GIVING: A COMMAND WITH PROMISE
BY JIM KASEMAN
Text: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).
There is always a promise involved or implied in every command of our Lord. To see only the commandment is to interpret life in terms of duty and responsibility. To see the promise without the command is to neglect the essential condition for receiving the promise.
All of us have developed certain attitudes and concepts of life that make it difficult for us even to see some of God’s promises. It would appear that we are blind to many things that God is trying to communicate to us. Is it not true that all of us have read certain passages of scripture for years before the real message penetrated our consciousness? Our text is a case in point.
What do you hear Jesus saying when you read Luke 6:38? One person might reply, “This text teaches me that I should give full measure. It should be pressed down, shaken together and overflowing.” Another might say, “I see in this a gimmick for the receiving of an offering.” Both of these interpretations miss the point of the text by a country mile. The text is one word of command and the balance of the text is promise.
COMMANDED TO GIVE
“Give…” From earliest childhood we are taught to be conservative with our money. We are taught that others would try to secure our money by one method or another. Because of this early teaching, combined with actual experience, most of us have developed what someone called a “pocketbook protection instinct.”
This instinct immediately begins to function when we hear the word “give.” Most of us experience a mental block at this point and consequently most of us have failed to recognize the promise that is attached to this commandment.
REASON FOR COMMAND
“For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me…Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:35-36, 40b).
We are born with a selfish, acquiring instinct. Christianity is known as the love walk, putting the needs of others before our own needs. We can claim maturity only after we have learned to share with others.
Giving is the way to real maturity.
Giving is the way to real joy. While there is a joy that comes as a result of receiving, the highest joy that the human heart can know comes to those who are givers. Jesus Christ still remains the greatest giver of all. And as difficult as it may be for us to believe, there was more joy for Jesus in connection with the cross than there would have been by avoiding the cross. “Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2b).
Giving is the way to usefulness. Only as we give to others can we feel useful or can we be used. Unfortunately, many people think only of themselves and get sidetracked from the real purpose we are to have in life.
FOCUS ON GIVING
The focus of the Christian’s life is to be on the giving. This refers to every area of life and is not to be confined to the offering plate in church. But the Christian is to be a giver in his marriage, with his children, at school, at work, in business, at church and at play.
GIVINGÄA WAY OF LIFE
The Christian’s thinking and action is to be in terms of giving. Many labor under the mistaken impression that the highest form of giving is in terms of gadgets or trinkets that can be purchased and wrapped up in
a package. Some summarized what money can buy and cannot buy this way:
Money will buy:
A bed but not sleep.
Books but not brains.
Food but not appetite.
Finery but not beauty.
A house but not a home.
Medicine but not health.
Luxuries but not culture.
Amusements but not joy.
A crucifix but not a saviour.
A church pew but not heaven.
Giving involves more than money. There is a great need for Christians to give love, mercy, forgiveness, praise, encouragement, gratitude, a listening ear, time, etc.
Just remember, prosperity isn’t how much you have, but how much you give away. And not only how much you give away but how much you have left over after you have given. Even as we see in the example of the
widow and the alms she gave away in Mark 12:41-44.
RICH REWARD FROM MEN
Luke 6:38 is not only a promise. It is a principle that works in every area of life. It’s a principle that involves an attitude that Jesus had that guarantees rich rewards in life. It’s the attitude of a giving or
serving heart as described in Matthew 20:26-28, “Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him tee your
slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
So, the husband who lives to meet the needs of his wife and children will find his family returning to him in abundance in every way.
The wife and mother who lives to be a giver will experience far more happiness in life than she who thinks only in terms of her own interests.
The businessman whose primary concern is to meet a need and render an excellent service to and for others will find his place of business crowded with customers. His success will be beyond his expectations. He will find that men have repaid him “good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”
This reminds me of a Christian wife who discovered that giving brought rich rewards from a man (her husband).
The story goes that this Christian wife went to a Christian marriage counselor for help. When she was asked what she wanted, she said, “I’ve come to get advice on how to hurt my husband really bad before I leave and divorce him.”
The marriage counselor said that he had the perfect plan for her if she would do exactly what he told her to do. If she did, he said, she’d hurt her husband so bad he’d never forget it the rest of his life.
She said that she would do it. So then the counselor told the woman to go home and be the perfect Christian wife, meeting her husband’s needs in every area whether he responded or not. She was to do this for thirty days and then without notice, up and leave her husband. The woman was very excited about the plan and said she’d do it.
Two months later the counselor happened to see the woman downtown shopping. He asked her how the divorce proceedings were going. She replied sharply, “What divorce? I’m married to the perfect husband!”
God gave lavishly when He gave His Son Jesus Christ to be our Saviour John 3:16).
Jesus Christ gave Himself freely and fully for us when He went to the cross to die for our sins. Matthew 10:7-8, Jesus says, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand. Heal the sick cleanse
the leper, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give!’ ”
If we are going to experience the life abundant, we must come to accept the basic philosophy of Jesus. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35b). Then and only then can we expect to receive as lavishly as we give.
Helen Steiner Rice has put this thought in poetic form:
The more you give, the more you get,
The more you laugh the less you fret
The more you do unselfishly,
The more you live abundantly…
The more of everything you share,
The more you’ll always have to spare
The more you love, the more you’ll find
That life is good and friends are kind…
For only what we give away,
Enriches us from day to day.
When Jesus Christ said, “Give,” He was referring to everything that we are and have from spiritual to financial. If we want to experience abundant life, we must give of ourselves as a way of life. It is only
as we give that we receive. Just remember, the hand that greedily grips that which it possesses is automatically closed so that it is unable to receive.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY JIM KASEMAN MINISTRIES, NOVEMBER, 1995, PAGES 2,3. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEACH PURPOSES ONLY.