Summary: It is a biblical principle mentioned in 2 Corinthians that if we “Give generously .... Reap generously.” However, if we “Give sparingly ... Reap sparingly.” God is no one’s debtor.
Opening illustration: Story of Crystal Jagnow …
Introduction: The Bible tells us it is more blessed to give than receive. There are many spiritual laws in place for the giver. We must all learn to be givers in the right way. The Word of God says that we must be cheerful givers. We also must learn to give without expecting to get something back. (Meaning we are not just giving to get a return!)
What are the Five levels of Blessings in Giving? [Paraphrase all the stories in Biblical Reference]
1. Brook Level (Elijah @ the Brook) 1 Kings 17: 1-7 ~ (pertains to all those in ministry)
God wonderfully suits men to the work he designs them for. The times were fit for an Elijah; an Elijah was fit for them. The Spirit of the Lord knows how to fit men for the occasions. Elijah let Ahab know that God was displeased with the idolaters, and would chastise them by the want of rain, which it was not in the power of the gods they served to bestow. Elijah was commanded to hide himself. If Providence calls us to solitude and retirement, it becomes us to go: when we cannot be useful, we must be patient; and when we cannot work for God, we must sit still quietly for him. The ravens were appointed to bring him meat, and did so. Let those who have but from hand to mouth, learn to live upon Providence, and trust it for the bread of the day, in the day. God could have sent angels to minister to him; but he chose to show that he can serve his own purposes by the meanest creatures, as effectually as by the mightiest. Elijah seems to have continued thus above a year. The natural supply of water, which came by common providence, failed; but the miraculous supply of food, made sure to him by promise, failed not. If the heavens fail, the earth fails of course; such are all our creature-comforts: we lose them when we most need them, like brooks in summer. But there is a river which makes glad the city of God, that never runs dry, a well of water that springs up to eternal life. Lord, give us that living water! (Pertains to God’s divine providence)
Illustration: Story when my parents were unemployed and God provided financial support for my sisters and my education (which was very expensive). More than 35 years have gone by and till today we don’t know from where the help came. But we know God had raised some person somewhere in the world to meet our need. Is there anything impossible for God? Is His hand shortened? Has His treasury run out? …
Application: Many people want to justify their status of not-working or unemployment and live on government aid and do nothing about their life and shift their responsibility on God by saying, ‘He’ll take care of us just as He took care of Elijah.’ They don’t realize that Elijah’s context (he literally was called by God to work for Him) is very different from theirs and we need to work for our subsistence. Let us not forget what Paul told the believers in Thessalonica … “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3: 10)