Giving To Give
In this day of the so called “prosperity doctrine” it is very easy to understand the concept of “giving to get” or giving expecting to receive in return. The scripture that is most often used to justify this is from Luke;
Luke 6:38 Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
This promise is for anything you give, but today it is taught and preached that this scripture is a promise of financial abundance and prosperity, and that, in faith, each one can have this financial prosperity. There is divine purpose for the expectation and hope of receiving any and all things in the spiritual, but there is no place in the spiritual for the worldly greed that is prevalent today. This doctrine of man or devils continues even though we are taught against this in I Timothy;
I Timothy 6:5, 6 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
The divine nature is to love and to give to the need, so godliness is to love and give, and if you can find contentment in that loving and giving, you will find great gain. We are not to have a motive to increase ourselves with worldly goods, but in love we are to purpose to give! Please note from the Luke scripture that … with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. The divine purpose of increase is that if you are truly a giver, God will bless and provide more for you to give! Our wrong motives or desires often prevent our receiving;
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
God will not give you that which would destroy you: defiling yourself with lust to be a friend of the world, and the enemy of God. God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart, and all things are naked and opened to His eyes (Hebrews 4:12, 13). He knows if your heart has a desire or greed that would defile or stop you; I Timothy continues to consider and address this problem;
I Timothy 6:9, 10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
This greed is shown in the following humorous question and answer: Who is happier, the man with six kids or the man with six million dollars? The man with six kids, because he doesn’t want any more! Consider the man from Mark 10:17 – 31 who came running to Jesus and kneeled to ask Him what he needed for eternal life. The running and kneeling show his zeal, his spiritual desire, and his reverence to Jesus, and the verses tell us that the man had kept the commandments from his youth. Verse 21 says Jesus loved him, and told him what he lacked: sell all and give to the poor to have treasure in heaven. The man went away grieved, because his heart valued his possessions more than the promise of God. God only gives good and perfect gifts, so do not expect that anything imperfect came from Him, but know it came from the enemy, or from your lust. What should be our positive and correct motive? To give to the needs of others, and to not be defiled by the world;
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Do you see and recognize in compassion the needs of others around you? Does it move you to action to do something to help? Do you have a heart after God’s own heart, desiring His holiness and to be full and operating in His love? That compassionate heart is God given: as you escape the corruption and draw closer to Him, the divine nature increases. Are you a living sacrifice, or are you torn, lame, and polluted; giving God a sacrifice of your flesh? Until you escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, you give God an imperfect sacrifice, torn, lame, or polluted. Your motives need to be beyond this world;
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Luke 12:33, 34 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:19 – 21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
While having a giving heart will bless others, it will not accomplish the same spiritual purpose that it will if you also seek and obey the will of God with your giving. If you give $10,000 to a purpose that you choose or please it will not have the same avail as a God led twenty dollar Pentecostal handshake! The timing of God is perfect: Jesus did not heal the man at the gate Beautiful, because the time and purpose of God was that it would result in the believing and saving of about 5000 souls! Hear from God and give in obedience and you will be blessed! Abraham gave his son in obedience to God, and received for his obedience the blessing and multiplying of God;
Genesis 22:15 – 18 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies: And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
While it is easy to read this scripture as being that the nations were blessed in the abundance or multitude of Abraham’s descendants, it was through the specific seed of Abraham that God gave us His Son, Jesus: Jesus gave His life that all the nations of the earth may be reconciled to God and blessed! When we obey God and give to others, we also give to God; and we receive from Him blessing and multiplying: if we withhold obedience from God, we also withhold from ourselves the blessing and multiplying! The blessing and multiplying were the promise to Abraham, and are the two immutable truths of Hebrews 6:12 – 20. In verses 13 through 17 the scriptures speak of the promise and of the oath that God made to Abraham, swearing by Himself, and Abraham received for his obedience and faith the promise of blessing and multiplying. The descendants of Abraham and all nations were blessed abundantly by this promise, and the heirs could count on it! Verse 17 then says that God shews and confirms the immutability of His counsel unto the heirs of promise by an oath. Romans 8:16, 17 declare that we are children and heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. As heirs then, we can also receive the consolation and hope of God in Hebrews 6:18 by those two unchangeable truths, the blessing and multiplying of God. The abundance of the blessing and multiplying of the Lord Jesus can be yours! Obey Him in all things and receive!
