Fulfilling the Great Commission by raising Christ-centred disciples to plant vibrant, biblical churches in our cities and countries all over the world

GIVING – A PRINCIPLE OF LIFE! By PS Brendan Kirby

Matt 7: 7 – 12 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. 12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

1. GIVING DEFINES OUR RELATIONSHIPS!

We see from the above verses that Jesus is telling us that our Father in Heaven longs to give good gifts to His children! As a parent delights to give good things to their child, so does God!

So, what does “Giving” mean to us?

In the case of a parent with a child, it is (normally) purely out of love. The child (depending upon the age) has done little or nothing to deserve anything from its parent. Yet the parent delights to do good things for their child.

Why will a husband give everything for his wife?

Giving defines the measure of our love – and love defines our relationships with people. The love is felt and perceived by the gift – especially if it is sacrificial.

“If you give what you do not need, it isn’t giving.” Mother Teresa.

2. FREELY WE RECEIVE – FREELY WE GIVE!

Matt 10: 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!

Airport terminal yesterday at the luggage carousel – watching people walk around and collect their bags. Each person had eyes to guide them. How wonderful it is to be able to see! How much is your sight worth to you? Yet how much did you pay for it? It was a gift from heaven!

Sir Winston Churchill: Upon his exit from No. 11 Group’s underground bunker at RAF Uxbridge, now known as the Battle of Britain Bunker on 16 August 1940; at the height of the Battle of Britain, his bracing survey of the situation included the memorable line:

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”, which engendered the enduring nickname The Few for the RAF fighter pilots who won it. He first spoke these famous words.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Sir Winston Churchill British politician (1874 – 1965)

3. IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE!

Prayer of St Francis of Assisi: Born in 1181 in Assisi, son of a wealthy merchant. He was remarkable for his love of gaiety, of nightly exercises and ostentatious living. At 24 years of age, he joined a military expedition. Halted by a dream, he returned and devoted himself to the care of the poor and sick. In 1206 he was inspired to rebuild a local church building. He renounced his patrimony, even his clothes and lived as a hermit. His zeal became infectious and by 1210 he had a brotherhood of 11 (at the age of 29). The Franciscan system of monastic life was founded on chastity, poverty and obedience, with emphasis placed on poverty. He repudiated all idea of property, even in those things for personal use. The order increased rapidly in membership, at the first general assembly in1219 (age 38) 5000 members were present! (With 500 more waiting for admission.)

Lord, Make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is sadness, joy; Where there is darkness, light.

O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek To be consoled, as to console; Not so much to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, It is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

In the latter part of the 17th century, German preacher August Francke founded an orphanage to care for the homeless children of Halle. One day when Francke desperately needed funds to carry on his work, a destitute Christian widow came to his door begging for a ducat – a gold coin. Because of his financial situation, he politely but regretfully told her he couldn’t help her. Disheartened, the woman began to weep. Moved by her tears, Francke asked her to wait while he went to his room to pray. After seeking God’s guidance, he felt that the Holy Spirit wanted him to change his mind. So, trusting the Lord to meet his own needs, he gave her the money. Two mornings later, he received a letter of thanks from the widow. She explained that because of his generosity she had asked the Lord to shower the orphanage with gifts. That same day Francke received 12 ducats from a wealthy lady and 2 more from a friend in Sweden. He thought he had been amply rewarded for helping the widow, but he was soon informed that the orphanage was to receive 500 gold pieces from the estate of Prince Lodewyk Van Wurtenburg. When he heard this, Francke wept in gratitude. In sacrificially providing for that needy widow, he had been enriched, not impoverished.

4. GOD WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE TO US!

The Lord will anoint us with fresh oil, as we continue to ask, to seek and to knock. He will hear us – He will answer the cry of our hearts, amen!

Ps 92: 10 (NKJV) “But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil.”

He will refresh our hearts and encourage us to persevere in the good struggles that we face. God will enable us to love, to forgive and to be at peace, in the midst of our struggles, by His grace, amen!

Let us continue to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, He loves us greatly, and delights to give us good things. Let us continue to learn to give to one another, to give to God’s work, to have a culture of giving our life for others. In the end we will receive eternal life, amen!