“God wants us to be grateful even before we ask and well before He answers.” ~ It’s Good to Be Queen
LOVED your comments last week about generous giving. Look how wise you are, just like our Sheba:
- “The joy I get from seeing how happy I have made someone is worth so much more than the monetary value of what I have given.”–Gabriela
- “Nothing really belongs to us anyway. The Bible says we are pilgrims and strangers here on earth, so why not give all that we can?”–Sheila
- “I don’t have much money, but I can do small acts of kindnesses for others.”–Karen
- “Giving time to the very young, the elderly and the poor, all of whom cannot give back, blesses me more than I could ever bless them.”–Sally
- “Sharing keeps filling me up inside instead of emptying me out. Only God could create such a wonder! “–Shannon
Now comes the tricky part (at least, for this girl): accepting gifts from generous people. When it was Solomon’s turn to give, the queen of Sheba wasn’t afraid to ask or ashamed to receive. Let’s see what she can teach us.
Chapter Nine: It’s Good to Receive Graciously
King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba
all she desired and asked for,
besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty.
1 Kings 10:13
Never mind all the salacious, ungracious stories about Sheba. What she desired and asked for wasn’t a night of passion with Solomon or a son born out of wedlock. That’s the stuff of legends, not biblical fact.
The truth is, “She came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom” (Matthew 12:42). When the king did his part, she didn’t refuse his gifts, didn’t say, “I couldn’t possibly!” Nope. She received.
That’s what we’re called to do as well, beloved. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).
In Sheba’s case, wisdom was keenly sought after, boldly asked for, generously given, and graciously received. That’s the essence of her style. It can be ours as well. “In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Rest assured, the Lord is prepared to answer and delighted to give, often bestowing those gifts through His children. Still, we hesitate, feeling we’re not worthy, fearing what might be expected of us if we accept such a gift.
Sisters, those of us who find it hard to receive need to get over it. Stop thinking about ourselves and focus on the giver. How can we show our gratitude? How can make this exchange a blessing for them? How can we say “thank you” and mean it with all our hearts?
If you’ve read chapter 9, you know how God has been working on this prickly issue in my life. Whew. He is relentless when it comes to shaping and molding and changing His children.
And how are we to receive those changes? You got it.
I’ll answer one of this week’s Study Guide questions, then hope you’ll do the same. Who knew the queen of Sheba had so much to teach us by example?
From the Study Guide
2. a. How does our willingness to receive from others prepare us to receive God’s abundant gift of eternal life?
Here’s what I know to be true: the only one way to receive a gift is humbly and with gratitude. Both require me to surrender any “I’ve got this” kind of thinking and my “Thanks, but no thanks” attitude. Sounds hard.
But, I’m finding the solution is amazingly simple. Say yes. Yes to my neediness. Yes to my brokenness. Yes to the gift. Yes to the giver. Yes to God. And yes, always yes, to gratitude.
“Thank you.” Really, that’s it. In word and in Spirit.
Thank you, Father, for giving Your Son and forgiving our sin. Help us keep Your ultimate Gift in mind when smaller gifts are given to us, knowing every one pours through Your hands. You are beyond good to us, Lord. Keep us humble, grateful, and eager to receive whatever You have for us.
Now, it’s your turn
2. c. When has God tested your willingness to receive, and what did you discover in the process? Can’t wait to hear what you’ve learned! Just click on Share Your Thoughts below.
Your grateful sister, Liz
P.S. Hop over to Vimeo for my brief, free video teaching on Chapter Nine. And here’s a pretty wallpaper for your smart phone or tablet, reminding you It’s Good to Receive Graciously. One more week with the queen of Sheba, then we’ll dive into a short Bible study to carry us through the last two months of 2015. Join me for A Season of Joy!
So…if you’re feeling generous, might you post a brief review of It’s Good to Be Queen on Amazon? It would mean the world to me, and might help others who are considering whether or not to read it. Thank you!