I. Raising the Value
Everyday we are filled with opportunities to add value or kill it. In particular this applies to people. Either we can build them up or we can tear them down. In a world where people fight for position, importance, titles and power the tactic is typically to tear the other person down so that I can be the “important” or more “powerful” person. This is the exact opposite approach that Jesus had. From the onset He placed value on us by leaving heaven’s glory to save us. He paid the highest price through laying down His life that we could be seated “with Him” in heavenly places.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
God created us after His image, in His likeness and we are designed to walk like Jesus in every aspect of life. He places high value upon us. He sees that we were worth giving up the life of His only Son for us so that we can be a part of His family. When we tear other people down, or devalue them, what is being revealed is just how much we don’t value ourselves – not seeing the power of who God has created us to be.
II. Be An Encourager
We need to be as encouraging as possible to others – building them up to see their full potential in the Lord. God gives us His Spirit, even a spirit of encouragement, to help others be all that they are created to be. When we strip people of their value we are revealing that we are in spiritual deficit. It shows that our spiritual bank account is empty.
Pride causes people to devalue others. Lucifer became jealous with envy railing against God, boasting of what he was going to do and even gossiped about it bringing other angels down with him. How important it is that we have a humble heart that speaks life over others, realizes their potential in Christ and helps them grow in God’s grace.
III. Receiving from the Father of Lights
Something life-changing is to see how God wants to lavish His gifts upon our lives – pouring out His goodness upon us. How important it is to excel in receiving grace-gifts from the Lord. What we have comes by gift from the Lord – nothing else. We don’t work for it. Every good and perfect “gift” comes down from the Father of Lights.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
Work is good, but what we receive from God are “gifts”. When you get a gift you just receive it. You don’t work for it. Salvation is a gift. The Holy Spirit is a gift. Blessings are gifts. Favor is a gift. Anything you can name that comes from God is a “gift”! God loves pouring out His gifts upon us!
IV. Works vs Gift
Jesus tried to wash the Peter’s feet – Peter said “No! You will NEVER wash my feet!”. He was saying, “I work for you Jesus, I serve YOU Jesus, and You will never serve me!”
“Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus told Peter that if he wouldn’t let Him wash his feet he couldn’t be His disciple. Wow! Just because Peter wouldn’t let Jesus wash his feet it was going to be OVER! Of course, when Peter heard that from the Lord He was ready for an entire spa experience with the Lord – saying, “…then don’t just wash my feet but my head and hands too!” Jesus gently reassures Peter, knowing that he would change his mind, that all is good – the feet will cover it Peter.
It’s so important that we learn to receive from the Lord – and also from others. If you are ALWAYS the one giving, buying and doing everything because you have made it your standard – then you’re missing it. There is a time to give and a time to RECEIVE. Here’s the deal. If you don’t receive, you can’t give. God is the Source of all things. You don’t want to the the source of all things. But if all you do is give then you are essentially taking God’s place.
God wants us to give generously and receive abundantly! Why? Because He doesn’t want us taking all the credit and glory for everything we give. There should be a supernatural element where God is very apparently blessing us. In that, we give from the overflow of what we receive from the Lord. We need to be caught up in His cycle of blessing.
V. Participants in Blessings
The Lord blesses us in so many ways. Some things come directly through Him and other things don’t. God likes to use people so that can participate as a conduit in the blessing and get blessed in the process. God loves a cheerful giving heart.
2 Corinthians 9:7
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
God loves givers but we also have to learn how to receive. You may say, “Come on! Everyone knows how to do that!” Not really. Many people have a hard time receiving from God because of self-sufficiency and pride. Lucifer, which means the morning star, didn’t receive God’s given gift of position, glory and service to the Lord. Because of this he was cast down and received the downgraded name “Satan” which means “opposer or adversary” – he became the enemy of God and all His creation.
We don’t want to oppose God but receive and value the gifts that He freely gives. It does not matter what it is. It can be salvation, the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit (prophesy, tongues, healing and etc), favor, open doors, finances and more.
VI. Worthy of Gifts
Here’s the thing – if we don’t think we are worthy of gifts we will be stuck with an impoverished mindset, be spiritual bankrupt and never receive the blessings that God wants to pour out upon our lives. Not only that, we would project that same spirit and mindset on others that would believe and receive from the Lord. It never stops with you. Whatever you believe overflows to others – whether good or bad. Jesus called the Pharisees “blind guides” using the example of leading others into a ditch. They were proud in their “religious false humility” because it was all about them.
If you live under condemnation you cannot give freedom. If you live feeling unworthy of God’s gifts you will have nothing to give.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
If you don’t feel you are worthy to receive gifts from God or others then you are cutting off His blessings and promises for your life. It is a mindset cloaked in false humility. It makes it hard to receive from God or others.
“…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
Understand the cycle of giving and receiving. Paul released spiritual gifts through the laying on of hands. He was a participant in the blessing of God being transmitted to others. We also have opportunities to give and receive. The good news is JESUS has made us WORTHY to participate. We partner and participate in His goodness being released to others as those who bear His gifts.
VII. Kick the Habit
Don’t allow guilt, shame, condemnation, unworthiness, self-consciousness and pride keep you from God’s blessing and being a blessing to others. God blesses you to be a blessing. Do you see the cycle? Unclog the pipe because God has made you worthy to be a giver and a receiver!
2 Corinthians 5:21
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
People are caught in cycles of sin because they have not learned to receive from God. Only His power can set you free from sin and break the cycle – so you have to receive His Spirit to break that cycle. The Kingdom of God works from the inside out.
Today, set your heart to be a giver and a receiver realizing that the blood of Jesus Christ through His sacrifice has made you worthy of every gift the Father wants to pour upon your life!