Freely Give

Matthew 10:8b Freely you have received, freely give.

My laundry room is decorated with funky picture frames filled with toothless grins, hand prints turned into turkeys and Santas and pictures painted with watercolors and love. These are just a few of the hundreds if not thousands of pictures and crafts my kids have made me through the years. I once heard a "seasoned" saint remark that young parents like to complain about their children's ingratitude when they themselves easily overlook dozens of presents crafted by hand.

Obviously that statement has made an impression on me. I wonder how it would change my perspective as a parent, if I tried to do ten or even one nice thing for my children for every picture they've colored for me. No doubt my days would then be filled with kindness and gratitude.

This morning I am reading Romans 11:19-36. In this passage Paul explains that it was through the disobedience of the Israelites, that God sent Jesus for all men. It is through the mercy of the cross, that grace will be extended back to the Jews.

There are many "famous" people whose teaching God has used to grow me over the years. Beth Moore, Elizabeth George, Lysa TerKeurst, James MacDonald and Priscilla Shirer are among those. Today God is also reminding me of all the "unknown" people that He has used to draw me through the years. These women may be unknown to the world but they are precious in God's sight and celebrated in the heavens for their sweet service for Him:
  • My mom whose life I saw changed by the gospel when I was a child
  • Susan whose evidence of abundant life was obvious to me in college
  • Pam who showed me what a Christian woman really looks like

So many more. There are pages filled with faithful people whose faithfulness to God has touched my life.

Just as grace flows back onto the Israelites from the redemption of all men, God wants the blessings from others to flow back out of me. He has freely given me others in whom I've seen Him work, through whom I've been taught and with whom I've experienced God. Freely I have received. Freely I need to give back.

Jesus, today I will give away these sweet gifts You've given me through the years. Hugs when I've been sad. High fives when I've been glad. Examples I've followed. Lessons I've learned. An abundance of You working through people in my life. Today I will be that person for someone else.

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