March 1, 2010

Freely Give

Written by Boyd Bailey

Freely Give… “Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8b

What is your motivation for giving? Is it to freely give, or is it to give expecting something in return? This is an ongoing tension for the generous giver. We give our time, our expertise, our money, our friendship, our commitment; we even give our very life, but with what expectation in mind? Disappointment follows gifts with strings attached, but gifts given freely lead to fulfillment. Can we be hilariously generous and still trust Christ?

But you may ask, what about my stewardship in giving gifts responsibly? Wise givers do give prayerfully and responsibly, but not to the exclusion of the Spirit’s leading. If the Lord is leading you to invest time and money in a person, ministry or church, then obey and trust Him with the outcomes. Everything we have is His to begin with, so He is ultimately responsible for the fruit from your generosity. He blesses His work, done His way.

Because Christ’s gifts are not conditional, our gifts are not conditional. For example, at your conversion God freely gave you His Spirit for comfort, conviction and direction. The Bible says, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

So, even when we grieve the Spirit with our disobedience, He still remains. The gift of the Holy Spirit does not come and go from our life, as He is here to stay. His resolve to reside in our soul is reassurance that we are not alone. In the same way when people you trust are in turmoil, stay with them through the rough ride until things smooth out. Anyone can give in the good times, so be there to give when they need you the most.

Faithfulness freely gives not to gain, but to do good deeds. The Lord’s freeness to extend goodness to you compels you to freely give back goodness. Grace is a gift to be received gratefully and given liberally. Give freely and observe how much more is freely given to you. Your Heavenly Father gave you His Son, because He loves and forgives you freely.

“He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:5-7).

What are the Lord’s expectations for His gifts to me? Am I freed up to give freely?

Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:9; Proverbs 11:24; Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 2:12

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading? How will I respond?

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