Kingdom Principle: A kingdom servant’s need to give is greater than other’s need to receive.
|Isaiah 60:1-6||Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14||Ephesians 3:1-12||Matthew 2:1-12|
Whoever has will be given more, and he will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. (Matt. 13:10-12)
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
Why did the wisemen – travel so far to give their gifts to the messiah? Was it because they were so wise? Was it because they were so wealthy and had nothing better to do? Was it because they wanted to travel? The answer is given that they came to worship him. In their worship they give great gifts of wealth, unfortunately we have focused on their gift and not their need to worship. The wisemen had a need greater than the gift they give – to worship at the feet of the one who fulfilled the words of the prophets. The gift had great value to Joseph and Mary, but what makes a gift valuable to the wiseman is that is was given from an even greater depth of a need. To not give the gift was to deny that which was in themselves primarily, then second to deny the need for the needy family in a crisis.
For the most part – gifts are given because we (the giver) have a need (desire) to express our “love” to others. We want the receiver to know that we thought of them and value them. If the gift is given out of obligation or in resentment – while the receiver receives a material gift – the giver because of their motivation is not blessed. And in this case it is not better to give than receive. In order to apply the scriptures- the giver must have a greater need to give than the receiver to receive. This is true for God – God had a greater need to give than receive. God is not lacking or needing to receive our worship – God is not egotistically sitting in heaven, in need of our worship. However, God is love and love must be expressed and given to be love at all – therefore God was in need to gift the gift of love.
Now – for you and me today! Are you aware of your need to give? (This is not ability or desire, this is the fact that if you don’t give you are hurting yourself – this is why the Lord established a giving (tithing) system) Are you aware of your need to receive? (Being completely and totally lost without your savior, and acknowledging that each and every breath you take is a gift from God.) You cannot give what you do not have. (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – these are gifts – have you received them?) As you look out at those whom God has placed in your life and in your reach – what is their need? And what is yours? But beware – we are not to give based on their need – rather we are to give based on our need to give. For example; If you do not move in righteousness – then there will be no fruit – and therefore you lack peace. So you need to move in righteousness to enjoy peace. And as we pointed out above – God needed to express his Love to the world – in order for God to be true to who He is – an expression of Love. To not express love would be to deny himself…
If we simply give gifts because others are in need – we will give on condition of reception and change. This is a conditional gift, but if we give because we are compelled to give and it is our joy to give, then the gift is not dependent on the reception. This is not self-ish, rather it is purpose. Let us boast in our neediness, brokenness, and deprave nature (Paul certainly did), then let us be poured out like an offering….. Paul clear give only what he was given, and he gave freely all that he was given. This is not a call to action – it is call to awareness. There are great needs in the world. The greatest of which is for you to be fully aware of how great a love has rescued you. Your need was great – and just as great is your need to give that love away. So – Yes I am actually saying – don’t love others because they are unloved or in need of love – love because if you don’t you are denying the love of God that is in you. You have a greater need to live out the fruit of the Holy Spirit, than those whom will receive this gift from you.
In 2013 – let us not get caught in the trap of meeting others needs, rather let us attempt to recognize our need to give away, all that we have been given in Christ. In this, Justice will be done in a manner which is Righteous. Light will shine into the darkness and the needy will be rescued and the oppressor will be crushed. All this, not because there is a need out there, but rather because there is a need in you – a thirst that cannot be quenched to love and to serve our great Master and King.