Summary: You can make a difference wwherever you are everyday because you’re different. And you can say in any given moment, “What can I give?” I want to help you to find out what kind of a person you are in a given moment.
Do you remember the story of Ebenezer Scrooge? He kept everything and hoarded everything his whole life. Then he learned, in the last part of his life, how to give. Do you remember the end of the story how he was dancing and bouncing around? And he said, “Can this much joy be safe for one individual?”
You find that true joy is giving of yourself. As you give back to others with God’s help, you find that that you will swell up with gratitude.
So I am not just talking about giving money. Actually, that’s a very small aspect of the giving principles that we have been teaching for the past couple of Sundays here.
I want you to concentrate on the air that is in this room for a moment. Concentrate on the air. Breathe in for a moment, and then feel yourself breathing out,
What if someone gave you the mistaken idea that there wasn’t enough air in this room? You’d try to breathe in as much as you possibly could. But you’d find that you couldn’t breathe in enough. If you’d try to hoard it, you’d begin to turn blue. And you’d have to exhale.
The blessings in your life is like breathing in and breathing out. God’s blessings include two halves: giving and receiving. If we tell ourselves that there’s not enough air in this room, we’re not going to get all that we need. We’re going to panic and hoard some of the air in here.
The abundance and fullness of life that God has given you, is everywhere present. But, you and I have to have both halves. We have to have the breathing in and the breathing out in our relationships.
Listen to what Jesus says (v. 38), "Give, and it will be given to you. (Give—part one. Given to you—part two.) You will have more than enough. It can be pushed down and shaken together and it will still run over as it is given to you. The way you give to others is the way you will receive in return."
If you are willing to give first and radiate out your spiritual gifts, there will be a natural circulation that comes back to you. It is the law of all life.
Imagine that we have an old farmer’s pump right here. We begin to pump like crazy. I get tired after a little, so I ask one of you to come up. After that person gets tired, I ask another one of you to come up and pump some more. We pump and pump and pump, but there’s no water coming out.
What’s the problem—why can’t we get water out of the pump?
You have to prime the pump; you have to give first. Then, the pump will start to flow continuously and we’ll have enough water for all of’ us.
It is the same way in your life. You can read all the self-help books that you ever want to read; you can meditate on all the possible spiritual principles 24 hours a day. But until you begin to practice it, you will never be apparent it in your life.
The way to prime the pump is to begin to give, constantly giving of yourself.
I do the priming. Christ does the flowing. It cannot be turned off unless I decide to turn it off. It’s an interesting thing. I always benefit more by agreeing to the activity and allowing myself to be a channel of giving.