Summary: What is the message of Jesus really all about in reagrds to giving? What is it that Jesus really wants us to know and understand from what He teaches?
“The Extraordinary Privilege of Giving – God’s Way”
What is the message of Jesus all about? What is it that Jesus really wants us to know and understand from what He teaches?
In the most basic sense, He wants us to know and understand what it means to no longer be a lost and condemned child of the world and instead to be a rescued, unshackled child of Heaven – one who has been “deliver(ed) out of this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4).
Those two natures are about as unalike and contradictory as you can get. When Paul says, “And do not be conformed to this world” in Romans 12:2, he is admonishing us that everything about how we think and feel and act is to be inconsistent with the agenda and the motivation and the purpose of the world. In 1 John 2:15, the Apostle John further warns us, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Pretty strong words…pretty heavy implications. Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is giving us our marching orders, as it were. He is explaining to us what our code of conduct is to be – from the motivations of our heart to the outward way that we interact with everyone around us.
Already we have walked through some life-altering teachings. We have seen already that the deepest purpose of every true child of God is to be a living demonstration of the character and heart of Jesus Christ. We have seen that our natural tendencies are in direct opposition to the predisposition that a Christ-follower is to have in their outlook on and approach to life and to the world.
The fundamental difference that Jesus has consistently obliged us to live out is that we are not our own, and neither is any material thing in our possession. We are the title-holders of nothing – as such, our obligations are to the true owner and possessor, who is none other than Almighty God.
Last time, we closely examined the reality that we have no right or claim apart from our relationship with Jesus Christ. We have responsibilities, we have duties, we have obligations, but no rights. God has promised rewards to us, but even those are not of ourselves but are given through our Resurrected Lord.
As we discovered last time, the words of the Lord Jesus Christ clearly teach us what the true standard of attitude and behavior are for the Christian in respect to our rights, our possessions and our responsibilities. Let’s review them:
1) The Christian will never seek retaliation for or be resentful of any insult, no matter who it comes from, and no matter how calculated or treacherous.
2) The Christian will never demand any rights, legal or otherwise, from any authority. We may graciously ask, but – if denied – our response is quiet and calm and our appeal is then to Almighty God, the final Authority and Judge of all.
3) The Christian will never deliberate over their right to live and do as they like, but will live in cheerful anticipation of serving others in unexpected and Christ-like ways, looking forward to fulfilling their duty to help others.