December 19, 2014
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
In this blog (finally) we will get to Luke 6:38 (NIV):
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken to-
gether and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure
you use, it will be measured to you.
We looked at the context of this verse in our last blog, and saw that Jesus was telling His followers how to act and react especially considering that they were nationally under hated Roman occupation. They were to live out faithful lives “…just as your Father also is….” They were to show forth love, forgiveness, mercy, grace, restraint – as God was showing them. And they were to do it even under their hard circumstances of life! And when they did that, it would be paid back to them richly.
So Luke 6:38 has a pretty specific context. But it puts forth a general principle which can be depended upon – “Give, and it will be given to you.” Sometimes this is called “The law of Reciprocity,” (Pat Robertson – The Secret Kingdom), that is, give and you will get back! Now I do not believe in what is known as “The Prosperity Gospel,” also called, “Name it, Claim it, and Frame it!” This teaching proclaims that all you have to do is believe – just have enough faith – and you will be rich and in perfect health! Most Christians in the world today are not in prosperous and healthy circumstances! Many are driven from their modest dwellings, hungry, cold, sick, persecuted and imprisoned for their faith, and even dying because of it! And many personalities in the Bible dealt with stubborn negative circumstances. These saints of God include David, Elijah, Jeremiah and Paul!
So how do we reconcile the general principle of “Give, and it will be given to you” with all this? I call it The Bank Of Heaven, and here is how it works. When we give anything to the Lord, He gives back to our account. How much? Jesus said this in Matthew 19:29: “…everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit everlasting life.” A hundred times as much given back as is given up for Him! Someone once said, “I shovel out, and God shovels in! But God uses the bigger shovel!” – 100 times as big! That’s 10,000% interest!
Apply this to monetary giving: God gives us $10.00, and since He asks us to tithe, we give back to Him $1.00. If He then gives 100 times the amount given, He gives back $100.00! So we tithe our 10% to God, giving Him $10.00, and He gives us back $1,000.00! It sounds so simple but experience just doesn’t seem to work out that way. Why?
God is our loving Father, the best Parent we could have. Picture your little child running up to you in the grocery store holding a big bag of candy bars. And he pleads, “Mommy, can I have this? I’m hungry!” And it is a half hour before supper! What might you say? “No, honey, you can’t have all that candy right before supper. But you can have one candy bar after supper!” Why? Because all that candy would not be good for your child, and you know it, even if he does not!
God, as your perfect Father, knows what is good for you and what is bad. If God gave some people a million dollars now in this life, it would destroy them! I have heard stories of big lottery winners whose lives where wrecked because of the large monetary windfall they received! God will not give you anything to destroy you! He may allow hard things to touch our lives, but it is always for our good and growth as a Christian! (see Romans 8:28 and 29; James 1:2 through 4). He knows what is best for our lives! And some Christians cannot be trusted with abundant earthly blessings!
Now, do we lose out because we can’t handle a million dollars here and now? No! We have eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ! And if we cannot handle extra-large blessings here and now, it is credited to our account in The Bank Of Heaven where we will be perfect and able to enjoy God’s riches for His glory forever! An example is in Revelation 4. What do the 24 elders do with the obviously priceless golden crowns in their possession in Revelation 4:4? In Revelation 4:9 through 11, it says:
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him that
sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, The twenty-four elders fall
down before Him who sits on the throne, and worship Him who lives forever
and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “You are worthy,
O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things,
and by Your will they exist and were created.”
They give them back to glorify the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ!
No, we never lose out with God’s Bank Of Heaven! We are to give faithfully unto Him, knowing that He gives much more back to us! And we are to trust that He knows when to give it – now or in eternity – all for His glory!