One Thousand Gifts OBS Week 5 — Empty to Fill

I am blessed. I can bless. ~ Ann

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. — John 13:14-15

Welcome to our final week of the One Thousand Gifts Online Bible Study. Speaking of thanks, are you as grateful as I am for this study? It came at such a time in my own life that it can only be considered a gift from God. The one I needed. Because the Lord knew what was to come.

Benedictus benedicat. If I intended to get a wrist tattoo that’s what it would say.

Benedictus benedicat. May the blessed one give a blessing.

Blessing others is important to me. See, I’m an Enneagram type 2. The helper. Caring, demonstrative, self-sacrificing. But, my ugly flipside includes that I sometimes secretly wait for the thanks, hope for the hugs and back pats, and resent it if they aren’t plentiful. Usually, I don’t even realize what I’m doing until I’m foaming and mumbling to myself idiotically and realize… umm… how’s that blessing others thing working out? Hmm?

Shoot.

Whenever man is made the center of things, he becomes the storm-center of trouble. ~ Dorothy Sayers

It’s not about me. It’s not about my service. It has to be an overflowing gift of thanks to God or I am at risk to be an idiot again.

But when Christ is at the center… when it’s my song of thanks to Him, joy reigns. ~ Ann

Am I a blessing? Are we? Does our love for the Lord pour out in love onto others without expectation of anything in return? Empathy, compassion, and a heart breaking for more than one’s own story? Giving away what we’ve been overwhelmed to receive? That’s what I want to be.

The grace to be a blessing.

As a thank you.

Blessed in order to be a blessing.

A gift never stops being a gift. A gift is meant to be given. ~ Ann

Becoming the blessing starts with thanks.

Eucharisteo… is giving grace away. ~ Ann

When we count out gratitude in thanks-living, it can’t help but overflow. When I focus on doing, and caring, and serving for the purpose of thanking God for His outrageous, irrational, undeserved, lavish love and gifts to me, it stops being about me. And becomes about His love.

Holy, ordinary, amazing grace.

Benedictus benedicat.

I’m thankful for:

Red amaryllis blooming
Sweet and spicy pecans roasting in the oven
Christmas music
December sunsets steeped in tangerine

This week in your study:

  1. Watch the video for session five on our study home page and join the conversation with fellow OBS participants afterward… Take notes in your study guide on pages 75-79.
  2. Go through the study questions with your group or on your own on pages 80-84.
  3. Read One Thousand Gifts, Chapter 10-11.
  4. Grab your Bible and go on an adventure of gratitude this week using pages 85-88.
  5. Join the conversations about the study in the private Facebook group!

Scriptures this Week

Romans 7-8
John 13

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, thank You that Your Kingdom is upside-down. That humility leads to promotion, that the weak are made strong, that giving leads to filling, and sacrifice is winning. Thank You for holy, ordinary, amazing grace that is primed to be poured out onto others. Help us to never keep blessings in our hands but to give them away every chance we get! We love You, Lord. Amen.

Laurie McClure

Laurie is a Jesus apprentice, a single mama of five (three homegrown, one Kentuckian, and one Ethiopian), a writer, a beach lover, and she is addicted to radical grace, Perrier, and yoga pants. Here at FaithGateway she is the editor, the curator, and the leader of Faith.Full, our women's community.

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