Meditations by John Dean

Monday, September 29, 2014

Give it Away

(Luke 3:11 Message)  "If you have two coats, give one away," he said. "Do the same with your food."

When one has a wrong perception of God it is easy for them to have a wrong perception of His interest in their problems. After all, when God spoke, worlds came into existence. So why would He be concerned with something as insignificant as our problems?

It would seem more reasonable for Him to spend His time creating worlds or giving directions to governments than to be burdened with our ‘piddly’ issues.

Even though many people think of God this way, it is wrong. Nothing could be farther from the truth than to think that God is not interested in every detail of our lives. Our text proves the point that the Lord cares.

In our text we see where Jesus is teaching a basic lesson on sharing. Even though His example is simple, the principle in it is very deep because it gets into the whole realm of sowing and reaping.

God set the multiplication principle in motion from the very beginning of time. The lesson is twofold…keep a portion of what God gives in order to meet one’s own immediate needs and give away another portion in order to meet someone else’s need. As a result, that which is given away becomes seed that multiplies and produces a return of 30-60-100 fold. In other words, that which is given away is actually sowing into one’s future.

It is that simple law of sowing and reaping upon which the farmer bases his whole future. The farmer does not eat his seed corn. The farmer plants his seed corn for the purpose of multiplying and producing a healthy return.

Not having enough in life is really not the problem. The problem is that one is prone to eat all their seed corn (or not abide by the principle in our text) and therefore there is nothing left to multiply. The end result is that one is usually in some kind of need.

I have heard people say over the years, “Well, I must have holes in my pockets.” That is exactly right if you are a stingy person and not a giver.

What I am about to share is not meant to be a play on words, but simply an observation. Even though the dictionary does not see a distinction between the words generous and giver…I do.

It seems to me that one can be generous to a degree and not really have a givers heart. A good example…there are many who are what I call project givers…both in the church and in business. They give for scholarships, hospitals, political campaigns and so on because all of these things are tax deductible. However, many of these same people find it hard to come up with a good reason to give to individuals.

All of us should be thankful for such generosity because everyone is ultimately the beneficiary. However, this generosity is not the thing in question…the motivation behind this generosity is what is in question.

Many times a giving person is prone to give all they have, like the poor widow in Mark 12:43, “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.”

Even though I have always considered myself to be generous, I think I had to learn to be a true giver. My wife and three daughters are the best examples of giving that I know and I have learned much from them. The most important thing I have learned about a true giving heart is that it is not motivated by the reasoning of man, but by the character and nature of God.

My wife and daughters have certainly exhibited God’s character and nature in that regard so I am blessed to live in the inspiration of our text through them. "If you have two coats, give one away," he said. "Do the same with your food."

Without going into detail of all the things I have given away over the years I can honestly say the blessing I have received back has been much greater. However, I am not sure I have given anything with the thought of a return blessing, but God blesses back because it is in His nature to bless us. The principle of sowing and reaping works every time for those who have a giving heart.

Thank You for teaching us the beautiful lesson of giving and the principle of multiplication. I also thank You Lord for all my girls who are a constant reminder of the true heart of God…one that did not even hold back His only begotten Son.


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