Making Heavenly Investments
"Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt.10:8)
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt 6:21)
God is the ultimate giver all things. He gives us our life, breath, and length of days. He feeds us, protects, provides us, comforts us, and prospers us. As James said, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17). Therefore, when we give, we are joining with our Creator in the works that He does and distributing and sharing His blessings with others.
Jesus teaches in this section of the Sermon on the mount how to live out the disciplines of the Christian life with the right spirit without drawing attention to yourself or making the giving about you rather than the One in whom truly gave us all things. Since everything in our life belongs to him, whenever we give under heaven, we should always give toward heaven.
There is great wisdom and great blessing when we learn to be generous with all that God gives to us and allows us to be stewards of. One of the earliest examples of this generous giving comes from Abram after he won spoil from the battle. We learn in Genesis 14 that a mysterious figure named Melchizedek shows up with bread and wine. He is called the King of Salem or "king of peace" and his name means "king of righteousness". He serves as a type of Christ who comes to us with the blessings of heaven and may very well be a manifestation of Christ in the Old Testament. Abram gives him a tithe (or tenth as it means in Hebrew) and he sets a pattern of sacrificial and spiritual giving that would become a law for Israel under Moses and as worshipful acts of grace under Christ who fulfills all things.
Therefore, let us see that giving is a divine act and a way of worshipping God with all that we possess as we learn to give generously, cheerfully, and discreetly. This is why we see the common practice from the early church to this day of responsive giving and laying aside of what we have received from our labor in the Lord each week. Paul points this out when he says, "On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come (1 Cor. 16:2).
Ultimately, God loves a cheerful (or "hilarious") giver and Jesus taught His disciples that "it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The greatest giving ever done was demonstrated when God gave His Son who in return gave His life, that we might receive the eternal and abundant life that can only be found in receiving Him.
Thus, it is from Jesus and through Jesus, that we learn to be giving. As the proverb says, "the generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself" (Prov 11:25). May all of our giving be a response that reflects this glorious statement from Paul, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Cor. 9:15)
- Would you say that you make it your aim to give back to God with all that you receive from Him?
- Have you discovered that great joy in giving graciously and sacrificially from your personal resources to the church that God has called you to and to the poor and needful people that He has placed in your sphere of influence so that you may advance His kingdom?