"Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words."
A few weeks ago I taught the "Give" lesson from the Celebrate Recovery Leader's Guide. As I was preparing the message, a statement from Pastor John Baker stood out for me. He said, "By placing God first in your life, you will realize that everything you have is a gift from him."
This was the pivotal statement for the lesson on "Give." All that we have comes from God. This includes material possessions, our recovery and even the encouragement we have received from others. In reality, it was God working through people that brought recovery and encouragement into our lives. Even our faith is a gift from God.
When we share our faith with others, we are sharing a gift given to us. It was the greatest gift when Jesus gave his life. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Take a moment and consider what "all things" means in this Scripture. It could mean confidence about the future. It also includes comfort through hard times. For me, it means God will provide for my needs. And this includes my need to give. I have a need to both receive the gift of God's love and to give this gift of love to others who are in need.
It is the same encouragement and recovery that we have received from God that we are now giving to others. I can picture the gift of giving as a pipeline that flows from God's warehouse to the earth. The warehouse is unending and overflowing with God's resources to help the hurting and those who need recovery. It is our job to be one of the segments in this pipeline that stays in the flow of giving and keeps the resources flowing.
Sometimes God's gifts are flowing into us, and sometimes they are flowing out. What stops the flow? When we are not freely giving out what God is pouring in. Since all we have comes from God, we can be confident that when we give, he will pour more back into us. When we think of giving like this, we realize that we can never outgive God!
We can only keep what we have by giving it away.
Danny Duchene is the national director of Celebrate Recovery Inside.
This article originally appeared at pastors.com.
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