Random Quote "Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you would be perfectly comfortable."
-Bobby Bragan
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Random Scripture And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:11-12
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The Father's endless supply of yogurt

I've been thinking a lot about God's gifts lately.  Yes, the spiritual gifts described in scripture, but also every other gift He gives us.  Specifically, I've been thinking about gifts we ask for.

I've been going through a lot of change lately - positive change.  I've come to realize how important it is for me to understand the Father's great love for me, and to learn to love Him more as a result of that revelation.  It's really all that matters.  I've come to understand that because of His great love for us, He loves to give gifts!

As I've been spending time thinking about the gifts that God gives us, I have been pondering the gifts He's given me, as well as the gifts that He has given people I know.  Which of these gifts were given without asking, and which of these gifts did I or a brother or sister of mine ask for?

As I began to think about specifically asking for gifts, God told me something that I believe to be extremely important.  He showed me that people I know, some of whom I am very close to, as well as myself, have a painful feeling of guilt when we ask God for gifts.  "It's selfish," we might say.  "How could God possibly want to heal my small headache or slight cold?  It's selfish to ask for something like that when there are people with so much more need in this world.  I could be praying for them instead of asking God for things for myself!"

I completely understand this.  You see, God showed me that the reason we feel guilty about asking for things from other people is because when they give to us they end up with less, by the standards of this world.  I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel guilty asking someone to give me something, because it means they have less (again, by this world's standards).  Because our relationships with people influence us so greatly, we ask things of God in the only way we know - thinking He has less when He gives to us.

Here's the kicker: when God gives us gifts, He does not have less as a result; He has more.  The reason for this is simple.  God is a giver of good gifts, and only gifts that benefit His Kingdom.  So when He gives us a gift, it benefits His Kingdom and He actually gains by giving away.  This is how the economy in the Kingdom works.  Jesus tells us that we may only keep our life if we have lost it first, and that we may only keep what we have given away.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:7-11

"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." Luke 9:24

The reason we feel bad "taking" free gifts from God is because we have not yet accepted the spirit of adoption.  The spirit of adoption says that we are adopted children of God.  We are part of His family and have authority in His household.

If a family adopts a child and they have not yet accepted that adoption to mean that they are indeed a full part of that family, they are likely to ask permission to do simple things around the household such as grabbing some food out of the fridge.  But if you have adopted children who know that they are part of the family, and you've just gone to the store to buy a dozen yogurts, they will have no problem raiding the fridge and eating every last one.  This is because they know they have authority in the household, because they are a part of the family.  The yogurt is in their fridge which is in their household, so they know it is for them.  This authority is more difficult to understand, accept, and walk in, for adopted children than for children born into the family.  But if we know we dwell in the house of the Lord, why do we have a problem even getting a small snack from the fridge?

The Father of Heaven loves to give gifts abundantly to His children.  He finds pure joy and gains the gift when He gives it away!  Gift-giving in the Kingdom of God does not make sense to this world.  How can you give a gift (and appear to be losing the gift when you give it away), but actually receive as a result?  That's how the Kingdom works.  Never feel guilty asking for gifts from God.  He has an endless supply of yogurt to give - He created it, after all!  Ask away - just remember that there is a difference between wanting and asking!