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The Cart Before the Horse

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
John 1:12

Dennis Jernigan, a gifted contemporary Christian music artist, is described on his website as “Having written hundreds of songs (even though Jernigan does not see himself as a song writer but, rather, a song “receiver”), there is so much more to the man than simply a musician”.           

As a child I took things, got things, hoarded things, have sneaked things, and, yes, worked for things.  But getting things and having things is not at all the same as receiving something.  It is very difficult for me to simply receive.  Thoughts confront me, such as, I don’t deserve this, I am not good enough, and I can do it myself.  God wants to bestow eternal life and bless me, so for me to not accept from Him is evidence of the ugliness of pride in my heart. 

Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). But--

How can I possibly give something I have not yet received?  Sadly enough, everytime I do things in my own strength, and then wonder why I’m exhausted from “giving” so much of myself.  That is exactly why—I have given only of my limited resources—and, therefore,  been quickly depleted.   I do not want to be as the Dead Sea—dead.  The Dead Sea is stagnant and there is no life in it because there is no outflow of water.  Fresh water comes in (receiving), but it stays there and does more harm than good.   

We are created to receive God’s love.  That is our main purpose on this earth.  When we receive God’s love, we are able to fulfill all other aspects of His plans for our lives.  But this goes completely against our flesh.  Our flesh wants to perform and to work to earn everything.  We invariably put the cart before the horse and then wonder why we so quickly “burn out” and even feel used. 

Dearest Lord Jesus, how do I receive without feeling selfish? May I humbly receive the word implanted, which is able to save my soul (James 1:21) by actively, deliberately accepting and taking hold of Your love, forgiveness, and grace in my heart.  May Your Living Waters flow in and through me this day.

Karen Sims

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