Givers and Takers
“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you”
Matthew 5.42, (NIV)
When you see the words “Giver” and “Taker” which one best describes you? It’s important to remember that caring for the needy is not some new progressive thought in America, nor is it to be practiced merely to receive some kind of tax benefit. We are all called to be givers because each of us was created in the image of God and giving is just one way we have of manifesting God to the world in which we live. Plain and simple, our God is a giving God who demonstrated His own love toward us in that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have ever lasting life. Think about it, in Romans 8:32 the apostle Paul reminds us, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Giving isn’t some New Testament concept introduced by Jesus though no one comes close to living such a gracious life as that of our Lord. In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy we read in chapter 15 verses 10-11, “You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’”
The bottom line is this the apostle Paul reminds us in Acts 20:35, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” We can’t out give God and in the truest sense we are never more like God than when we give freely to others who are in need and who can’t pay us back. I’m reminded of the story of the soldier in World War II who walked into a pastry shop in uniform to get some pastries and upon leaving the store noticed a little child sitting on the curb in front of the shop. The eyes of the soldier met those of the little boy and as the soldier passed the boy something inside him told him to give the bag to the little boy. Turning around and walking back to where the boy was seated, the soldier smiled and stuck out the bag to the young child who received them gladly. The soldier said nothing but turned and walked away. The boy yelled to the soldier who by now was less than 10 yards away. With an inquisitive smile upon his face the boy said, “Are you Jesus?”
It’s the givers who best reflect the heart of our Lord. Ask God to give you a giving heart, one that looks out not just for our own needs but for the needs of others too. May someone mistake you for Jesus today as you do!
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
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