by Dan Hill

The Power of Reception
Dan Hill
Romans 15:5-7

One of the more common complaints about the church of Jesus Christ is said this way: "All they want down at that church is your money." I find it interesting that no one ever says that about The United Way. When people go to the grocery store they never walk out saying, "All that grocery store wanted was my money." When people go to see the Buckeyes, they don't complain that way, but they do when they come to church. I wonder sometimes how people think the church keeps the lights on and the building temperature comfortable. I guess that people believe that the church still goes down to the lake and gets coins out of the mouths of fish.

But I am not going to talk to you about giving. Lots of us have been taught to give - and give until it hurts - and then give until it stops hurting! And a lot of Christians faces indicate that they are simply "given out." And many of us will not quit when we give out, we will methodically go along continuing to fulfill the expectations others have of them. We establish habits and patterns even in our worship and service to God that, maybe, we have had for many years. We just roll along doing the same things, giving and giving, but really we are given out!

Now please know that I am not against giving; I agree, fully support and participate in the biblical teaching about giving. But here's what I have been wondering lately: I wonder if we have not overemphasized one aspect at the expense of the other. I mean by that giving is important, but so is receiving! I don't think I have heard or read any Bible studies or sermons that were aimed at helping people learn how to receive. I watch Christian television sometimes, and I certainly can't recall any messages about how to receive. But I have heard and read hundreds of sermons on how to give, when to give, where to give, and how much to give.

It is not a sign of real genius to figure out that if a person does no know how to rece ...

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