Summary: It is important for all of us to know exactly where our gifts come from and who has given them to us.
Just a few short weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were out and about. We were on the bike and just enjoying the Florida sunshine. At one point in Boca, we pulled up to a red-light and saw an older gentleman standing there with a “Please Help” sign.
Feeling moved by The Holy Spirit, I reached into my pocket, pulled-out my wallet and handed this man a twenty-dollar bill. I don’t think Pam was too pleased at that but, you know how it is… Once you’re moved!
Well, a few short hours later, we pulled into a local bar & grill to have a drink and grab a bite. Much to Pam’s chagrin, there sat that man at the end of the bar enjoying a cold ‘n tasty. Pam then said to me, “Doesn’t that make you angry?”
I’ll talk about my response a little later, but this gave me a little opportunity to think about my life, a while back, when I had taken myself out of God’s world and lived in my own.
We have done our very best, here at Sunrise Chapel, to give to the people in need, helping others when and where we can and always offering our prayers for people who are unsure of how to pray themselves.
I’d like to take just a short while of your time this morning to talk a little about what it means to give and how God expects us to give to one another.
We are Told to Give
All throughout the Bible we are told to “give unto others,” having compassion for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ and sharing the Love He gave to us with everyone around us.
There are some of us here that may have more than others. Likewise, there are some here that have very little. God doesn’t expect us to dig deep in our empty pockets or pull money out of thin air to give to one another. He pretty much leaves the giving thing up to us and what we CAN do.
2 Corinthians 9:7 – “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Is this verse talking solely about money? No, it very clearly tells us to “give what we have decided to give” to help others… something about us. So, what does that mean?
• If you have the money, then give.
• If you can cook, prepare a meal.
• If you’re a mechanic, fix an engine.
• If you can sew, mend a garment.
• If you’re a good listener, then listen.
Every time we give of ourselves to those in need, our God in Heaven witnesses our good deed. He not only appreciates our kindness but also partakes of it.
Hebrews 13:16 – “And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices, God is pleased.”
• If you’ve given money, Gods a little richer.
• If you’ve cooked a meal, God has eaten.
• If you’ve fixed an engine, God is cruising.
• If you’ve mended a garment, God has a new coat.
Every time we give to one another, we’re giving to God and are pleasing Him.
How many of you have had something taken from you? I’m not talking about thousands of dollars or your wife’s diamond engagement ring, I’m talking about something trivial, or otherwise, inconsequential to you.
• Somebody ate my sandwich!
• Somebody drank my soda!
• Somebody took my sweater!
• Somebody stole my cigarettes!
Jesus taught us very clearly about this in…
Luke 6:30 – “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”
So, if any of these things happen to you…
• If someone ate your sandwich, they were hungry.
• If someone drank your soda, they were thirsty.
• If someone took your sweater, they were cold.
• If someone stole your cigarettes, you really did need ‘em anyway.
Between You and God
When you have found it in your heart to give to those in need, do not take to the street corners and shout salutations in your name. Do not run home to your wife saying, “Guess what I did today!”
Every time we give, we do so because God has inspired us. He’s put the Holy Spirit into our heart and we have reacted wisely. And Jesus tells us…
Matthew 6:3-4 – “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Keep it between you and God. You’re little secret! You know within your heart, the reward for your gifts will be given to you.