GIVING

By: Gary L. Rodgers

God giving Christ

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

So often in my prayers when I find myself asking for something of the Lord I do wait in hopes of receiving it; the problem is that I usually want it right away. He never ceases to amaze me with His perfect timing and the way that He generally answers it in such an unsuspecting way. And sometimes He allows the trial to worsen before an answer comes.

Recently I was in need of some money to get some bills paid and like everyone else I found that I was having a lot more month left over than money. And of course when times like this come up the Old Devil starts to throw suggestions my way as to what I could do, but deep inside I know what is pleasing and not pleasing to the Lord, and the battle between faith and self-reliance then comes into play. So I decided to be obedient to what I knew to be right no matter how trying my situation. I determined to trust that He would get me through it. A couple of weeks had gone by and one day I went out and got the mail out of our mailbox. In shuffling through the mail I noticed a letter from the IRS and I thought to myself; now what! I was getting ready to go back to work at that moment and I didn’t want any more pressures on my mind than I was already having. For me to be stressed and not being able to focus on my job was not a good thing, and as any of you know, when you’re looking for good news the IRS is not exactly the place to look for it.

So off to work I went and a few hours later I returned home being somewhat apprehensive about opening up that letter. I prayed and said “Lord please help me to get through this, all I know is that if I am faithful to you that you will work all things out for my good.” (Romans 8:28) And with that I cut open the letter.

After having opened what I was convinced to be a dreadful letter I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The letter said that an adjustment was being made to my income taxes and it showed that they went back to 1983 and calculated what was unpaid to me at the time along with daily interest and in the letter was a check for over one thousand dollars. Praise the Lord, what a blessing! I never would have guessed that the Lord would use the IRS to make a voluntary correction and so bless me with an answer to prayer in my time of need.

You know; the Lord blesses us far beyond what we deserve and He always has. Way back in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve fell and plunged all mankind into sin and death God went to work to put together a plan to save me and you from the awful torment of hell. And He did that by giving His Son to face the wrath of His righteous anger against all manner of sin. He always gives us His best and I have to wonder if I have always given Him my best? Shamefully and sadly I would have to save no I haven’t. Could I as a father so willingly demonstrate my love for someone who was rebellious against me by giving one of my sons? Could you?

Abraham was called to offer up his son Isaac and as I read that story I wondered how would I react to such a request? I can imagine that I probably would have taken the whole night to tearfully beg the Lord to ask something else of me. My desire would have been to prolong my time with my son for as long as I possibly could. But as I read this story, Abraham apparently had rested during the night for it says in Genesis 22:3 that he rose up early in the morning. It would appear that Abraham was anxious to do what God had called him to do. But how could this be? Abram knew that God made him a promise and it was reflected in his name when God changed it to Abraham which means (father of multitudes.) How can a man be a father of multitudes when he has but one son of promise through his aged wife and now God has asked him to sacrifice him? Abraham knew to trust God’s promises and what a lesson that is for all of us!

Nearly 1900 years later another father took his son up that same mountain. But this time this father did indeed offer up and sacrificed His only begotten Son as a sin sacrifice. He gave of His Son willingly in order to redeem us from our lost estate.

The Lord has given us His very best and still does! I have to ask myself this question; what have I truly given to Him?

Would I be so willing to give my children what they ask for if they had little time to love and respect me and obey what little I would ask of them? Why is it that we get this attitude that God owes us something? In truth we are the ones that owe Him. Giving of ourselves to the Lord is a matter of showing Him how important He is to us. Adam and Eve chose to do what they wanted the way that they wanted it. Can I say that I have done any better? May the Lord convict me and teach me to give Him my best!

Lord I ask that you would please forgive me for giving so little in return for all that you have given to me. May I be more willing in spirit and more cheerful in heart when giving back to you the things that you ask of me! I know that you tell us that you will never leave us nor forsake us; nor will you ask of us more than we are able to bear? Lord I believe this to be true; and with this I also believe that our degree of faith is then measured by the temperature of our obedience.

Lord is there anything that I have that I can give to you of myself?

Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.

Giving is a selfless demonstration of where our heart truly is. Had God not willingly given to us then none of us would have any future hope.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

We as a nation have been given much by our heavenly Father; what are we willing to give back to Him?

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

 

God gave His Son so that you might live. In John 3: 14 to 18 we are told:

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

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.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus is God’s only provision for you and me to escape the awful penalty for our sin debt.

Death has no scheduled appointment. It could be at any moment. It could be today. Won’t you stop gambling that you have one more day? If you want to make Heaven your home then please bow your head in prayer and follow along with these words.

Dear Jesus, I know what sin is, and I know that I am a sinner. I ask that you would please forgive me and wash away all of my sin with the blood that you shed for me. Please send the Holy Spirit to come too live in my heart to teach me and guide me in righteousness. I know that you personally died for me, and that you were buried in a tomb and rose from the dead for me. I believe that you are now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. I put my complete trust in you alone as my Lord and Savior and I am trusting in you only to get me to Heaven. In your Holy and Precious Name I pray. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!