Actively Receive

In the Greek New Testament there are several words we translate into English using the one word receive. Lambano is the Greek word we could translate as actively receive.

It is important for you to understand this word. Many expect the things promised in the Bible just to fall on them. But, as you will see from understanding this word, lambano, you have a part to play in receiving the Bible promises.

You can passively receive something. An example would be someone throwing a ball through your window into your house. That kind of receiving requires no action on your part.

The word lambano is not like that. It requires that you do something. An example would be someone throwing a ball to you, and you reaching out your hands to catch it.

All the following scriptures contain the Greek word, lambano. Read them to get a better understanding of what receive means when it translates this word.

MATTHEW 17:24-27 NKJ
24 And when they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?"
25 He said, "Yes." And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their own sons or from strangers?"
26 Peter said to Him, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.
27 "Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you."

8 "And they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.

6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him."

JOHN 19:23 NKJ
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments . . . .

23 "Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

As the above passages show, sometimes lambano is translated as take, took, or taken -- and is not at all passive, but can be very active.


12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name:

Receiving Jesus and becoming a child of God is not something that happens by accident. Each person has to make the choice to actively choose Jesus.

Holy Spirit

8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

ACTS 8:15,17 NKJ
15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

2 he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit."

2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

The Bible never says, "Did God give you the Holy Spirit?" It is, "Did you receive?" That is because God has already given; now it is up to you to actively receive.

Answered Prayer

22 "And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

MARK 11:24 NKJ
24 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

LUKE 11:10 NKJ
10 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

JOHN 16:24 NKJ
24 "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

1 JOHN 3:22 NKJ
22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Grace & Righteousness

17 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

27 John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.

A Hundredfold

29 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit everlasting life.

MARK 10:30 NKJ
30 "who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time -- houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions -- and in the age to come, eternal life.

Remember that receiving is something you must actively do.

Go to BELIEVE! Papers List
Go to Believers Home Page