BE A GIVER!


“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” -Luke 6:38

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As I read this verse this morning, I recalled a few of the times I had “given” and how God brought it back to me one-hundred fold.  Now there have been times that I have “given”, but it was not from the heart.  It was out of obligation…feeling pressured, and in those times-I was not blessed in return.

God looks at our hearts.  We give with a good heart, not begrudgingly, but joyfully, and He gives back to us in the same way.  If our heart is wrong when we give, or if we do it with a motive-then He will not…and can not bless that action!

Jesus did not die for us out of obligation…He died for us out of LOVE!  He joyfully took our sins unto Himself, cleansed us with His blood that was shed on the Cross of Calvary, so that we might go where He is IF we will just accept His gift!

This is the kind of heart we need to have when “giving” to others.  It should be done with joy.  It should be done with love.  If we give in that manner, God will bless us…and also bless the person we are giving to.  They will feel the joy.  They will recognize the love in our hearts; then we can tell them of Jesus’ gift for them.

Be a giver.  Give with joy.  Give with love!

Anita

2 thoughts on “BE A GIVER!

  1. Where I go to church, they have a tradition of offering a communion meditation. A brief sermonette from an elder, deacon, or from laity that is meant to tune our hearts and minds on the communion/Eucharist celebration that we observe every Sunday.

    Usually, though not always, we pass the offering plate just after the communion. (This is done for convenience sake, and is not intended to be confused with communion at all. In fact, sometimes it is separated from that moment until later or earlier just to demonstrate that it is not part of the communion. But mostly out of convenience, it is added on just after. And on those occasions, it is most often said: “Now, separate and apart from the Lord’s Supper, let us take up a collection”) The communion gets the meditative sermonette, but the offering plate never does!

    Sometime I wish our church would ask me to lead the meditative thought. Not that I think this needs to be done every time, but once in a while, I would like to see us meditate on the offering plate. Of course St Paul tells us to be cheerful givers, and on those rare occasions (usually right around budget time) we will get a sermon on giving, and St Paul’s words play a key feature in that sermon EVERYTIME it is delivered. But something is going on in the offering that I really think Christians miss.

    Isaiah looks forward to a time when the kings of the earth will come to Zion to pay homage and TRIBUTE. Yeah, tribute. It is really there in the text – in the prophetic vision for God’s future.

    Here’s the thing about tribute. It is effectively a tax. And in the time of Jesus, the great tax collector of all tax collectors was Caesar. And Caesar was quite effective at taking tribute from all his subject nations all over God’s good creation! He even built an ancient super highway, a Roman Autobahn, we might say, only he called it the Egnatian Way. (I have a whole other lesson on the letter to Philippi that takes its basis from that highway and the tax it transmitted back to Rome.) And well, Caesar was good at conquering other nations, and his conquered territory kept spreading across the known world, which presented a challenge for getting all the booty and tribute back to Rome. This highway made that feasible.

    But then little old St. Paul began going on mission trips all over that map. He spread the Gospel of Lord Jesus which of course contended with the gospel of Lord Caesar. Whereas Lord Caesar offered Pax Romana, Lord Jesus countered that with Shalom of God.

    As part of that package, St Paul went around Caesar’s empire planting sleeper cells of Shalom AND he collected a tribute to take back to Jerusalem. The same Jerusalem the prophet Isaiah had termed ZION.

    We are still doing that today. We may not be sending a collection to Jerusalem per se, but we still collect for Lord Jesus and his Kingdom. But this is not a forced tax, it is a pleasure to serve, to give one’s life for this KING. It is a small price to pay. And besides, he uses it to throw a party, the party of heaven, and you are welcome to come! Anyone wishing to join this party is wishing to join the cheer of the Shalom bringing Kingdom of God. Any offering one makes to it, whether two mites, two loaves and a few fish, or all of a rich man’s wealth, is devoting his offering to that great Kingdom cause, and of course that requires a cheerful heart to do.

    I would really like a chance to tell my church about that when they are about to pass the collection basket. It is not so separate and apart as perhaps we think… It is right at the heart of the matter of the heart. And it is the gift of our all!

    Liked by 1 person

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