Opening Heart, Hands and Arms to the Giver

Good morning!

“He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all…”

Romans 8:32

This is the week that we soak in the remembrance of what He did.

wine and bread

Jesus.

Yesterday, the daily reading for the Holy Week in the gospel was John 12:21-32.  In verses 27-28, Jesus says, “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name.”

If only we lived under that banner…“Father, glorify Your Name.”

When our soul is troubled and we look for the way of escape…when we close hearts and arms and hands to shake a fist…what if instead we opened hearts and arms and hands in surrender as Jesus did and said “Father, glorify Your Name.”  What if we looked for the purpose in the moment and pushed through without closing heart?  If we just clung to the promise in Jeremiah 29:11, that “I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope…”.  

Because souls will get troubled.

In His pain and trouble of body and soul…Jesus pressed through and opened His hands to us.

Pain will sometimes shut us down…but His pressing into pain opened the door for us to have life.

Because He “endured the cross for the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2)…because He “despised the shame” and pressed into the purpose for which He came (John 12:27)…He is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  
Verse 3 in Hebrews 12 tells us to “consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself…
…so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Jesus knew that this “…momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Because God loved us, He gave us Jesus.  (John 3:16)  He spared not His own Son so we could have life.  Romans 8:32 says “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
  • God spared not His own Son for me.  For you.  He gives freely to His children.  Do I give freely of my earthly resources to Him?

The Father could have closed His hands and shaken His fists at us with just cause, but out of love He opened them and gave when it hurt.

Because Jesus loved us so much, He went to the cross and endured the pain and the shame…for us.  In the moment when His soul was troubled, He opened His arms to us…He opened His hands to us.

His Hands

  • When my soul is troubled, do I still freely give?  When I’m hurting, when time and money are tight, do I fold my arms and ball up my fists, or do I press through as Jesus did and give all of me because He gave all of Himself for me?

Jesus lived with open arms, loving the “sinners”, and died on the cross with open arms, inviting all to come to Him at the cross.  At the place where pain and trouble meet surrender to the Father.  At the place where grace is freely given and the blood of the Lamb covers my sin and shame.

  • How can I not give when He gave it all?

When my soul is troubled and it gets painful and things look impossible, I must put on my kingdom lenses and see from an eternal perspective and say “Father, glorify Your Name in this.  You have purpose for me here.”  

I must not withhold my heart…my time…my talents…my resources.  My response to His love, even in the trouble, is to give as He gave.  Despite the pain in the giving I will give.

  • What am I withholding from God today?  Is it my heart?  Is it my time?  Is it my talents?  Is it my resources?

Today I will look to the cross where You died with open arms…and I will open up my closed fists…I will open up my folded arms…I will open up my locked-up heart for You, because You are so worthy of all that I have to give.

This week, as we sit in remembrance of how the Father gave us His only Son…as we remember how the Son gave His life on the cross for us…may we consider what we can freely give back out of gratitude and love for Him.

Father, when I think of what You gave, Jesus, when I think of what You did for me, I am ashamed at what I have withheld from You.  I repent of having a closed heart to You when You waited with open arms.  I repent of saying I had no time…not enough money…to give when You gave it all for me.  I open my heart…my arms…my hands to You in surrender today.  Thank You for Your mercy and grace.  Thank You for loving me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

Blessings…

“Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within You…”

Colossians 3:16a

~Nicole

 

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