This week's theme verse for me is Ephesians 1:4-6....again, the last part of the verse "...to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."
As I read verses 4-6, I see several things God has given us. He chose us, adopted us, gives us His pleasure, grace...now with those few things I believe I'm quite wealthy. As I see it, there is not one thing here that our government can give to me. I just insert this sentence because I hear a lot of complaints about the government. Things the government can give me, they can take away. But those things that God gives me, no one can take away! God promises so much, He gives so much, and no one can take it away. I find great comfort in that.
But back to the verse freely you have received, freely give. What am I to give then? As I was reflecting on that this morning, God began to show me things He has given me and what I can give.
Love: I can love someone, but what if they don't love me back? Or actually what if they hate me? Not only that, I really don't want to get involved in someone else's life. I'm really busy and if I love them, they may think I want to be a friend. You know, a friend that wants to do things, and I really don't have time for that. Love, freely give!!
Forgiveness: How often do I ask for forgiveness and God forgives. Do I really need to forgive others? I mean really, they have hurt me so often and continue to do it. What about the one who borrowed money and refuses to pay me back? The one who lies about me, and now my reputation is on the fence? And I'm to forgive? Really? The list goes on...you have your own list. Forgive, freely give!
Encourage: A friend is so discouraged and depressed, oh well she deserves it. She is always complaining and talking of her woes. She got herself in the mess she's in, so let her find her own way out. Let me think, oh yes, I remember when I was really discouraged and God sent someone my way that had just the words that brought a ray of sunshine on my otherwise gloomy day. Encourage, freely give!
Kindness: A neighbor has car problems, but I have a schedule to keep. I never see them helping me. They will find someone that can help them. A mother has little ones, and needs a minute to run errands. Oh no, not me. Watching those kids, they are rug rats. She can take them along. Kindness, freely give.
So now I have started the list...you may continue. I am sure you have a few things you can add to the list. The thought is that we are provoked to good works, honoring our Lord.
He freely gave everything to me and you. Pass His love on to others.
God bless you.