Thursday, September 08, 2016
JOHN 3:16 NKJ 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave . . . .
GALATIANS 2:20 NKJ 20 ". . . I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
EPHESIANS 5:25 NLT 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her
Love is only expressed through giving. If there is no giving, there is no evidence that love exists. The only proof of love is giving. Giving is the action that demonstrates love.
So, the measure of your giving is the measure of your love. The more you give -- of yourself, your time, your attention, your affection, your patience, your treasure -- the more you love. This is what Jesus meant in John 15:13.
JOHN 15:13 NKJ 13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
Why did Jesus say there was no greater love than to give your life? Because you can't give any more. That's total commitment!
So, whenever you see "love" in a sentence, you may substitute "giving" and express essentially the same meaning.
JOHN 13:35 NKJ 35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
By understanding that love results in giving, we see that Jesus indicated His disciples would be known for their giving. We are to be famous for our giving! This is the way Jesus indicated people would know His true followers: by their giving. (Not our fighting, our preaching, or even our correct doctrine.)
We see in the early days of the church, this is exactly what happened.
ACTS 4:34-35 NKJ 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
Don't think that your gifts should only go to churches and preachers. Jesus made it clear that giving to any believer was the same as giving to Him.
MATTHEW 25:40 NKJ 40 "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.'
But God has not called us to give to others just so we could end up poor, also. NO! God has promised to multiply what we give, so we will have more to give in the future.
LUKE 6:38 NKJ 38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-8 NLT 6 Remember this -- a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
So, based on God's promises, we can give to others in faith, with confidence that God will continue to supply all we need.
EPHESIANS 4:28 NKJ 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
(This verse gives us an idea of how giving was paramount in the thinking of early Christians.)
JOHN 15:12 NKJ 12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
If you desire to follow Jesus, love (giving) is not optional.
SAY THIS: As a disciple of Jesus, I will be a giver.
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