Thursday, August 6, 2009

Receiving from Heaven - Originally Mailed 7/20/2009

Acts 11
5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:

6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.

8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.

9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Receiving From Heaven

This particular passage always makes me smile. This was Peter's personal revelation that the Gospel of Christ wasn’t just for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles. Though that is fantastic news, what tickles me about this passage is that Peter knew that the gift was from Heaven, yet, because of what it was, he refused it at first. God was making a point with Peter that He is still making with us.

We don’t have the dietary restrictions Peter was reacting to, but we continue to put restrictions on the table when we receive. We like to dictate not only what we get from God, but how we get it and when. But Jesus said “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

Funny thing about kids, they have no problem receiving. It doesn’t matter if I offer my son breakfast or a bicycle, he’ll take it. He usually doesn’t put conditions on receiving. If it’s been identified as “his” then that’s enough.

But, the world teaches us that we are being humble when we refuse a gift. We get taught that it is more respectful to turn something down, even if its something we really want or need. Isn’t that funny? Especially since the real humility is in accepting the gift.

Child of God, let go of your pride and receive what God has for you. You may have expected your financial breakthrough to come in the form of a raise on your job, but when it shows up in being treated to dinner or offered some clothing or correction of a coding error that results in the bill being paid or eliminated, learn to recognize that these are “uncommon” actions. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. He has much more to work with than just your paycheck when He wants to bless you financially.

Also, we have to remember that the things we go through aren’t always about us. There are times when God uses our lives as a living testament for someone else. That’s part of that whole “fit for the Masters use” part in this relationship. There are gifts that may seem undesirable to us at first that are absolutely necessary for God’s plan. A calling to a challenging ministry…living as a missionary in a remote part of the world…dealing with a strong willed child…servant leadership. They are all gifts from Heaven. They are not common because they are from God and they will glorify God.

When it comes to the blessings of God, the real challenge is not whether God will give, but is will we learn how to receive.

Luke 18
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God .

17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro , GA.
Fellowship Church
455 HWY 138 Suite C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor

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