hand it to you

image

When I used to get something I loved, I had the overwhelming desire to keep it to myself.

Like a hoarder, but of blessings.

As a newborn follower, I needed God to teach me that every blessing comes from Him not only to bless me, but in turn for me to be able to bless others.

When your grip is too tight, it hinder the blessing from its full impact.

When hubby and I moved into our first apartment after getting married, we rarely had company over. Because we felt awkward with the fact our apartment was three rooms all accessible from a common main hallway our landlady used quite regularly.

Instead of sharing that blessing, we kept it mostly to ourselves, and I have often wondered what blessing God could have had for us had we had more open arms and shared the gift of space we had with others.

When we moved to our next apartment, we began to invite others over to share the blessing of space we enjoyed. As many of our friends were still single and living at home or rooming, they enjoyed the hospitality God was stirring up within us.

When we became pregnant with our son, we felt led to move out of my hubby’s childhood stomping grounds to my hometown during my teenaged years.

And we were blessed to be able to rent a townhouse.

So we kept filling it. Friends, family and our neighbors came over regularly, and somehow the space always seemed large enough.

We learned a home is not the size of your space, but the size of your heart.

A few years later, we were blessed to be able to buy our current home. It may be small in size, but it has be used to bless dozens of kids and most of our family and close friends over the years.

We continued the tradition of our house is your house.

Sometimes our blessing means more to us when we have someone to share it with, and becomes all the sweeter because we used it to bless others.

I also regularly donate food to the food bank, and clothes to organizations whose mandate it is to not only bless others with necessities, but give them a hand up and skills to move forward into a new season.

Letting go of what we hold onto so tightly can be just what another has been waiting for.

The same becomes true when we let go of our past, sins and baggage which has been holding us back.

When we take our hands off, He can move His hands in freedom, restoration and blessing.

When we receive all He has for us from His hands with a grateful hand, we can extend the other to those whom through us, He intends us to bless.

Whether it is a physical gift or a spiritual blessing, this holds true.

When we accept His forgiveness, we are able to extend it to others.

Substitute love, grace, peace, joy…for forgiveness, and it remains the same.

We were meant to hold one hand up to receive what He has for us in praise and thanksgiving for all He has given to us, and extend the other hand out to one another to share what we have been given.

The gifts, the blessings He gives us are designed for community.

What God blesses us with is always deeper than we can see on the surface, and part of His plan for us.

When we share His blessing with others, the blessing becomes doubled in a way we cannot fathom on earth, but fulfills the mandate of this Kingdom.

For all we have comes from His loving hands.

And all we do and offer Him back is because of His great love.

Take a moment, and ask Him what you may be holding on too tightly to today. Ask Him to show you how to take the blessings He has given you and offer them as blessings to the community about you. It may be a physical offering of goods, time or use of a gift or talent. It may be an emotional one, by supporting a cause dear to you heart & His. It may be a spiritual offering, coming alongside someone struggling in an area He has set you free from.

In all things, with thanksgiving and praise, we offer all You have given us back to You. For Your Kingdom come for Your will be done, for Your glory, forever and ever.

faith in action

image

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.  James 2:26

Life cannot exist when the body and the spirit are separated.

Both are needed for life to happen.

Faith without works isn’t alive.
It too is dead.

The spirit may be willing, but if your flesh isn’t following suit, you don’t get it done.

Our faith is to represent the living God we serve.

Everywhere, serving everyone, every moment.

If we are followers of Jesus, we are to do as He did. We are to go everywhere we are lead and serve everyone He asks us to — every opportunity we can.

Faith in action comes alive.

Today, ask Him to awaken your desire to have a living faith which permeates every area of your life.

Let faith arise, and may those around you be blessed as you follow where He leads you to be His hands and feet to all He loves.

This post first appeared as a Drop of Encouragement at Remade Community today.

Master-piece

You choose to use me.
But more importantly than even that, You choose me.

You chose me before I even came into physical existence.
You knew me, and the plan for me, before You began to shape me into being.

You consider me Your masterpiece.

A piece made with care by the Master.

And as such, I am special to You.

A piece of Your heart, wrapped in the work of Your hands, on display for all to see.

Purposefully made, purposefully chosen, purposefully pursued & adored.

Wow.

My problem receiving that truth?

Me.

By choosing my own feelings over Yours, and by accepting my word as true above Yours, I undermine my own effectiveness in Your hands.

I become the stumbling block from all You have planned for me, the one You call Your masterpiece.

When I get out of my way, humble myself and allow You to be the One whose words I take to heart, whose truth I walk out, whose love I demonstrate, others can see the masterpiece You set out for me to be.

Only when the missing piece submits to the love of the Master can i become Your intended masterpiece.

I struggle with this some days more than others, usually when things have been especially stormy and I feel off kilter.

When I forget who I really am, I set myself up to me moved by the deceiver in the board of defeat he would have me believe is all there is for me.

No more.

After a few painful blows and bouts of tears, I drop to my knees and acknowledge the truth You have always known:

I am Yours, Lord.
I declare You Lord over every area of my life.

May I become as You intended when I leave myself in Your hands,
Your masterpiece,
for Your glory alone.

image