Luke 6:38 (NLT) “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein once said “Interestingly, the word “give” in Hebrew, natan, is a palindrome. Natan is spelled the same way forward and backward. According to the Sages, this indicates that the act of true giving flows in both directions. The giver is also the receiver. For as much as we give to each other, we receive that much and more in return from the Lord.”
Did you know that giving is mentioned 123 times and receiving 255 times in the Bible? That fact alone should encourage us to give more. Now don’t give just so you can get more! That totally misses the whole point of giving. In fact, that’s called greed and we all know God sees that as a sin.
We give our money to help ease the struggles of others. We give our time to those who need a shoulder to cry on or to a young person who needs a mentor, someone who will watch out for and disciple them. We give our talents, whatever they may be to fix up a person’s home, bring a meal, look in on the homebound to make sure they are safe and well, to watch a single Mom’s kids so she can have a break or run errands.
We support financially and in prayer, those who teach us God’s word so they can concentrate on the work of shepherding us and to encourage and strengthen them. We do all this to further the cause of Christ which is to win the unsaved to Him.
In the verse we just read the Bible tells us we will receive much more than we give but Matthew 6:2 also says we are to do it quietly and not with a lot of show to be noticed. If we give in this way, the Bible tells us we have just gotten our reward.
“But I don’t have money to spare to give. I don’t know one end of a hammer from the other. I’m not good with kids.” Nonsense! Stop looking at what you can’t do and look at the things you can do! Are you good with computers? There are folks who want to learn but don’t know who they can ask for help.
You obviously can read, so go to the hospital, nursing home or shut-ins in your church and read to them or offer to run errands for them while you run yours. Get the kids to mow their lawn or shovel snow or just sit with them and let them tell you their stories. The time will fly by.
There are other reasons to give. Giving can also smooth the path between you and someone who is angry with you. Proverbs 21:14 (MSG) says “A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person; a heartfelt present cools a hot temper.” Has anyone ever come to you with a card or flowers to say they’re sorry for something they said or did? It really softened your heart and took the wind out of your sails, didn’t it?
When you place something in the palm of your hand to give it away you always have the opportunity to close your hand and take it back. But if you place the object on the back of your hand and offer it that way, you can open and close your hand all you want but the other person is free to take what you are giving with no worries that you will take it back or want something back in exchange.
I’ll close with this song I borrowed from Pastor John’s blog “Connecting Points”. There is also a link to the song on you tube. http://pastorjohnvg.wordpress.com
A rich young man came to ask of Christ:
‘Good teacher, will you tell me,
What must I do for eternal life?
I’ve kept your laws completely.’
‘Sell all you have, give to the poor,
Then heaven’s treasure shall be yours.’
How hard for those who are rich on earth
To gain the wealth of heaven.
Now Jesus stood by the offering gate
As people brought their money:
The rich they filled the collection plate;
The widow gave a penny.
‘Now she’s out given all the rest,
Her gift was all that she possessed.’
Not what you give but what you keep
Is what the King is counting.
O teach me Lord to walk this road,
The road of simple living;
To be content with what I own
And generous in giving.
And when I cling to what I have,
Please wrest it quickly from my grasp;
I’d rather lose all the things on earth
To gain the things of heaven.
Stuart Townsend, Keith & Kristyn Getty
Copyright © 2011 Thankyou Music & Getty Music