John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. John 3:27 (NKJV)
Very little insignificant easily ignorable details can make a whole huge universe of a difference. The verb words receive and get seem to mean almost the same thing, even almost used simultaneously. But on close scrutiny one subtle detail and difference sets them worlds apart. While both receive and get mean to come into possession of something, to acquire, or take, receive always involves someone else giving to you while get doesn’t necessarily have too.
You always receive something given, usually by someone. You receive a gift given to you by someone. You can get something by yourself. You get water from the well.
Our opening scripture enlightens us that one can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
You can get something without it being given to you, but to receive something, someone must have given it to you. Our heavenly Father wants us to receive not get. He wants us to be receive minded not get minded.
God so loved us that He gave us His Son….John 3:16.
Those who receive God’s freely given Son, receive the right to be children of God…John 1:16. As children of God we are His heirs meaning we receive all that belongs to our Heavenly Father. Romans 8:17.
To get is to seek out and obtain. It is to acquire as a result of some effort or action.
When we are so bent on getting things for ourselves in our own efforts (works of the flesh) it means we’ve lost sight of the One who freely gives us all things to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be proud and arrogant and contemptuous of others, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment.
It’s a known fact that the go-getters of this world usually tend to be mean and arrogant – with this attitude that “I worked my fingers to the bone to get what I have, so don’t even think about it that you’ll get a single coin from me for nothing”.
On the other hand, those who have graciously, freely received also freely graciously give. Matthew 10:8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give.
Truth is there’s nothing we have that we didn’t first receive from God. The person who brags about being a self-made man needs to think over what he’s saying because there’s no such thing as a self-made man or woman. God made you, of Him and from Him, your parents made you, they or guardians or custodians who raised you made you, then society, or the environment and circumstances made you.
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who separates you from the others [as a faction leader]? [Who makes you superior and sets you apart from another, giving you the preeminence?] What have you that was not given to you? If then you received it [from someone], why do you boast as if you had not received [but had gained it by your own efforts]?
Everything we have, we have received from someone.
Now we shouldn’t fold our hands be passive, idle, lazy waiting for things to fall on us like ripe fruits off a tree. We have to be actively involved in the affairs of life, avail ourselves to life’s opportunities, reach out to take advantage of the resources and advantages in this world but with the attitude that it’s all been freely graciously given to us by God and we are appreciative, aggressive recipients who also reciprocate by sharing freely with others.