The complete antithesis of this is free grace, or “easy believism”, where receiving blessings are perceived to be always by grace only, and that the free grace given is eternal in its nature. In this doctrine it is believed that you can do nothing to gain or receive a return for it, or lose it, but it is only by free grace given. It omits the required hearing, obedience, and action on our part. But we cannot overcome and do (I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13) without the free grace that is given to us, and we must then obey Him to receive the fullness of the blessing! As with the prosperity doctrine there is some scriptural and spiritual basis for free grace, but note from scripture that you can fail of grace;
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
We must have grace to overcome the old man, and should rejoice in that grace. However, this can teach you to always be a receiver, but that does not always make you a giver. You can reach the point of spiritually lusting for the blessing and multiplying of God, and give nothing of yourself to meet other’s needs. Jesus commanded concerning this as well;
Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
God will equip us to always be giving, instead of only or also needing to receive from the world. There is great gain in spiritually receiving that desire to give. It is the blessing of God; … It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) Can you understand and receive in your heart that the nature or desire to give is the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:1 – 5)? Allow that mind to be in you, and go freely giving!
Jesus had no abundance of worldly possessions, yet He still met the need of those around Him: consider the feeding of the 5000, or of the 4000. Consider the healings; the blind made to see, the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk. Consider the miracles; deliverance of the captive, the water turned to wine, the wind and sea made calm, and walking on the water. Consider the shepherding of the disciples, preparing them to do the very same things. There were no physical items in His own possession, but His spiritual preparedness allowed God to provide blessing for all that were around Him. And He said; He that believeth on me … greater works than these shall he do (John 14:12); you will need nothing in your physical possession to provide the blessing of Almighty God if you will find the spiritual preparation of the Lord Jesus. We were made in His image, and are called to be conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). To be in that image we also will be fully prepared, and freely ye have received, freely give. Consider that in your earthly possessions you have little to truly give, and begin asking and seeking from God to freely receive, that you may freely give!
I have always had a personal inability or difficulty in receiving gifts. It was humiliating or embarrassing for me to be given a gift as I was not worth them, and did not want others to watch me receiving. But please know and understand that you cannot give what you do not have! You must find an ability to receive in order to give! And (using a monetary example so it is easier to understand) if you are accustomed to giving and receiving quarters you will not be prepared or blessed to give hundred dollar bills! For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And this is for all things! You cannot give love if you have none, and to whatever depth you receive will be the depth that you may give! You must receive to be able to give the way, the truth, and the life, (John 14:6) and love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (Galatians 5: 22, 23). Look around at the world and you will see that people are giving what they now have (the corrupt, alternate, or counterfeit of the above twelve fruit, that has been given by the devil): division or separation, lies, death, hate or lust, sorrow, fear or anxiety, impatience, harshness, evil or wickedness, doubt or unbelief, pride or arrogance, and lust or perversion or violence. They are giving what they have received and now have. God will give, but you must receive, that which will bless, and multiply, and keep, and sustain you. Receive, and allow Him by grace to give you His righteousness and blessings;
Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Purpose to receive good fruit, that you may also give good fruit! Please gain a greater understanding of the depths of our calling, freely ye have received, freely give.
The morning of June 11, 2016 at 3:39 a.m., as my alarm went off after hitting snooze once, a seemingly angelic, almost child-like, small voice said, Please get up. It had been the week of Bible Way Family Camp, and with getting home at 1 a.m. the prior two mornings I had been too tired and slept in, and missed out on the morning commune with God. Oh, the love of God, to bless me in this way, and to desire that communion with His child! I considered this love over the next couple of hours, and also considered the prior prophecy that, … I love you deeply, I love you profoundly, and I love you to the end, saith the Lord. Not just having heard the prior prophecy and this voice, but now considering the great love of God in a new way gives me a greater desire to know God: to love Him, to obey Him, and to commune with Him, in a greater way. It was not a spiritual feeling, a warmth, or an internal manifestation, but more of a mental knowledge and knowing of His love, and desiring to give back to Him because of it! What a great gift to give to someone who has such difficulty in receiving gifts! Oh, Jesus, let me overcome my prior physical and spiritual limitations of receiving, and receive what you have for me in the ability to love, to cherish, and to give! Let that mental knowing become a spiritual blessing and gift! Oh, God give me a physical and spiritual ability to give to give!
Let us explore just a little bit further the spiritual need to receive. In our lost condition and position in life we each had a need to receive grace for salvation. In our sin and iniquity we could do nothing to reconcile those failures, but it is only by grace;
Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
There is such joy in receiving that lifting and cleansing from the burden of sin. But that receiving of grace should not be considered an end of our receiving. We should constantly seek the free gifts and additional grace that Jesus provides for each trial, tribulation, persecution, or affliction we face in life;
John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
That same joy that you received at salvation is yours again with each ministry gift, if you will ask, hear, receive, and obey! God will constantly seek to build us! There is a fullness of joy that we may enter into if we will, in faith, ask in His name! We somehow read that as; Ask using my name, but the need is to be owned by Him, to be living in Him: you belong to God! If we are “in” His name, we will not ask amiss. Ask spiritually for knowledge, wisdom, and revelation: ask for more (the fulness) of the Holy Ghost: ask for the gifts of the Spirit: ask for His righteousness: ask for the love of God, knowing that ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)