Weekly blog – October 22, 2019
“Receiving and utilizing God’s gifts.”
My brother, Sam, is a runner. For as long as I can remember, he has always been into working out at the gym and running.
Before I go further, let me give you a little background on Sam. He is my younger brother, and he is six years younger than me. Sam is about 6-7 inches shorter than me, I’m 6’4”, he has brown hair, and what color is left in mine is black. Basically, Sam takes after my 5’4” mother, and I take after my 6’1” father.
When Sam was quite young, about 1960, he developed asthma. Now back in those days, there were no inhalers and pills to take for asthma. When Sam got an asthma attack, he would usually end up in the hospital in an oxygen tent for up to two weeks. Between the ages of three and five, Sam was in the hospital 26 times for almost two weeks each time. It was a challenging time for both Sam and the family.
During this time, Sam visited an allergist twice a week in Des planes, Illinois. Each time we visited, Sam would be tested for a variety of allergens, and then receive an injection. The best part of our visits to the allergist each week was that my Mom would take us to the original (Yes, the very first one) McDonald’s next door to the doctor’s office after each appointment.
Okay, let’s get back to the running. I personally believe that running is a God-given gift given to Sam. Sam has used his abilities to bring over 2000 people (about 800 or so active) together in a running club he started in 2008. His club has brought people together in fellowship, and for fun, all with a common goal, running the race and doing the best they can.
Sam’s shining moment was last week. Sam participated in and finished his first Marathon in Chicago. At age 62, he had a finishing time of 3 hours and 48 minutes. Good job, Sam!
As I said, I truly believe that Sam’s running ability and organizational skills are God-given gifts. We all receive gifts from God. Sometimes those gifts are enhanced capabilities, and other times they can be the gift of healing.
In Matthew 20, two men received their sight after Jesus intervened in their lives, in Luke 18, a blind beggar receives his sight because of his faith in Jesus. In Luke 8, a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years received healing because of her faith, and in the book of Acts, chapter 2, Peter tell the people to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your and sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Everything we receive from God, from Jesus, it’s a gift, isn’t it, His healings, His gift of the Holy Spirit, and His life for ours. Not only have we received God’s grace, undeservedly, but we receive from Him all the time. Think about it for a moment, when did you receive something in your life from God when you expected it least.
About seven years ago, my wife and I were at our wits end financially. We had many medical bills, accumulated debt, back taxes, and we were actually within 24 hours of contacting a lawyer and begin bankruptcy proceedings.
And then God sent us a gift, a gift that we never expected, a gift that He told us to receive graciously. God sent us a group of people who helped us become debt-free.
Several years later, I was told I needed knee surgery. But, I had to postpone it because I could not meet the insurance deductible. My wife and I prayed a lot. We planned to put a little money away each month to take care of the medical costs. Instead, once again, God sent another organization to help, and we received a monetary gift to take care of the surgical expenses.
Jesus gave His life for us for our sins, so we could have eternal life with Him in heaven. But His giving and our receiving did not stop there, it continues all the time, every day. He never stops blessing us with His Grace.
We must take time to reflect on God’s unending blessings. How are you reflecting on God’s glory? Are you reading His word regularly? Are you in fellowship with other believers? Are you worshipping Him regularly, like He asked us to do? Are you reaching out to others, and serving like He did and does?
Celebrate God, celebrate Christ, and celebrate God’s Holy Spirit. He is alive in your life, make sure you are living for Him, as well as serving Him and others.
God is good all the time, all the time, God is good.