Show me how you give and I’ll tell you how you live. Giving is living. Every breath we breathe is a gift to the foliage about us that in turn provides oxygen that gives us life. Every step we take every word we say, every motive that moves us to actions, are all contributing gifts in life. From the smiles you offer, to the funny stories you relate, come from this beautiful word called “GIVING“.
Paul wrote, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich . . . Therefore, (because of this) as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in you love to us, see that ye abound in this grace (of giving) also” (II Corinthians 8:8-9).
All giving is grace and all grace is good – that means all giving is good. Guilt is never known in genuine giving. If it is a word of encouragement, a pat on the back, a help in lifting a heavy load – the principle of giving is the key to life itself. I just returned from my 1,153 seminar on “The Grace of Giving”. These meetings (8 hours of weekend speaking) have carried me into all 50 states and 27 other countries. Regardless of where I go, the need is the same. It isn’t the mechanics, but the principle of giving that is so enriching and powerful. Read on.
Again, the apostle Paul puts it straight when he writes, “But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man (person) according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, nor of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work . . . He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (II Corinthians 9:6-11).
Paul is urging the church at Corinth to bring their gifts together, where when he comes he will be able to carry their contributions to the poor saints in Jerusalem. He reveals the powerful principle in a five fingered message, “SOW AND YOU SHALL REAP“. If you sow bountifully, you will multiply your harvest of reaping. The giving principle changes the giver. It deals a healthy blessing to the heart. We are under the delusion that our giving is done that others might be helped. While that may be one of the benefits, the reaping is done by the giver, not by those who receive the gift. The CHANGE in the giver is phenomenal. When the gift of life is passed through the heart of the giver – he (she) changes. Do not be surprised or embarrassed when great blessings flow back to you in harvest form. “Sow and you shall reap” is an unbreakable rule. It works every time without fail.
When you plant two kernels of corn, and they come to harvest, you will average 1,382 kernels on each of the four ears produced. That is enough ‘seed’ corn to plant 10 long rows of corn. “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower . . . shall multiply your seed sown”. Believe the principle. It works every time.
The richest man in town called the preacher for a private conference. He explained that when he first started his business, it was small and struggling. He further revealed that in the beginning he was sacrificing and giving $20.00 dollars a week in the contribution. “Now”, he explained, “my business is so productive and my income is so great that I just can’t afford to give that kind of money anymore”. The old preacher smiled and simply said, “Let’s pray about it”. So he prayed in soft but sincere tones, “Dear Lord, bless my brother here who is having difficulty with his giving. Reduce his business and his income back to the low level that he had when he began, so that he can afford to give $20.00 a week in the contribution!”
Jesus said, “Give and you shall get; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pour into your lap), For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38) If your gift to life is with a teaspoon, the teaspoon will be the measure life will give back to you. If you use a small scoop, the scoop will be used to return life to you. How about a back hoe or a front end loader? Sow and ye shall reap – give and you shall get, for “the Lord loved a cheerful giver”.
The major problem with this power principle is equally simple. You have to BELIEVE, not only in the principle, but in the one who gave it”. He is the Lord of the harvest. He is the one who will be multiplying your gifts and insuring their return. He is the one who changes your direction in life and brings you real happiness. “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 3:16)