Create a FREE list | Teen Life Christian Youth Articles, Daily Devotions

Create a FREE list

An inspiring way to remind yourself of all God's blessings.

What if each and every imaginable thing we receive is to remind us of the free gift of Jesus Christ and everlasting life?

What if simply recording the buckets of gifts we receive for free (and if it’s not free, it’s not a gift) can remind us of the One who owns all things?

What if every gift on Earth is our prompt to adore our Lord? 

I used to think so. Now, I know so.

Three years ago, I started a habit which is now my surefire proof. It’s called a FREE LIST.


A FREE LIST is a recorded list of all things you receive for free. Nothing asked for is allowed. No rewards, birthday or Christmas gifts, either. For example, my list includes everything from a stick of gum and a new friend, to a candy bar and loaf of bread in my mailbox. There’s chocolate, Grandma’s $5 just in time, directions when I was lost, a stranger’s smile, an apology and some incredibly peculiar objects - like a heating filter (I needed it)!


By listing what I receive, I’m quickly alerted to just how much I’ve got.  Each gift transforms to a pointer. The very things I so quickly take for granted, including those I claim to deserve, now point me to my greatest gift of all. I’m reminded of the Giver of all things. I’m more fixed on eternity, the craziest gift of all, no doubt something I received long before I knew to ask.


Have I received more free stuff since beginning the FREE LIST? I do not think so. God doesn’t respond to our faithfulness because we will always find something selfish mixed in. What God does, however, is increase our faithfulness! What I receive, I now receive more rightly. It has become habit to grant God the glory no matter how small is surprise. Thanks to the simple discipline of rewarding God’s gifts, I have thanked God more. My heart is expectant and my sight is continually clarified.

My heart truly agrees with James’: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).

Paul, too: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

Now, if this verse is true, and it is because God’s Word is Truth, then the reverse reading is true, too: All things given to us are to point us to God’s Son.


Today, my FREE list is over six pages long. There are hundreds of items in all shapes and sizes. Some days, I am unable to fathom why I am the keeper of so much... until I remember it is because Jesus paid it all. There are still days when I fall to want and thoughts of entitlement. When I sense the temptation, I pull out the list and hardly get far without smiling. What a crazily intimate God we serve. He knows not only our needs, but our likes! As I read, my eyes are quickly lifted above myself. I thank God and ask Him to readjust my vision, once again. My heart, too.


Need a pointer? Make a FREE LIST.  Invite your friends to make one, too. Share your lists, and praise God for all His gifts; for those today and all eternity.