A Meditation on Psalm 112 - Part 9
“He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be exalted with honor.” Psalm 112:9
The ultimate expression of God’s love is giving.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved,” John 3:16-17
The central key to God’s economy is giving.
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38
“The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is folly.” Proverbs 14:24
I think it’s funny how some people will criticize another person’s generosity by saying, “They’re just giving to get something” as if that is an improper motivation. Yes, the Scriptures do teach us not to give to be seen of men. That’s fruitless and carries no residual benefit with it. When Jesus spoke of doing your giving in secret He was speaking to the disciples to not follow the pattern of the Pharisees who made such a grand show of their Temple giving.
But the disciples were encouraged to give, and to give liberally in order to bless others even when it meant going the extra mile. Giving to the church (The Temple) should be done without fanfare and self-focus. What you give and how you give is between you and God. But giving beyond tithes and offerings as a means of receiving is a fundamental kingdom principle. It’s Godly economics.
Think about it. Every tax that is levied by a government is a demand for payment to someone else or some political system from the wages you earned by the work that the taxpayer does. It is not a joyful exercise of your will that results in more being given to you. It’s a tax. This is why no matter how much is demanded of you it will never be enough to satisfy the tax collector. He/She/It will always be demanding a larger and larger share of what you earn.
But giving that is motivated by love, compassion, or obedience from within is a Godly thing. It is an act of the will and not a demand. You get to give and you get to be benefited from your giving. It is a privilege not a burdensome requirement because the greatest benefit is to the giver.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35
For a long time I thought that verse was talking about motivation not return on investment. I thought it was more blessed because by giving you are enriching someone else’s life in an unselfish act of kindness and that is true. But the more blessed part is what comes back to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. It’s more blessed to give because the gift you gift to bless others keeps increasing to your benefit.
The receiver has a one-time blessing and that’s great but the giver has the joy of giving and then being multiplied in return to be able to give even more and to enjoy even more of the fruits of the blessing sown.
Be liberal, even extravagant in your giving. It can only abound to more generosity extended to you and greater resources for even greater blessings to others.
A key to success in any righteous endeavor is this, “Under promise and over deliver.” Under promising is placing the expectation on yourself to do your best to fulfill your word, but then, as you have opportunity, do more, give more, go the extra mile, it doesn’t hurt.
Some would suggest that under-promising is dishonest because people come to expect more from you the next time and even more over time. But someone’s false expectation should not be a hindrance to your liberality. If you fulfill your promise, even if it costs you more than you expected, you have done well. Jesus taught that if a man asks you to go one mile with him go two. The idea was to encourage people to give at a dimension that expresses God’s Spirit.
Jesus didn’t have to do all that He did. He went beyond the scope of just dying for our sins. He taught us how to live free of it. He sent the Holy Spirit to teach us all things and to abide with us forever He went about doing good and healing all that were sick and oppressed of the devil.
The promise of His coming was that He would be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, that His kingdom would be established on the earth and that He would be the Savior of Israel and of every nation that believed on Him. And He did do all these, and will do all that He has promised and so much more.
He is still doing today more than we can know or measure. The work of salvation is finished but the expression of God’s love for us is forever.
The reality is this. God didn’t have to love us. We had no claim on His love and neither do we have a claim on His mercy and grace. In fact, all we deserved, because of our sins, was His judgment and death. But He has freely given us His Love, His mercy, His grace and the promise and certainty of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Finally, it is important to understand that God never intended for faith in Jesus Christ or the manner in which Christians are called to live, to be imposed on anyone by political government mandate. The promises of God are not to everyone but to everyone who believes. The idea that a government can force people to care for the poor or itself take on the responsibility of caring for the needy by taking from those who have and giving those resource to those who need is a failing proposition.
Faith is faith because it cannot be mandated, demanded or legislated successfully. Yes a few people can be helped for a little while but eventually greed, lethargy, a sense of entitlement takes over the mindset of the un-regenerated heart and the nature of sin takes over.
God’s economy is based on faith and trust in Him, not a system of man that denies Him and seeks to be the answer to all human need by laws, regulations, rules and ever more complex requirements to satisfy some false idea of “fairness” or so called “social justice.” These ideas, though they might be noble in principle are doomed to failure because they are based on the false notion that man is capable of solving the most fundamental problem of human need without God.
God alone has the answer to the cry of the human heart. And God alone can repair what man has screwed up. It all begins with admitting our need for Him and accepting that there is only one way of salvation; faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation. When we do, we experience a heart change that makes us truly compassionate, truly generous and trully liberal in blessing others, in the name of Jesus. We have no righteousness in ourselves apart from God. But through Jesus Christ we are made the righteousness of God. In this righteousness alone are we exalted and honored by God.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2Cor. 5:21
When we give because we are motivated by love we do it to express God’s love and with our giving we leave a deposit of His Spirit in everyone to whom we show compassion. By our kindness the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is shared with the world and some will believe and receive Him, some may ignore Him and some may reject Him still. But, none of these should discourage or limit our giving or the preaching of the gospel to every creature.
Jesus is coming again soon, and we must be about the work of doing what He has told us to do. Giving is a fundamental part of that work.
The hour is late; the time of Jesus’s return is near. Make every effort to let people see Jesus in you and let your giving reflect His love for and to the world, especially as you have opportunity to love those who love our Lord. By this all men will know that we are His disciples
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35