Posts Tagged give

Be a blessing & Be blessed

Proverb 10: 22

It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich , and He adds no sorrow to it.

I wrote yesterday that the fastest way to bless yourself is to pray for those in leadership positions above you. Frankly, you ought to be praying for those people in the organization who are below you too but that topic is for another day.

Do you know it is okay to be blessed? Even financially? Well, think about it. Who should be the most blessed, the kids of the King or the heathen unbelievers? There are a lot of components to being rich but it would be pure foolishness for me to suggest that financial wealth isn’t one of them. Dad wants you blessed in every area of your life. that, truly, is the only way you can be rich. You gotta have health, money, a great relationship with your heavenly father, and good friends. You are not, however, going to have these things if you don’t believe the father wants you to have them. If you think any part of the blessing is prohibited then you are going to choke off the flow. Believe it!

There is a reason Solomon wrote this verse. He conveyed two messages in it. First, wealth comes from the Father. Period. There are no qualifiers here. God is the Lord of the blessing. He is the one who sends the blessing to you. Secondly, Yahweh means for you to have the blessing and to be rich without guilt. He is the one who blesses you. What reason would you have to feel guilt over what the Father is doing?

Here is the point I want to get to though. As we saw in yesterday’s devotion, the way to be blessed is to bless. If you will hold up your leaders to the Lord, praying for them and refraining from speaking negatively, then good will come. Now, here is the rest of the secret. The remainder of the blessing comes on the same highway. Father God is the Lord of provision. No doubt about that. He has warehouses full of provision with your name on it. The easiest and the best way to requisition what He has already laid up for you is to give to someone else? Be a blessing and be blessed. That’s how this thing works. “That’s crazy!” you say. Yep! It is. The Kingdom of God does not work the way the world does and that actually makes sense too. The world has been perverted, which means it has been twisted where it just doesn’t work any longer the way it was designed to work. So, knowing that, you really wouldn’t expect the world and the Kingdom to work the same way. The secret is in knowing how the Kingdom works and applying those procedures. That is why I am telling you this, so that you can apply the Kingdom principles and get yourself blessed. Doesn’t that sound great?

Bottom line? If you want to be blessed, be a blessing. Kinda weird, very cool, but most importantly, it works.

The Giver of Bread

Matthew 6:11


Give us this day, our daily bread.
I wrote on this verse earlier this week. The emphasis then was twofold; first that bread must be received daily rather than weekly and second that Jesus is the bread. Today I want you to look at the first word of this verse and recall, as you do, that Jesus is teaching on how to pray.

I am struck by this word and this question occurs to me, “Why am I trying to earn a living when Jesus said to ask the Father to “give” me my daily bread?” It seems from this verse, and all that surrounds it, that providing my daily bread is Dad’s responsibility. It appears that my responsibility is to appeal to Him and to accept His gifts.

People get themselves very confused over whether Jesus’ teachings are metaphorical or literal. Let me answer that question for you. Yes!! They are both. One of the important lessons I have learned about Jesus and Yahweh is that they never only accomplish one thing. Dad may direct me to give money to a ministry in order to meet their need but His other goal and maybe even bigger aim is to bless me and meet my needs above and beyond all I can think. So in this verse Jesus is speaking very literally. He means for you to ask God to provide your daily sustenance and expect that the Father will. Jesus also means for you to understand the spiritual principle involved in receiving your daily needs from the Father. Yahweh is our provider. He is our source. Learn to expect Him to meet all of your needs. Secondly, understand that Jesus is the bread of life and ask the Father every day to give you more of this essential nutrient.

Applied Law

Luke 6: 38

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

This is the law of sowing and reaping. If you give, it will be given to you. Period. Jesus spoke these words. The truth of the matter is that because this is a spiritual law, not Jesus nor even God Himself can stop the flow of benefit to you. A law operates the same way all the time and automatically. Jesus did not say and is not saying that when you give God will bless you. Read it again. He is simply teaching about the application of the law of sowing and reaping. When you sow, you shall reap.

As people begin to learn this important lesson they are routinely confronted with how, when and why to use it. Truly, I have seen more than one person trip over what they perceive as the ethic of this law. They will say to me, “Yes, I see this is true and from God but we shouldn’t give in order to receive.” That is like saying, “We shouldn’t intentionally use gravity.” I know it sounds holy, and that is what people are wrestling with. It is their learned sense of right and wrong. However, the real truth is that is a carnal perspective taught to all of us by the world. I know that sounds a bit harsh but I am trying to set you free here. When God establishes a law and Jesus teaches us about it they mean for us to use it for our benefit and for the benefit of those around us.

You don’t have to be selfish in order to use this law. You can always support this and other ministries with your increase. So, let’s get out of our worldly ethic for a minute and stretch our minds. Jesus came to the earth teaching that the Kingdom of God has come. That was a new thing and people had no idea what he was talking about. Then he proceeded to teach us how this Kingdom works. The first lesson, the predominant application of this Kingdom domain is that whenever you sow money, kindness, patience or anything else whether good or bad, you will receive a harvest which is multiplied many times over. Remember Jesus’ language. He said you shall receive “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.” When I hear that I think of trying to get all of the bag of grits to fit in my canister. I have to shake it and bang it on the counter to get it to press down so that I can get all of the grits to fit. That’s what Jesus is talking about. Your return is going to be so great that you won’t be able to fit it into your container. It is running over.

