Posted by Craig Borlase on 24 August 2015

In 2013 the world said goodbye to author, preacher and all-round work of grace, Brennan Manning. Throughout a lifetime of ups and downs he dedicated himself to inspiring others to accept the ‘furious love of God’ - a love that keeps on giving to us, no matter what.

Manning’s narrating of Shel Silverstein’s classic book The Giving Tree highlights an important point for all of us. We can only give because God has first given to us.

While we might not like to admit it publicly, there’s probably been time in our lives when we liked to think that we had something to give the world of worship. After all, why else write songs or lead at church?

But while there’s most likely some truth to it, it’s not nearly the whole story. Really gifted people understand that giving out is inseparably linked to receiving. They know that they can only begin to be used by God to help others because they have begun to allow Him to meet their own needs.

You might have learned this long ago, or the truth might be one you’re yet to discover, but either way it’s never a bad time to pause and think about what it is that we have been given. It’s never wrong to look up at the giving tree and remember.

Jean Vanier describes a Christian as ‘one who is thankful’. Wherever we are on our journey, let’s be thankful for everything God has done for us. Let’s allow that - rather than our confidence in our abilities - to be the catalyst that sparks our creativity.

More like this

Messy Church

"Maybe it’s going to mean giving away some of the professionalism..." Tim Hughes on the vision at the heart of his new church.

Are We Worshipping Like The ‘pagans’?

Do we really need to invite Jesus into our gatherings? Is the Holy Spirit so absent that we must use songs and prayers to invite Him in? Is God so busy somewhere else that we need to invoke him to minister to our congregation? Is God like the ‘pagan gods’ who need to be summoned by rituals and worship?

Story Behind The Song City On Fire by Joel Barber

If you asked someone in the street about your church, what would they say? Would they even know it existed? These are the sorts of questions that got Joel thinking about how his church could impact the city with the love of Jesus. Read on to find out more...