freely you have recieved...
Acts 20:35 

I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said,  It is more blessed to give than to receive.

 

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 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.  Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Romans 16:24-27  

Perhaps your faith is great. Perhaps not. Jesus our Savior upbraided the disciples more than once, saying : "O ye of little faith." Great or little, our faith may increase, and we may grow strong in the Lord. Confidence does grow in our efforts to please God, yes?  Without effort, without our active participation with the Lord in the accomplishment of His will, we do not grow.  Be it in the simple obedience of faith, the endurance of a trial, or an offering of love,  we must see that faith is not passive. If faith is passive what will  live in us? We dare not allow faith to be entombed within us. It must be a living faith which is infused into our life with all our permission and submission, there with God's grace in Christ, to save us now and in the world to come.

To those who doubt,  prove your faith to your own minds and hearts. To those who know their weakness, prove God strong with in you. To the mighty in God, maintain your His might in you by doing more of what God commends. To all, participate with God in His unconditional love. How? By giving.

God has given EVERYTHING to us who believe.              

  • Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 2:17
  • Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Second Peter 2:1-4
  • …yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. 1 Corinthians 8:6

  • be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. 1 Corinthians 3:18-23

You might think: "I'll never be a preacher, or a deacon, or a missionary." Perhaps not. But you can share their rewards. How? By sharing with them today in the carrying of their burdens. And with all my heart I believe the sincere servants of the Savior are carrying the burden of God. God wants people to live forever in the harmony of His Holy Love.

  • How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:14-15

You can send the preacher. How? By carrying his burdens as he goes and preaches. The lost will hear because the Word is heard. You can send those who serve as deacons, those who labor to establish equity in God's body of believers. Their service is a powerful "sermon" without words. You can send  merciful servants to lend to the poor. It will be your mercy, and theirs and God's mercy. My heart aches to do more to please God.

  • Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11
  • I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said,  It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35  

 

I recommend giving for one primary and superior reason above all: It will please God. Is that not why He made us?  Yes, it is.  God created us for His pleasure and His purpose. Because of Him and all the goodness He has given to me and to you, His forgiveness, His favor,  every earthly blessing, and every heavenly blessing to come,- for all this I urge, even beg you to give to the support of His servants. I believe with all my heart each of us can find a way to give, to begin to give, or to give more.  Little or much, God will be blessed by your giving, and will bless you in your heart.

 

I believe it will release into your soul the joy of the Lord abundantly. It has into mine.

  • Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord:  neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

If you are like me, you struggle with some degree of doubt at times, and some selfishness, the desire to please self first and God next. Find the little you think you can spare and give it. Do so often. That should begin to free you of any habit of hoarding your wealth. I pray that you may be free indeed in every facet of the Savior's Way, and I believe that giving is a facet of His Way to open your heart to God's Holy Spirit. 

 

Many teach that we give, and the gift is a seed planted that will grow to return a blessing upon our head. They cite verses which show it to be so. But the "return" we ought to desire above all is that of the Lord to Jerusalem. For this will accomplish the return of our souls to Him in everlasting and Holy immortality. Whatever befalls us in this life, prosperity in money or materials,  day to day  modest "survival", or unexplainable poverty for all our faith and effort, - in every case we CAN trust the Lord.

 

Paul, a weak man whom the Lord gave strength wrote: 

 

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard,

and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your

care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye

lacked opportunity.

 

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in

whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

 

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with

my affliction.

 

Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

 

Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound

to your account.

 

But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of

Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet

smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

 

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in

glory by Christ Jesus.

 

Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Phillipians 4:9-23

 

 

Paul, calling himself the chief of sinners also wrote:

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how

that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the

sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the

sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all

drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock

that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them

God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not

lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters,

as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat

and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication,

as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty

thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted,

and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of

them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

 

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they

are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are

come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he

fall.

 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:

but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that

ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,

that ye may be able to bear it.

 

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

 

I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

1 Corinthians 10:1-15

 

Idolatry is inseparably linked to covetousness. Covetousness is inseparable from greed. Greed is the enemy of generosity. Rest in the Lord, knowing His salvation and His friendship are your true wealth.

 

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. Proverbs 19:17
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