Now then, why did Jesus teach us this? Was he trying to get us to give? Most people probably don’t truly believe that answer or we would see much better and more givers in the church. Why then? Here is a Bible principle that will serve you well if you will remember it. Everything that Jesus teaches us, everything that he tells us to do is for our good. That is a biggy. It means that Jesus told us about giving so that we will learn how to receive. Alright, let that sink in. Of the thirty-six words in today’s verse only one has to do with giving. The rest are about receiving.

Here is my point. Jesus was trying to teach us all how things work in the Kingdom of God. Remember he said that we are not of this world (John 17: 14). We are of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we have to learn Kingdom Principles or how the Kingdom operates.

Today’s verse will teach you how to manage finances. If you want to make money, multiply your wealth and increase your financial well-being then you must give. That’s just how the Kingdom works, that is how Kingdom finances work. You cannot operate as the world operates and be successful because you don’t live in the world. This is a very important concept for us to grasp. Jesus is teaching how to succeed, how to have provision for every good work as well as taking care of your own needs. Now don’t say, “Well, I don’t want to give in order to receive.” That is denying the laws of the Kingdom. Would you say, “Okay, I am going to invest some money in this mutual fund but I don’t want it to increase.” Of course not. That would be foolishness. Why, then, would you expect a worldly venture to increase your portfolio but not your Father who loves you? When we stop and think of these things they really are foolish but it is only because we haven’t been taught. Now you know though. God intends for you to work the equation backwards. If I know the result I want, then I can figure out what seed to sow. If you need money, sow money. God’s law of sowing and reaping will multiply that seed and give you a harvest.

Jesus didn’t teach us to pray for our increase and then sit on the wharf and wait for our ship to dock. No, Jesus said, “Give.” Then pray over your seed. Ask Dad to multiply your seed to the one you give it to and to return it to you multiplied hundred-fold. Now that prayer is in keeping with the Word of God. Give and it shall be given to you. Let’s get scriptural with this thing and apply the spiritual laws.

The Isaac Principle

Luke 6: 38

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measure to you in return.

I have been thinking about what we might call the Isaac Principle which we beheld earlier in the week. In the time of famine, Isaac sowed and in that same year he reaped a hundredfold (Genesis 26: 1, 12). One of the things we have learned about times of economic slumps is that churches and ministries suffer. 

The wrongness of that fact bowled me over this week. I saw something I had not seen before. It tells me that the church isn’t living by Biblical principles. Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you.” Therefore, if we are in an economic downturn then we should not withhold our giving, we should increase it. When the famine was on, Isaac sowed. He didn’t withhold his seed or eat it for dinner. This is what the Bible teaches us. And we see it in the Old Testament and the New as well as from the mouth of Jesus. I just don’t think we can get more authoritative than that. So, the question is, “Why do people cut back on their giving in the lean times?”

The only answer I can come up with is that we are responding in fear rather than faith. Face it, the faith walk isn’t always easy but then, being broke in attitude and pocketbook is no cake walk either. I can look back over my lifetime and see the difference God’s truths have made. I remember having no money or having to wait for the next paycheck to buy tires for the car. It was no fun. Now you couldn’t convince me not to tithe. Just wished I had started it earlier. Now I wonder what God will show me next. Twenty years from now what will I wish I had learned earlier? I think it might be that I would learn how to trust God bigger than I do now.  Maybe I will say, “I wish I had held God to His word and believed He would come through for me.” 

We are each on this journey; learning and growing in the Lord. We just need to keep taking the next step. If you have not yet become a giver, do it today. Stop robbing yourself of God’s bounty. Jesus didn’t tell us to give because he needs something. He is trying to get resources into our hands. By our measure of giving, Jesus said, it will be given to us. How would you describe your giving? Is that the word that you want describing what comes in to you? Don’t give in to fear. Have the courage of heart to sow. Then watch your harvest increase.

IT WORKS!

Luke 6: 38

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

If you have been reading this devotional for any period of time you know that I believe in this principle. I very much believe in the principle of seed, time and harvest but it is so easy to lose our conviction as we await our harvest. I shared the story of my overseeding my lawn this year and how I was beginning to wonder if anything was ever going to happen. All of a sudden, grass sprung up all over my yard. So the message there is, “Don’t give up on your seed.”

Recently I saw the truth of give and it will be given to you in striking reality and I want you to know that it really does work. Someone I know gave a significant contribution to a ministry. There were no strings attached. She is just a cheerful giver. The next thing she knew was that she received a gift of greater value than the donation she made. The gift was completely unexpected. It fairly came out of the blue.

Later she called me with her testimony. She realized that God led her to give. You see, God had in mind all along the blessing He wanted to get to her so He had her sow a seed which He then multiplied into something larger. God is so good and that is the way He works. And, it works all of the time. Even when you don’t see it working, those little seeds are in the ground sending out roots and growing. Before you know it you have a crop. Yahoo for harvest! 

So this isn’t theory, it isn’t empty theology. The Bible is a “How To” manual and it tells us how to reap a harvest … plant a seed. If you give, God will take that little seed and turn it into a full harvest. Just think how many tomatoes one tomato plant yields. That is God’s economy at work. Whatever you give to Him, He multiplies back to you many times over. So, if you have a financial need, give. It is the most counter-intuitive thing in the world but it works gang. Give and it shall be given unto you. Don’t believe me? Run your own experiment. See what God will do when you become a giver. I’m telling you, you will never have to worry about finances again.