empty and open hands for jesus
"Appear not before the Lord empty-handed." —Sirach 35:4
God's Word commands us not to come before the Lord empty-handed (Sir 35:4). This means we must come to the Lord with our offerings — with the fruit of our service, finances, parenting, work, and life. Nonetheless, in another sense, we are to appear before the Lord with empty hands — we hold back nothing from the Lord. We offer it all to him. Every physical possession is a gift from Him, and we offer them all back to Him. Our spiritual fruit is His, not ours. We don't hold on to our accomplishments, rather we cast our crowns before Him (Rv 4:10). By giving everything to Jesus, our hands are then empty; we are appearing before the Lord empty-handed because we have given it all to Him.
At this point, our hands are to be both empty and open. Tomorrow is the first day of the season of Lent. We wear ashes; we remember that we are "dust" before His greatness. Yet by being open-handed and empty-handed before Him, we are now ready to receive all the abundance of His grace (see Jn 10:10).
So, the key is to be detached from everything, both the bad and the good. We hold on to nothing, but lay it all down before the Lord as our sacrifice of everything (Ps 50:14, 23). All our hopes, accomplishments, fruit, and even our spiritual legacy is all due to His grace (see Rm 4:16). Offer yourselves to God as a living sacrifice (Rm 12:1-2). Give it all to Him. He in turn will hold nothing back from you (Mk 10:29ff).
Prayer: Jesus, I surrender all...
Promise: "For the Lord is One Who always repays, and He will give back to you sevenfold." Sir 35:10
Praise: Jesus healed Laura of a tumor in her neck.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching Be Holy, For I Am Holy, order, view, or download our leaflet on our website.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018
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