Summary: The secret to be fully blessed is this, Give to others what Jesus has given you.
Hearts to Share, and a Desire to Bear
Jesus was surrounded by crowds who were eager to touch Him. The people who followed Jesus were, for the most part, poor people who lived from hand to mouth, a day at a time. He was celebrated, and His touch brought healing.
But when Jesus began to teach responsibilities many must have had second thoughts.
Blessed is that person who has learned the lesson that God honors those who give
The Bible tells us to take care of the poor and needy.
We should give because God commands it.
While we should never give just to get something in return (for that violates giving as an act of love), God does promise bountiful blessings for those who obey this command.
We should give a tithe because it demonstrates that God is first in our lives.
We should give to others so that God will be glorified
The more we give of ourselves, the more God’s generosity flows through us.
John Ray, a seventeenth century writer of English Proverbs, said that "The hand that gives, gathers."
Luke 6:38 NIV
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
[Pressed down] As figs or grapes might be, and thus many more might be put into the measure.
[Shaken together] To make it more compact, and thus to give more.
[Running over] The figure of speech is taken from the practice of the Oriental grain merchant, who fills the basket of his customer as full as possible until the grain runs over the edge.
1. If we are of a giving and a forgiving spirit, we shall ourselves reap the benefit of it: Forgive and you shall be forgiven.
2. If we in a right manner give to others when they need
Give and it shall be given to you. God, in his providence, will recompense it to you; it is lent to him, and he is not unrighteous to forget it (Hebrews 6:10), but he will pay it again.
Hebrews 6:10 NIV
10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
They that sow plentifully shall reap plentifully. Whom God blesses he blesses abundantly.
I. WHAT WE HAVE TO GIVE.
We have much that we can bless our fellow-men.
1. Our possessions - our money, our time, our books, our clothes, etc.
2. Ourselves - our thought, our affection, our sympathy.
II. Sacrifice in your Brokenness
"Mary’s ointment was wasted when she broke the vase and poured it upon her Lord. Yes; but suppose she had left the ointment in the unbroken vase?
What remembrances would it then have had?
Would there have been any mention of it on the Gospel pages?
Would her deed of careful keeping have been told over the world?
She broke the vase and poured it out, lost it, sacrificed it, and now the perfume fills all the earth.
We may keep our life if we will, carefully preserving it from waste; but we shall have no reward, no honor from it, at the last.
But if we empty it out in loving service, we shall make it a lasting blessing to the world, and we shall be remembered forever.
III. The world is full of nominal Christians--but how many are Christians in deed? The Bible makes it clear that mere belief is not enough.
A United States Senator recently quoted a very moving, yet indicting poem, "Listen Christian!" (by Bob Rowland), which reads as follows:
I was hungry, and you formed a humanities club and discussed my hunger.
I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel in the cellar and prayed for my release.
I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless and you preached to me about the spiritual shelter of the love of God.
I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.
Christian, you seem so holy; so close to God.
But I am still very hungry, and lonely, and cold . . .
IV. What makes a gift so valuable?
Mark 12:43-44 KJV
43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.