Saturday, September 10, 2016

Living with a Giving Spirit - Martin Wiles

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38 NLT

He gave until he took his final breath.

My paternal grandfather was a giver. I have fond memories of him giving to others but also of how much he gave to me—and not always in monetary form. As a single guy, big expenses were difficult to handle. He always came to my rescue: tires, an air conditioner, and even appliances. 

He also gave in other ways. His garden spot was small—barely enough to feed him and my grandmother throughout the year. Yet he gave produce to family members, friends, and strangers. 

He gave time. When I was small and we lived nearby, he and I spent every weekend at the airport watching small planes land and depart or at the local gardens walking among the moss covered oaks and languishing beside the coursing river. 

After high school graduation, I lived a few short miles from my grandparents. They gave me an open invitation to visit and eat with them as often as I liked. And just before his death, he gave me a smile and assured me he was going to heaven. 

Jesus cautions that the amount of our giving is important and will determine how much we receive in return. If we give, He will give back to us, and what He returns will be far more than the original amount we gave—and not just in monetary figures. 

Giving—in whatever form it takes, should be consistent. My grandfather wasn’t moody, inconsistent, or temperamental with his giving. Nor was Jesus. During His entire earthly ministry, He gave consistently to those with needs. We have no record that He ever gave money, but what He gave—compassion, healing, instruction, salvation—was more important. Local churches and Christianity in general suffers when believers don’t give consistently. 

Giving should also be motivated by love—and nothing else. My grandfather had no ulterior motives. He hoped for nothing in return. Nor did Jesus. All He desired was that people believe in Him. Though churches, businesses, individuals, and community organizations still benefit when gifts given from impure motives are given, giving out of pure love is the only kind God recognizes and will reward. 

Are you living your life with a giving spirit?

Prayer: Father, guide us to give consistently and with love even as You do. 

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