Tis the season to receive.
Wait. What? No, we are nearing Christmas. This is the season to share love, peace, hope, and joy generously with others. It’s the season to lavish the gift of giving on those around us.
But, what if, friend, you have nothing to give? How does one pour water from an empty cup? That’s a sad picture, isn’t it?
Yet, this is often how we walk through our days, attempting to pour out peace and joy from the empty cups of our hearts and wondering why it is so difficult to share the love of Christ with those around us.
But, friends, when we do not first take time to receive from The Lord through scripture, prayer, and worship, then we walk into our day empty handed, with nothing to extend to those we love except whatever we can muster from our own strength. I don’t know about you, but when I do this, I usually run out of my own love, peace, joy, and hope by about 8:30 in the morning.
Instead, God tells us to first receive from Him, so that we can be emptied as we love Him by serving others…and then we return to Him to be filled again. We see this played out repeatedly in Scripture. Here are just three examples:
- God first blessed Abram so that Abram would be a blessing to others.
- The Old Testament prophets first received the Word of The Lord and then gave out the Word of The Lord. Isaiah writes, “Then The Lord said to me” and then Isaiah obediently gave out the word of The Lord to Israel. Jeremiah writes, “The Lord gave me this message …” And then Jeremiah obediently gave out the word of The Lord to the people. Ezekiel writes, “A message came to me from The Lord” and, in turn, Ezekiel obediently gave that message to the people saying, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says…”.
- Jesus’ own disciples spent three years walking, living, and learning with Jesus before He sent them out on their own to share the Good News and build His church.
So, as you seek opportunities to share the love, joy, hope and peace of Christ in this season of giving, take time to first receive from Him:
- Read your Bible: It is God’s own Word to you and it is free for the taking.
- Pray: Thank God for His love for you and His never-ending supply of peace and ask Him to equip you with joy and hope for your day.
- Worship The Lord with music that exalts His name and tells of His goodness. (Hint: much of your Christmas playlist might do this!!)
Be blessed to be a blessing. Hear from The Lord and then obediently give out His Word. Walk with, live with, and listen to The Lord and you will have all you need to pour out His Good News on all those you encounter.
Tis the season.
There are many wonderful resources to encourage your daily Bible study, prayer, and worship. Here are just a few I recommend:
- Daily Bible Reading Challenge, from Revive Our Hearts
- Bible Reading plans, from YouVersion
- Together: Growing Appetites for God, by Carrie Ward
- Everyday Mama Blog
- Radio program teaching on “Prayer”, from Revive Our Hearts
- Songbird at Midnight (Vol. 1): The Legacy of Fannie Crosby – EP, by Amanda Noel. Note: There are way too many wonderful Christian music artists out there to try to list them all, but I’m endorsing this phenomenal collection of worship hymns by my talented friend, Amanda Noel, because she’s awesome, the music is great, and it’s my blog, so I can. 🙂