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Giving

GIVING…is the act of bestowing as a gift. It implies a voluntary action without expecting compensation. You can give something to someone, and do it grudgingly. But at the very heart of the root meaning is benevolence, to be accompanied by joy, both for the giver and the recipient. Many people like the excitement of a surprise gift such as a party, a ring, a bonus, a car, a trip or similar object. It most times reflects affection toward the receiver. 

 

Recently, our oldest granddaughter turned sixteen. As she was leaving school that day she noticed all her friends were dressed up like they were going someplace special. Her first thought was sadness because apparently she was left out. Wrong! Her mother had planned a surprise birthday party. Sadness turned to joy when she arrived to find coaches, family and friends gathered to celebrate her special day. Receiving is good, but it doesn’t compare to giving!

God has wired us that way. He is the author of giving. Creation is a gift to us; all was planned for our pleasure and enrichment. It pleased Him to give it. And what a gift it was and is! He said from the very start; “take hold of it, enjoy it, fill it with kids and grandkids, take responsibility and flourish.” (my translation of Gen. 1:28) ENJOY!!! But giving does not end there; it only starts. Love gives, and gives and keeps on giving! At least agape (God’s) love does.

It has to be perfect love to continue to give us what we need in spite of our sinful, evil disobedience toward Him. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Mt. 7:11)! Giving to someone who is deserving is one thing, but to those who are undeserving; that is grace, in spades! But that’s the God we worship. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Rom. 8:32)? It would go against His very nature to do any less.

Christ called us to be ‘cheerful givers’ of what we have and who we are. As Jesus was sending out the disciples He instructed them; “Freely you have received, freely give” (Mt.10:8b). And what a promise that is recorded in Luke. “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not nearly given back – given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity” (vs. 6:38 The Message). And guess what-you simply cannot out give the Giver of all things!

But how can a reasonably selfish people actually give freely and cheerfully when most of the time we are thinking more about what we’re going to get as opposed to how we may bless someone through giving? Well, God took care of that for us. Let’s go to Ezekiel for the answer. God is speaking to His people and today those in Christ are recipients of this promise. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (vs. 36:26-27).

Now, that is good and fine, but how did God guarantee that this will happen for all time? He gave us His Son, Jesus; but not only did He just give Him, He sacrificed Him-for us! Grace of the highest order! “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). He gave His all! Can we do anything less?

When we do give we are really giving what is His to others, and in fact, we are giving it to Him. “If you do (give) it unto the least of these, you do (give) it unto Me” (Mt. 25:45b). Time, talents and treasures! Were any of these three ours to begin with? “You have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3b). As a gift I might add!

And this is how He directs us to give.

Without show                  Mt. 6:1-4              
According to ability        I Cor. 16:1-2
Willingly                          I Chron. 29:3-9                           
Liberally                          2 Cor. 9:6-15
Cheerfully                       2 Cor. 9:7
Proportionately              Mal. 3:10                 

 

We’ll close with a reminder of the widow (Mark 12:42) who gave her two mites (each less than a penny). It’s all she had! Jesus praised her! And her message is still being told. You want to leave a legacy like hers? Well, give till it hurts and then starts feeling awesome!!! Earthly gifts create eternal blessings! Anybody into those? Maybe just this one last thoughtgiving is worship!

Copyright 2013

Bill C. Dotson

www.lifespeakstous.com

bill@abidingfathers.org

Scripture taken from the New King James Version and The Message.

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