Wednesday, December 11, 2013

To Receive and to Give {First Love}

To give we first must receive. 
For how can we give out of an empty cup?

And how can we be filled, unless we are first emptied?

It is not the usual way of doing things, to empty ourselves. This is not the way to claim success, or to find what we long for. For we are trained to listen to these lies that tell us that we must be self-sufficient. That we need to be full of ourselves, of our own agendas, that we must be in control. But we must be careful who we listen to, for ...

"God can only fill those who are empty.
Because when we are full of ourselves, full of our own solutions,
our own education, our own answers, our own everything, 
we somehow forget 
 that Jesus Christ is the answer to every little thing."
(Revive Us Again)

To be filled with what we really long for, to receive what we were made for - we first must come to the end of ourselves. We must come to the place of embracing the circumstances that reveal our weaknesses, we must throw the door open wide to the hard and the painful, we must welcome the difficult. For it is there, and only there, that we find ourselves empty. Completely helpless, and totally empty. In need.

"When I'm empty of myself,
I can finally be full of God."
(Revive Us Again)

Is it any wonder that those on this earth who have the most to give, are often those who first have been emptied? That those who have gone through great trials are often the ones who are filled to overflowing, desiring to bless others? That many organizations of ministry and service to others, have been birthed from individuals who were first rescued themselves? 

For when in need, we open our hands and our hearts to receive. And as we receive, we are filled. And as we are filled, we become a gift of blessing to others. 
"Only when you first unwrap the gifts of blessings to you can you be wrapped up as a gift of blessing to others. Only when you are overwhelmed with the goodness of God can you overflow with the goodness of God to others." (Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift)
Listening, and learning (again) this busy Christmas season that it is good to feel helpless, to be in need - for when I am emptied, is when I can be filled with Him. The Greatest Gift - given to us in our need, so that we can be a blessing to others in their need.

Click here for more posts on this topic:
First Love: What We Are Made For

Linking up with:
Faith Filled Friday


  1. So much truth here ... it is not the way I naturally think. Thanks.


    1. Yes, Glenda - I need to continually be reminded of this, not our natural way of thinking.

  2. Totally agree! Emptying the calendar to make space for reflection and real connection are huge challenges for me. And thanks for popping over to my blog! A joy to be linking up with you today!

    1. And thanks for your visit, as well! Have a wonderful Christmas season, Cindy!

  3. Spot on. Good exhortations, Cherry. Thanks.