Give To Receive

Give To Receive

posted in: Inspiration | 0

Little Gentleman Gives a Girl FlowersGiving is the root of a successful life.  Giving brings freedom, peace, and joy.  Giving empowers the giver and the receiver.  Giving multiplies the blessings you receive.

Jesus put it this way,

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” – Luke 6

So, if what you are receiving is not abundant, not blessed, not successful, not healthy, or not good in some other way — you may want to take a look at what you are giving.

You may be receiving in full measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, and poured into your lap exactly what you are distributing.  Because if what you are giving is spiteful, angry, selfish, dysfunctional, constrained, mean, or sick, then what you are receiving in return is likely to be the same.

On the other hand, if you are giving abundantly from what you have, offering peace, bringing joy, building relationship, sharing blessings, loving intentionally, and empowering good things in the lives of those within your reach then the harvest you receive in return will be a super-natural abundance of life, health, accomplishment, success, and well-being.

God is not putting any limits on what you can receive.  God is a provider.  God is a multiplier.  God is an amplifier.  God is looking to use what He has given you to positively impact everyone in your reach, and so also everyone within their reach, and so also everyone within their reach, and so on.  God’s purpose in giving is to empower you to give.  When you participate in this virtuous cycle by choosing to give wisely and well, you are opening the floodgates of God’s favor and volunteering to become a distributor of God’s blessings.  And when you give, you will receive.

On the other hand, when you clog the channels, stop the flow, and try to hold onto to everything that has come your way, you lose the far greater blessings that God is offering.  Rather than extending your influence and increasing your impact, accumulating blessings for yourself without investing them in others actually takes away from the very blessings you are trying to retain because the very act of holding on more tightly to what is yours creates imbalance, inequity, dysfunction, and failure in your relationships and causes your returns to move from blessings to obstacles.

As anyone who has received an abundance of God’s blessings can tell you, the challenge for the believer is in learning, discovering, and developing better and better mechanisms for distributing God’s favor.  It can seem like a good problem to have and it is, but it can’t be overstated that as you give, you will start to receive, and as you receive you will discover that you have more to give, and as you have more to give you need to find ways to invest the increase that God has given you just as effectively, intentionally, and meaningfully as you distributed the initial blessing.  Each and every time you receive back a multiple of what you have given it then becomes an opportunity to give it again — and what you will discover is that while your simplistic methods that worked at low volume were great to start off with, as you try to distribute greater and greater blessings the intricacies and nuances of effectively achieving a personal and powerful result will challenge you to stretch beyond your comfort zone, reach beyond your initial grasp, and develop a heart for giving that is bigger and deeper than you at first could have imagined.

Participating in God’s purpose for your life will take you places beyond your biggest and best dreams, and uncover the full extents of your capabilities and your potential.  God is ready to challenge you to give in ways that you never believed were possible by providing for you in ways beyond your wildest imagination.  So, the question is, are you ready to stretch your potential, expand your boundaries, amplify your opportunities, and invest everything that God is giving you?

The only limit on what you can receive is, in fact, what you are capable of giving.

Now, when you don’t have very much to give at first, it doesn’t take much imagination, talent, or creativity to find the opportunities to invest it wisely and receive the return that God has planned for you, but as you grow up in faith, and begin to receive greater and greater blessings, the real challenge of participating in God’s work reveals itself.

It’s like the rich young man who came to Jesus and asked Him what good deed he should do to receive eternal life.  Jesus tells Him to keep the commandments, “You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.” to which the young man says “I’ve obeyed all these commandments. What else must I do?” and so Jesus challenges him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man hears this, he goes away sad because he was very wealthy. (Matthew 19)

Now, the Bible doesn’t tell us whether or not this wealthy young man took Jesus up on His challenge or not.  I like to think that he went away sad because he truly had the full intent to follow Jesus and so he was sad because he was going to have to give at a level that was far beyond his comfort zone, but I suppose it is just as likely that he went away sad because the challenge was too great for him.

One way or the other, Jesus took the opportunity to clarify once and for all the challenge that all believers face as they start receiving all of the blessings that God has in store for them,

“I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” (Matthew 19)

Now, over the years this statement has been used to justify all kinds of class warfare, but I don’t think that is what Jesus was getting at here.  Jesus wasn’t suggesting that poverty is holy or that wealth is evil.  Far from it.  He was simply observing that making use of small blessings is simple, while investing great blessings is far more challenging.

Choosing to give only gets more challenging the more successful you become.  This is not to suggest that you should refuse the smaller blessings so that you don’t have to face the challenge of using the larger blessings that are waiting.  Far from it!  That’s why when Jesus’ followers asked with great concern for their own spiritual well being, “Then who in the world can be saved?” Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19)

God is ready to give not just the blessing, but the inspiration, strength, and opportunity to invest that blessing for a return.  This is true at every level, every stage, and every point in life.  Whether you are just starting out and are making the choice to put away five to ten percent of every paycheck for your retirement or your kids’ college fund, or you are trying to decide what companies to invest in after successfully selling a company you founded or you are trying to figure out how to give the wealth you have accumulated to achieve a specific outcome in the world like sharing the gospel or bringing an end to cancer or malaria or poverty or hunger, God is ready to show you the opportunities you have to give what you have effectively, personally, and meaningfully to achieve the blessings that you are capable of distributing and reveal the power you have to bring the Kingdom of Heaven right here, right now.

With great success comes great opportunity.  With great opportunity comes great blessing.  With great blessing comes great success. And the multiplication continues.

That’s why when Jesus sent out His disciples to share the good news, He gave them this instruction,

“Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” – Matthew 10

Giving is the root of a successful life.  Giving brings freedom, peace, and joy.  Giving empowers the giver and the receiver.  Giving multiplies the blessings you receive.

So, if you want to change the outcomes you are achieving in life, reflect for a moment on what you are giving, who you are giving it to, and how you are giving it — then change your giving to start to unlock everything that God has in store.

Follow Steve Simons:

Christian Speaker, Author, Pastor, Leader. "God's Answers Are Always Simple. God's Answers Always Work." Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, the one and only God.

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