

I awoke the other morning to a radio interview of a Christian woman who was telling the story of being rescued from the Pentagon on 9/11/01. The minutes were passing after the explosion, and she felt she would die. While coughing uncontrollably from smoke in her lungs, she blindly thrust her arm into thick, black smoke, hoping, believing someone would grab it and pull her to safety. Someone did. She is alive today because of the hunger and expectation that was already in her heart. I couldn’t help but notice the parallel to our receiving everything we need in our lives in Christ, whether that be rescue from trouble, victory, provision, healing, a job, peace of mind ….. all God’s promises that are yes and amen in Christ:

  • She hungered. In this case, for the very breath of life in her lungs. She needed God.
  • She asked God for help.
  • She expected God to answer, and took a step of faith, thrusting her arm into a black hole, instead of collapsing under tremendous mental and physical assault.

I don’t know about you, but I am hungry to receive all that God has provided for me. Everything. No holds barred. No limitations. I want to keep asking and seeking first the Kingdom of God. I expect God to answer my prayers because He has promised to, and He is good. I want to grow to trust Him more and more, even in the difficult areas of my life, where it sometimes seems like an answer will never come.

I want to receive and take possession of everything God has already provided for me in Christ.

How about you?

Eph 2:13, John 3:16, Eph 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3

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God is Satisfied with Jesus

What are you more conscious of today — your sins, or the forgiveness of your sins?   If your answer is “my sins,” then I encourage you to read this post.  For Jesus came to finish the sin issue between you and God.  He came to satisfy everything God had against you.

Paul said, It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. You are not free if you live with condemnation, that gnawing sense that you’re always blowing it; that God is constantly disappointed, disgusted or mad at you.  I lived that way for years.  My freedom and rest level was zero.

For years I believed that when Jesus said, It is finished,  He  just meant He had completed His work on earth and now was going to heaven to be with His Father.  Then one day I saw it:  IT IS FINISHEDThe sin issue has been finished in the eyes of God!  The perfect Lamb of God had met God’s stringent requirements of righteousness, and had laid down His life for you and me.  All that was left for me to do was receive it.  When you received Christ, you received complete forgiveness, once, and for all eternity, in Him.  But are you experiencing it yet?

The Cross is everything!   Here’s what happened there:

  • Jesus stood in for you and as you.  He took the punishment for the sins of the whole world, including yours — past, present and future — upon Himself.
  • When He died, all of your sins were carried away, even the ones you haven’t committed yet.  You see, when Jesus died, all of your sins were in the future!   God exhausted His wrath on His beloved Son, so you could go free. When you believed in and on Jesus, God placed you in Christ forever.  There is no more sacrifice for sin left.   None.
  • In God’s view, it’s over.  “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”  Hebrews 8:12.  Let it sink in.
  • It gets even more astounding:  When Jesus took your sin upon Himself; the Bible says He gave you His righteousness.
  • Jesus became Sin and you became Righteousness.  How could you be made righteous in God’s eyes when you were a sinner?  The same way Jesus became sin in God’s eyes even though He was completely righteous:   God’s miraculous grace!
  • The old system of living by rules and regulations to earn God’s blessings and favor was also finished!  The new covenant of favor in Christ and being led from within by the Holy Spirit had begun.

When you really understand the weight of what happened at the Cross, you will never be the same.  The condemnation on your shoulders (you may be so used to this that you don’t even feel it) will lift off and evaporate.  Then and only then will you be free to live life as God intended:   Christ in you, through you — because you will finally be at rest from your own works.  

You will never be able to satisfy God through your efforts to live by the 10 commandments, not now, not ever.  Never.

Jesus is God’s satisfaction.   Will you finally receive it?

Gal 5:1; John 19:30; 1 John 2:2; Heb 9:14; Heb 8:12; Heb 8:10; 2 Cor 5:21; Rom 8:1; Heb 9:26

Lisa L

The E-F-F-O-R-T-L-E-S-S-N-E-S-S of True Spiritual Growth

Have you ever experienced someone who knows you well saying “you’ve changed” (grown, matured, etc.), and you were surprised because not only did you not notice the growth, you didn’t “do” anything to grow?  This is one of the most encouraging statements you can hear if you’re someone who wants to grow in your faith.

I heard this for the first time years ago, when one of my sisters announced to me, “before you became a believer in Christ you were “much more negative…. you’ve really changed.”  For the record, I didn’t even know I was “negative” before (I just thought I had a bit of a sarcastic sense of humor, haha), so I was equally clueless that I had changed.  The fact is, I had changed with no effort at all!  I had changed unconsciously and permanently without even trying!  Have you changed effortlessly?  Yes you have, if you are a believer.  You see, you cannot help but grow if you have Christ inside you.  His nature will eventually manifest through you.

But just how does real, permanent growth take place without effort?  Jesus said look at a grapevine and its branches.  He said a branch will bear (grow) fruit just by staying attached to the vine!  Likewise, a Christian will grow spiritually just by staying attached to the vine (Christ)!  That sounds…almost…simple.

