I've been in tears quite awhile today over some amazing, encouraging, HOPEFUL words from Scripture about having a heart that receives. I want to share them with you, for I believe they will touch your heart as well.
Before I share the tears, I need to share the backstory:
I received this month's Illustrated Faith devotional kit, A Heart That Receives, a few days ago. I review these for DaySpring every month, and I love them. Like I said last time, the Lord uses them as prophetic ministry in my life. From Holy Spirit straight to me.
This month was no different. This kit is a WORD.
By the way: coupon code 25FORYOU is good for 25% off everything in the DaySpring/Illustrated Faith store, PLUS free shipping, through Friday. Get it while the gettin's good!
Why did this kit touch me so deeply? Because I've been taking part in a prayer-and-accountability group about physical health.
The group is from my friend Gail Dudley, and the Lord has been talking to me about RECEIVING His help to get fit and lose weight.
… And Papa started cleaning my clock right away out of Romans chapter 5, telling me about grace and His help.
Then, as if that weren't enough, Father started showing me things about myself–thought patterns I need to get cleaned up that have impacted my health and weight.
It's been SO healing and encouraging, and I am going to share some of those things with you at a later time. But for now, back to receiving.
I got this Illustrated Faith devotional kit in the mail, and I absolutely laughed … because RECEIVING has been what's on Papa's heart for me anyway, even before I knew what this kit would be about.
So I want to share some precious thoughts from Abba Papa that I believe will encourage you.
These are things that Father spoke to me as I was working through this devotional kit.
So, to give credit where credit is due, I want to tell you all about the “A Heart That Receives” kit from the good folks over at DaySpring and Illustrated Faith.
(By the way, if artsy Bible study helps you, I STRONGLY encourage you to get this kit this month. Then sit with Father, and let Holy Spirit minister to you. Receiving is the name of the game right now. It's all by grace, and Father is taking us into a greater revelation of His grace than ever before.)
The “A Heart That Receives” kit comes with a 14-day devotional kit, stamps, die-cuts, stickers, alphabet stickers, and more.
Here's my very cool video I made that shows all the pieces, and me preaching a little bit about it:
Here are the die-cuts that come with the kit (you cut them out with scissors):
And here are the letters, stickers, devotional guide, and washi tape that come with it (washi tape says “strong and courageous”):
I'm not the best stamper in the world. (I'm pretty messy, actually.) But I like the stamps anyway. Here is the stamp set that comes with the kit (and you can see one of the tip-ins with it too):
So here are some of the precious things that Papa talked to me about while I studied through this kit:
First, He talked to me about receiving by covenant.
We tend to think that we have to work for everything. I'm all for hard work; it's Scriptural. You and I could probably both quote Bible verses all day about stewardship, faithfulness, diligence, and the value of dedicated service.
But it's not all about work.
This is hard for me sometimes. It can be hard because we know for sure that some things, like salvation, are only available to us by grace. We know that Holy Spirit is given to us by grace. Those are gifts from God, purchased by the blood of Jesus, that we could never work for or earn.
But there are other things that we can obtain by working.
For example, health. Eat right and exercise, and you'll be miles ahead in health. Money … lots of people work hard and receive lots of money in exchange. Things like that are things that you can indeed sweat for, and you can usually obtain them by your sweat.
But Father is teaching me that there's a higher way.
Oh, we still have to be faithful. We still have to obey His voice and be diligent. The one truth does not negate the other truth.
But you know what? It's the MOTIVES and thought pattern behind our work that we sometimes need to get straight.
At least I do, anyway.
And every single one of us needs to get a deep revelation that we can receive nothing unless it was given to us …
… And that God gives us things–health, provision, relationships, and so on–by His grace.
He blesses us because He loves us, and because He is good. And He wants to bless us MORE … by His grace. In other words:
- It's not Father's will for us to think we have to make our own way in the world through the sweat of our brow.
- It's not His will for us to think that we have to provide for ourselves by our own sweat …
- Or to think that we have to lose weight and get healthy by virtue of our own sweat …
- Or to think that we can bring ourselves into our own destinies by our own sweat.
Because we can't.
We can and should work and obey His voice, doing whatever He tells us to do. We can and should and must be faithful stewards and diligent servants.
But we still have to just sit back and receive …
… Because the only thing that brings results is God, coming up under us and working through our situations, and bringing the fruit. And He does it all by grace.
All by the blood of Jesus.
I'm in tears writing this. I've been in tears studying it. And I've been in tears all morning drawing it.
Why? Because I'm believing God for my children, and He will give them to me by grace. By His promise. By covenant. By virtue of His Word.
And every day, I believe God to hide me and keep me safe under the shadow of His wings.
But I can receive the comfort and safety and reassurance and hiding-away-from-everything that I need, under His wings, by grace.
When I'm under His wings–a place Papa allows me to be by grace, through the blood of Jesus, He will defend me.
He'll defend me from the onslaught of the world. He'll defend me from enemy attacks. He'll protect me and protect my heart … my oh-so-fragile heart.
And His words give me hope.
His Word–God's Word, the Bible–gives me hope. Studying it and meditating on it and pondering it gives me hope, because I can look at it and tell Father: “Abba, I know You will, because YOU SAID.”
That's it. That's the only reason we need. “Father, You will because You said.”
I don't have to earn it, and neither do you.
I can rest. I don't have to strive. I can rest, and obey, and receive. By grace. And so can you.
What are you believing God for today? What do you need to relax about, and just RECEIVE?
I know there's something, or Holy Spirit wouldn't have compelled me to share these things, which are very personal, with you.
Is it a job? Finances? Health? Healing? Provision? Relationships?
Whatever you need, if you have made Jesus the Lord and Boss of your life, you have access to your answer by grace. By the gift of God. By intimacy with Him through Christ Jesus.
So do you need to sit down and pray and just RECEIVE today?
If so, I pray you would. I encourage you to present your heart to the Lord. Pour out all the deepest thoughts and passions of your heart to Him. Ask Him for His help. Point to His Word and insist that He do what He said He would in that word, just because He said. By virtue of His grace. By the covenant of His promises.
Does this word speak to your heart today? If so, please leave a comment below. I love to hear from you!
Did you pray this prayer with me? If so, did you sense Holy Spirit ministering to you and strengthening you while you prayed? Leave a comment below if so!
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