It’s an ordinary autumn day and a common scenario plays all across the U.S.A. The directive regarding dinner is issued as I confiscate the remote. It’s Sunday, after all, and I’m ready for some football!
During a recent game, a play call was made that puzzled me. I didn’t understand how the intended receiver of the ball could be penalized for pass interference.
As with any sports-related or tech question, I texted our son-in-law and asked how could that be? He explained, as soon as the ball is in the air, everyone—even the defending players—are considered eligible receivers.
Wow! That’s exactly like God’s amazing grace! Everyone is an eligible receiver!
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:8
So, what troubles you? What lies are you believing that keep you from finding the fullness of love, joy, and peace? What worries your mind and shackles your heart? Do you feel like you’ve been swallowed by a whale? Shipwrecked? Do you carry a burden of guilt and shame?
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death
and broke their bands apart. Psalm 107:13-14
Jonah cried out to God in repentance for his disobedience.
“I called out of my distress to the Lord, and He answered me.
I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. Jonah 2:2
God set him free. And He’ll do the same for you. God is not a respecter of persons. Everyone on earth is eligible for His magnificent mercy and grace.
Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. Acts 10:34-35
Jesus read this prophecy from Isaiah in the synagogue, a prophecy He fulfilled:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. Isaiah 61:1
You are an eligible receiver. What prevents you from receiving this word from the Lord?
This is why Jesus came. He came for you. He died for you, that you may be made whole from brokenness, beauty from ashes, and free from whatever keeps you in chains.
Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Mark 11:24
This is the message you, in turn, carry to the afflicted, lost, brokenhearted and captive, in His name. Everyone is an eligible receiver of the goodness of the Gospel message. Every relationship is give-and-take. Take what you received and share it. Your tests are the basis of your testimony. What God has done for one, He will do for another. Step out in faith and receive what God has freely given, then pass it on. Don’t be penalized for pass interference! Blessings await.
And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:7-9