July 13, 2014 – Pastor Tim – “Receptivity & Response”
Since the Kingdom belongs to you, remember the two conditions for receiving and transmitting the resources of the Kingdom: receptivity and response.
Receptivity: the ability to willing to listen to or accept ideas, suggestions, etc.
Response: something that is done as a reaction to something else
These two words are not only the alternate heartbeats of the Kingdom; they are also the alternate beats of whole life. Everything grows and develops by those two things: receptivity and response. John sums up this thought in these words:
John 1:12-13, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
How did he get power—power to become? First, by receptivity— “as many as received Him.”
A universal principle is here laid bare. Take a plant—how does it get power to become? By being proud, self-sufficient, unrelated, and unresponsive? No; by surrendering, adjusting, receiving, and giving. It gains power by surrender and by response to its environment. When it is adjusted it takes in from air and soil and son, gains power to become. Plant sin is anything that hinders that receptivity and response.
Someone has defined life as response to environment. You and I live physically when we respond to our physical environment: we can take in food, light and air. When response is shut off, we die physically. Our spiritual environment is the Kingdom of God. When we respond to it, surrender to it, adjust ourselves to it, receive our very life from it, then we live—and live abundantly. We are in a state of receptivity, which is a state of faith, confidence, and appropriation. We absorb Kingdom life as the body absorbs food; we breathe in its purifying breath as the lungs breathe in air; we take up its vitality as the skin takes in vitamins from the light of the sun. To believe is to receive and to receive is to replenish.
2 Corinthians 6:1-10, We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
If receptivity is the first law of life, response is the second law. Perhaps we can say that they are two sides of one law. Jesus revealed the two sides in His summing up of the whole meaning of religion in
Matthew 22:37: “…You shall love the Lord your God…”
verse 39 “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love makes you receptive to God and responsive to man. One who is always receiving from another and not giving will break down a relationship, and one who is always giving and not receiving will just as truly destroy the relationship. Moreover, the receptivity and the response must be about equal. If one overbalances the other, if you are more of a receiver than a responder, or more of a responder than you are a receiver, you cripple the relationship.
In Matthew 10:7-8 Jesus said, And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
A heart that tries to beat in one direction and not in the other ends in not beating at all.
God, help me never let You down. Help me humbly receive from You and humbly give back to You—a two-way traffic with You! I shall grow as I get and give. I thank You, amen.
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