November 1, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
One of my favorite scriptures concerning giving is Luke 6:38 (NIV):
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.
I picture a neighbor coming to the back door, with measuring cup in hand, to borrow a cup of sugar. You readily give her what she needs and she promises to return the gift. But you say, “Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s only a cup of sugar!” But the next morning she again appears at the back door. But this time she is holding an overflowing cup of sugar – so overflowing she is holding a pan underneath to catch the overflow. And there is at least five pounds of sugar in the pan!
Someone once said, “I shovel out, and God shovels in. But God uses the bigger shovel!”
Indeed, God uses the bigger shovel! If it is true what Jesus said in Mark 10:29 and 30, that shovel is one hundred times as large as what we use to give to God! This, in Luke 6:38, is one of many scriptures showing God’s generosity – how He richly rewards gifts given to Him. We have already looked at a few others in the last four blogs – besides the two mentioned above – Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:24 through 33; II Corinthians 9:6 through 8; and Malachi 3:10. There are many others.
In Matthew 25:31 though 46, Jesus described the Sheep and Goat Judgment of the Gentile nations. This judgment is based upon how they treat God’s children during the Tribulation – the last seven-year period of this present age. Jesus said in verses 40 and 45:
And the King will answer and say to them [those who treated believers well],
“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these
My brethren, you did it to Me….” Then He will answer them [those who
despised God’s people], saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you
did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”
So anything we do to bless others, even if you give “…a cup of water to drink in My name, because he or she belongs to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, you shall not lose your reward” (Mark 9:41). I changed this verse from third to second person for effect. The point is that anything will be rewarded if it is done for the Lord! No wonder Paul writes in I Corinthians 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” He also wrote in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Nothing will go unrewarded if it is done for the Lord Jesus Christ! And some of that reward will come to His followers in this life. As we prove faithful caretakers of the blessings He bestows upon us now, He will trust us with more. But many of our rewards will be given to us in heaven, where – since we are then perfect, like Jesus – the great riches of eternity will not corrupt us.
And we will be very surprised at the rewards – as were the sheep nations were in Matthew 25:37 through 39:
“Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and gave You
drink? When did we see You a stranger, and take You in, or naked, and
clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”
You already know Jesus’ reply, quoted above. Likewise, the goat nations who lose their rewards because of ungodly actions will also be taken aback. Matthew 25:44: “‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ ” You see, we are not always conscious of the results of our giving – or our not giving!
As I said in a previous blog, I give my life to Jesus because He gave His for me! I give Him my gifts because He gave up so much to make me rich! (See II Corinthians 8:9). Everything I do in my life, I want to be a ‘Thank You’ to my Lord for all He has done for me!
But I also know the return He has promised me is beyond my comprehension! I do not give to get, but I give, knowing He will give back to me, “…good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over….” What great promises we have from our God!