|Volume 17 Number 7 July 2015||
“But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:13-14). How do you feel about the direction of your life? Your job? Your family? Are there things you wish you could change? Of course there are! We all have them. Yet, as Christians, shouldn’t we be content with the direction of our lives? However, the only way to experience that peace is through Jesus. The inner peace He provides can impact the rest of one’s life. Today, how would it impact your family if you had that kind of peace inside? Your friends? Your job?
God’s Guidelines for
Blessings in Luke 6:38
Our Lord did much teaching on giving. There are over 1,500 verses in the Bible about giving. Further, over half of the parables that Jesus taught deal with stewardship.
Our Lord observes all that we do. He observes our circumstances when we give as well as the motives that lead us to give. Our Lord knows that the most sensitive nerve in the body is the nerve that runs from our heart to our pocketbook. John Bunyan said, “There was a man, some thought him mad, the more he gave the more he had.”
Scriptural giving is composed of four components: the head, the heart, the mouth and the pocketbook. This is how true conversion takes place concerning spiritual giving. One cannot live obediently before God and walk in the spirit of Christ without dealing with money as a spiritual issue in his life. For an individual to decide what he is going to give without seeking light from the Word of God makes about as much sense as a man deciding how he will be baptized – whether by pouring, sprinkling or burial – without observing what the Bible says about it.
If one is left to his whims and selfishness to give what he pleases without seeking light from the Bible, the Word of God means nothing, and one could ignore all the teaching of Christ and the apostle Paul. The faithful steward of God bases his giving on the teachings of the Bible.
The command in our text is “give.” We put great emphasis on the commands of our Lord, and thus we ought. Not many are known who put great emphasis on giving. Notice the four steps in Luke 6:38. Give. The giver will be blessed. The Lord promised, and it is not the nature of God to lie.
There are various motives and reasons that enter into one’s giving. One may give to correct a wrong, such as Zacchaeus did (Luke 19:8). We might be in that category. Normally we don't learn to give by hearing our brethren teach but by studying the Bible. I’m not sure I gave as the Bible teaches in my early life, but I pray that I have made up for it.
One gives because there is a joy in giving (Acts 20:35). The converted child of God is interested in giving. He wants to follow the example of Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:9). When one reaches spiritual maturity, he realizes that it is better to share with others than to keep what he has while trying to get more. The blessing does not come in accumulating wealth, but in sharing it.
One also can give to preach the Gospel (Philippians 1:5). Unfortunately, many members of the church are unconcerned about preaching the Gospel to the lost. Actually, the top priority of the Lord’s church is to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:18-20). We already have wealth in the Lord’s church to evangelize the world. We have ministers to evangelize the world. We have modern communication and travel to evangelize the world. The reason we have been so slow in doing it is because we have been poor stewards of the Gospel.
One may give to do good (Galatians 6:10). From the beginning of the church, one of the identifying marks of the church was “doing good” to others (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37). One cannot out give God (Matthew 5:16), but the children of God ought to imitate God in giving (James 2:15-17).
What does giving do for the giver? Liberal giving will overcome covetousness (Colossians 3:5). Covetousness keeps company with the sins of fornication, inordinate affections and other terrible sins. Covetousness is the sin of always wanting more and never being satisfied with what one has. The covetous man will dishonor God and commit any sin to get what his sinful heart desires. “Mortify” means “put to death” (1 Corinthians 5:11), and the child of God must put to death covetousness.
Liberal giving lets us set the proper priorities. All of us ask ourselves, “What is my top priority?” Is it pleasure, family, making money, a good time, hoarding money? One’s top priority should be the church (Matthew 6:33). It is a great example to the world when others see us put the kingdom of God first in our lives.
Liberal giving also strengthens our faith. Giving is a good barometer of faith. It tells how one feels about someone who has never heard the Gospel. Liberal giving tells how one feels about the poor and those in need. People who do not give liberally are depriving themselves of blessings they could be enjoying.