For many years I asked “How do I stay attached to the vine?  Tell me how to abide.”  I believed I had to DO something to stay connected to God.  “Come on, just tell me how to DO it.”  Have you ever felt this way?  Well, how does a branch stay attached to the vine?   It just rests where it isHere is how we stay attached:  We rest where we already are in Him.

The critical question then becomes, “Do you know where you already are in Him?”   If you can’t answer “Yes” to that question, then your growth — the true effortless, permanent kind — will be slow.  Why?  Because you will be spending your time working on yourself and getting discouraged.  You weren’t meant to do it that way.

 The secret to growing spiritually:   Learn where you already are in Christ because of His efforts, His finished work on the Cross.  Come and learn, come and receive, come and trust in what you already have in Him.

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”  1 Pet 1:3.

Jesus Christ loved you enough to give Himself to you.  The old you died with Him, and now He lives in you, the new you.  Now you live by His faith.   Galatians 2:20

Striving will diminish, and resting will flourish.  Growth will be effortless. That’s the abundant life Jesus promised to you and me.

Have you experienced some effortless growth you’d like to share?

Lisa L

I Came That You Might Experience My Glory

My  ways are not like man’s, not like yours.  They are higher, deeper, broader — they are of a different realm – the realm of My Glory.   Open your heart, expand your spirit to My ways.   Don’t cling to man’s ways, they will always fall short of My Glory.  They will always disappoint, they will never satisfy.

I have made you to know and experience My ways.  No eye has seen, nor ear heard, what I have prepared for those who love Me.  I made you to experience My Glory.  That’s why I came, now come and receive it, come and receive Me, and experience My Glory, in you, around you and through you.


You are the Light of the World, Matt. 5:14

You are new in Me.   Not just a little new, you are completely new persons in Me.  When you put your faith in Me, I transformed you in an instant.   You became light, as I am Light.  You are walking in the Light, as I am Light.  You are living in the Light, 24/7.  When you are asleep, you are all lit up.  If you could only see yourselves, my children, points of light, my Light, walking around in a world of darkness.  Your light is touching others without your even knowing it.   When I said “you are the light of the world,” I meant it.  The more you see it, the more others will and be transformed by beholding Me through you. That is My grand plan.  Come and receive it.

Come and Receive What’s Already Yours

Relax, you are already reconciled to God.

“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”   2 Cor 5:19

The Good News:

  1. God is not judging you.  You were already judged, the verdict was guilty, and you were sentenced to die.  Jesus Christ took the punishment,  so you could be set free into eternal life now, and be with Him forever.
  2. God is not mad at you.   Jesus took the anger that was intended for you.
  3. God is not surprised when you fail.   He knew you couldn’t live up to the 10 commandments, so He decided to step into your place as your Savior, and do it for you.  (What kind of incomprehensible love is this?)
  4. God is not waiting for you to become righteous.  When you receive Christ, you become “the righteousness of God.”
    (2 Cor 5:21)
  5. God is not the one who is continually reminding you of your sins; in fact, He is trying to continually remind you that He no longer remembers your sins, because of what Jesus did.   “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless acts I will remember no more.”  Hebrews 8:12

What then?

God is waiting for you to see that you cannot depend on yourself for anything  —- not for salvation, not to be “good” enough, not to earn acceptance from God, not to obey the 10 commandments, not to become righteous, not even to love Him more.   I have discovered this is a painful process, what about you?

Paul opens up the book of Ephesians with the statement that “God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”   He spends the first three chapters on this.  Paul, who wrote over half of the New Testament, spends most of his time explaining to the early Church who they were in Christ and what they had in Him.

The Christian life starts by receiving Jesus, then resting —yes, resting — in what the Father has done for you, through His precious Son, out of His unfailing love for you.

The life of the Christian begins with the discovery of what God has provided in Christ, who now lives inside of you if you have believed and received Him.   Our walk, our conduct, our behavior is meant to flow out from Him…..effortlessly.  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”   Ephesians 2:10.

God wants us to depend on Him for everything.  That was the plan —  believe, receive and rest ….then, and only then, can we walk.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Lisa


Come to the Waters

“Anyone who thirsts, come to the waters, for they are free.   My waters will refresh, surround, and protect you.    They will lift you up out of your troubles, out of the depths of depression, fear, and life’s struggles.  Rest, float, trust, and see what I will do in your situation.

Come and receive, I’ve provided everything, it’s all been finished and accomplished in Me.  I am the Way, it’s no longer up to you.  I am here now, fathering you, protecting you, loving you.  Come and believe.

Every spiritual blessing — it’s yours.   Everything I am, everything I have, is available to you in Christ, the exact representation of  Me.   My character, My strength, My desires, My power, My authority over the enemy, it’s yours…as you believe.   Trust Me to operate in and through you.

Come and receive it ALL.  Not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus did.”