Receive, Receptive

<<take delivery of, ready to receive>>

Someone has to give before another can receive. God first gave His Son for us prior to us coming into a saving relationship (Jn 3:16).  “To all who receive Him, He gives the right to become children of God” (Jn 1:12). Unless a person embraces the Kingdom of God as a child does – in complete trust, simplicity and purity – they will not enter it (Mk 10:15). A person is a fool if they will not embrace something of immense value that they can’t attain by their own effort, especially when this affects where they will spend eternity. God doesn’t want anybody to be lost but all to receive salvation (1 Thes 5:9; 1 Tim 2:4).   

Four types of heart response to the gospel message are outlined in the parable of the sower with the outcome dependent on the receptivity of the ‘soil’ or heart condition (Mt 13:3-23). One is totally hard and inhospitable with the seed being wasted. The next two types illustrated were receptive but due to troubles and the lure of the world soon fell away. The fourth heart attitude was to fully embrace the message and make it top priority, living out its message and so becoming mature and fruitful. Which type of soil portrays my life?

From the vastness of His grace we all have, and continue to receive, one blessing after another (Jn 1:16; Eph 5:20). Do I thank Him for these and do I utilize them fully for His glory?  “Freely you have received, freely give” (Mt 10:8). What we are called to sacrifice for the Kingdom will be made up to us by God, and we will receive more than if we had clutched tightly and not invested in the Kingdom of God (1 Sam 2:30; Mt 6:19-21,33, 16:24-27, 19:29; Lk 6:38). Be a channel that gratefully receives from God and generously gives to others, understanding it is more blessed to give than receive, and doing good ‘as unto Christ’ will not go unrewarded, so work diligently knowing that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward (Mt 10:40-42, 25:34-46; Act 20:35; Col 3:24. What an incentive to pray and make our requests known.

“For everyone who asks receives…how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Lk 11:10-13). Every believer has the Holy Spirit in a

Holy Spirit I receive more of you

measure when they receive Christ (Act 2:38; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 6:19, 12:13; 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13).  However, there are ongoing opportunities to be the recipients of increasing fillings or encounters. The Bible says, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). This is a continuing requirement because, living in a sin polluted world with our inherent fallen natures, the Spirit’s influence is constantly under attack, being eroded and needing replenishment. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they will be filled” (Mt 5:6). As you receive ongoing in-fillings of the Holy Spirit you will receive increasing power to live the Christian life and be witnesses for Him (Jn 20:22; Act 1:8). To receive more of the Holy Spirit it is our responsibility to deal with and remove (with the Lord's help) the sinful contamination within.

As people came to Him they received from Jesus the cure to their aliments (Lk 7:22, 18:42). Nothing is attained except by faith, so when praying ask in believing faith and you will receive (Mt 21:22).  Do I come to Jesus in faith, believing I will receive that for which I ask? What we receive from God is always good – even discipline is beneficial in the long term (Mt 7:7-11; Rom 8:15,28,29; Heb 12:10,11).

Because we are broken, sinful and often self-deluded our constant need is for God’s guidance through the Scriptures which have the power to reveal, challenge, restore

Am I thirsty for more of God?

and heal. Remain receptive and responsive as you pray, “What says my Lord unto His servant?...Speak Lord, for your servant hears…Be it unto me according to your Word” (Josh 5:14; 1 Sam 3:10; Lk 1:38). Jesus said as His sheep we will hear His voice (Jn 10:27). Remember if it is from God it will reflect His nature of love and righteousness. He will never tell us to do anything ungodly, evil, immoral or inconsistent with the Bible. “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things in your your Words I am warned…The entrance of your Word gives light” (Ps 19:11, 119:18,130). As we know the truth and obey by “doing what it says” we will come into increasing freedom (Mt 7:21,24-27; Jn 8:32, 10:10; Jas 1:22).

Do not gullibly take on board all you hear or read; we should test all the teaching we receive to ensure it is consistent with the Word of God as there are many false doctrines and customs which in fact are heresy (Act 17:11; 1 Jn 4:1). Other tests to clarify the genuineness of a teacher’s message include a ‘witness’ in our spirits, their lifestyle, and the fruit of their ministry besides their commitment to the wider body of believers.

Particularly during our formative early childhood days, we receive into our spirits the words of the authority figures in our lives. Negative, critical ‘you are no good’ statements wound the inner being, inflicting immeasurable damage on the impressionable memory, and have a strong influence on our future. Inner healing must take place to counteract and break this destructive power. When something hurtful and destructive is said belittling our character or actions we can say, ‘I don’t receive that’. However, when an uplifting blessing is spoken we can say, ‘I receive that’ and so control what we accept into our spirits and what we reject, for we are told to “Guard your heart more than any treasure for it governs your whole life” (Prov 4:23).

There is always room for improvement, so welcome advice and the perspective of others; evaluate it and accept what you believe is right. Do not be content with your present relationship with Christ, for there are always higher levels if we are willing to pay the price to receive (Phil 3:7-14). In the next life, everyone (saved and unsaved) will receive or be compensated for their actions while in this life (Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10).

See also: accept/acceptance, appreciation, gifts/giving, Holy Spirit, hunger, open/openness, prayer, reject, responsive, thankfulness/thanksgiving, utilize.

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