The secret of following God’s will – I discovered – usually is wrapped up in rejecting the good for God’s best.” K.P. Yohannan Revolution in World Missions.
A few years back, I helped with vacation bible school at a church I attended. Teaching children about Jesus is a joy. They see things and know things that we as adults must have forgotten along the way. Like that Jesus’ word is the absolute truth because – well – He said so.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV)
In one of the sessions, we learned about sacrifice, and what true sacrifice is. We sang a new song about Jesus’ dying on the cross for us and what it meant. It was beautiful to see all these little hands pressed up toward heaven. God is good.
In a demonstration on sacrifice, two younger vbs-ers were each given one dollar. They were told that if one sacrificed their dollar to the other person, then the person with $2 could exchange it for $5. Quite a nice exchange rate if you ask me.
Neither child gave up their dollar.
They both figured it was better to have $1 than for someone else to have $5.
Awwwww, the joys of a giving heart.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Little did they know, that if one had sacrificed his dollar for the other’s benefit, they both would have received $5 each!
I haven’t seen so much back peddling in my life. LOL
But, it was too late. The decision had been made.
Let’s look again at Luke 6:38:
Give, and it will be given to you.
Remember when I said that God’s word is truth. Simple as that. He doesn’t just stop here. Jesus goes on to tell you exactly how much you will get for your giving. God doesn’t leave anything to chance, and He certainly doesn’t leave us confused and bewildered.
According to Jesus, what you give you will get back:
A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
Poured into your lap! Imagine it! EVERYTHING you give will be given back to you good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, (and) will be poured into your lap!
Now, did Jesus ever mention the word money? Does he specifically say “Now, this is for your tithe only or when a missionary comes to church. Don’t worry about giving anything else.”
So what if I give kindness? Joy? Light? Peace? And, if I give my bad attitude…well…
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Ever meet those people who complain and complain about how miserable/awful/horrible their life is? Have you ever watched to see what they are giving out?
How willing are you to give?
Jesus also said,
40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.~ Matthew 5:40-42 (NIV)
I have to learn this, too. We were all born into sin. That is why we need Jesus. We were all born into selfishness, otherwise “no” and “mine” wouldn’t be every toddler’s favorite words.
When we accept Jesus into our hearts and devote our lives to His purpose, He will change us to make us more like Him. The Holy Spirit will show us right from wrong. We only have to listen. And, obey.
Heavenly Father, will you create in me a clean heart today, a giving heart that is straight from your Word. May you breathe into me new life to serve you, and may I walk in your path and your ways. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.