Written By:†††† †Kevin O'Connor
Date Penned:†† Apr. 7th, 2006
Main thought: To examine the Joy of Giving
The Gift of Giving
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:34-36 (in Context) Acts 20 (Whole Chapter)
It seems that one of the greatest gifts God our Father has given us is the gift of giving. Jesus, our Lord and Savior is the greatest example of giving throughout all time and eternity. And just as He is the greatest Giver of all time, so His Name will be the Greatest through all time and eternity. Those who learn the joy of giving will also reap the blessings of giving. For Godís heart is getting ready to bust loose with Blessings for each and every person learning how to give. What a wonderful example God has given us in satan and in His Son Jesus. On the one hand you have satan who sought to glorify himself and heaped unto himself everything he could; Isaiah 14:12-14 (KJV) 12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. And, on the other hand you have Christ who emptied Himself to the point of death on the cross and now will receive Glory, Honor and Praise; Philippians 2:7-9 (KJV)7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Sometimes I question those who have learned the art of perfection in all that they do. They have learned to keep their bodies in perfect health, their wealth in perfect balance, and their knowledge also up to date with the latest technology., And yet, I then look at scripture and see those whose health, wealth, or knowledge that was lacking and yet these were the ones receiving great blessings from Christ. Sometimes, I think we can perfect ourselves right out of relationship with Christ. It seems that we get so focused on ensuring that our physical, mental, and financial needs are well tended to but we neglect following near to His Heart. Christ who had no place to call home, to lay His head, to save His money, Who denied Himself food to the point of hungering and yet would continue to give Himself to all those around Him and to His Heavenly Father for many hours in the evening and thus many times you would see Him sleeping with any opportunity He could get due to His extreme passion to give of Himself. I wonder what health experts, financial experts, or experts in advancing their knowledge would say of Christ Who continued to empty Himself out for us. Oh how I Love my Savior Who Gave His ALL for us! Paul seemed to have entered into this same passion of Christís heart as we see here in 1 Corinthians 9:27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.1 Corinthians 9:26-28 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 9 (Whole Chapter) And again, note what our Lord tells us in 1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:7-9 (in Context) 1 Timothy 4 (Whole Chapter) And, what would those say who emphasize the importance of growing in our intellect without growing in our character when it comes to Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:4-6 (in Context) Proverbs 3 (Whole Chapter) Lean from the heart and not the head, what a thought. Character more important than intellect, Spiritual health great than physical health, Rich in relationship with Christ greater than rich in relationship with our pocket books. Heavenís going to be quite a surprise to so many as we see those who didnít have much fame here below, much money, much physical attraction, but who will outshine those who took pride in how much money they gave faithfully, or how much knowledge they accumulated about Godís Word, or how fine they looked in their firm hard bodies and the clothes they wore that accented that fact.
Yes, Heaven is going to be quite a revelation in more ways than one.
Blessed are those who have learned the joy of giving. For they truly do reflect the heart of the greatest giver of all; John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:15-17 (in Context) John 3 (Whole Chapter)
Oh how comfortable we get when our appearance, finances and knowledge are full. Oh how God is looking for those who are emptied of themselves so that He may fill them full to overflowing; Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:5-7 (in Context) Matthew 5 (Whole Chapter)
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Heart that gives continuously. Please teach us how to enter into this selfless heart of surrender and love that You are. In Jesus Glorious, Matchless Name, Amen.
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