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            A great multitude came to hear Jesus and be healed of their afflictions—He then gave the people and His disciples, the beatitudes.  He said Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the [same] measure you use, it will be measured to you [again].”

            Everyone needs encouragement as we travel the Christian path of faith in God every day.  Jesus is telling us to give—not just material goods or finances, but also encouragement, support, and reassurance to someone going through a tough time. Deuteronomy 3:28 “Charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.”

            The people encouraged Joshua to be the leader that God had planned for him to be.  It was following Scripture—1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage [comfort] one another, and let each one help to strengthen [edify] his friend, as in fact you do.”  Edify means to build up and be growing in spiritual wisdom—as we help and encourage others by referring to the Scriptures.

            It was said: Do all the good you can; in all the ways you can; to all the souls you can; in every place you can; at all the times you can; with all the zeal you can; as long as ever you can.  By God’s grace, strength, and inspiration, we should want to follow that, as we walk this Christian path of faith, trust, and dependence on God Who enables us to do it.

            The best thing we can do for others, is to offer prayers for them—asking God to bless them; to encourage them in the faith; and to enable them to hold steadfast in trusting Him.  We can refer to Numbers 6:24 “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

            Everyone wants that to be a reality in their life, but we can turn it around by being more giving toward others.  We can be willing to help and keep them in our prayers.  We can be gracious to people—which means to be kind, polite, courteous, civil, and sociable.  And we can always follow Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

            Being cheerful and joyful in the Lord radiates to everyone around us.  Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”  Our countenance should draw people to us—the look on our face can encourage a discouraged person.  When we think of what God has done for us, the least we can do for another is encourage them. Psalm 145:8 “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

            Jesus said Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”  Everyone needs God’s mercy—that is why Jesus told us to Luke 6:36 “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”  We do not always follow that advice.  A humble spirit would seek God’s mercy, as the publican Luke 18:13 “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

            Psalm 136:1 says, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”  That psalm quotes “His mercy endureth for ever,” twenty-six times.  We should be more merciful toward others by offering prayers for them; encouraging; and helping them as God enables us.

            Angry words seem to be everywhere today, but the Bible gives this advice: Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”  If anyone is angry at us, or angry with someone near us, a soft word immediately lessens the tension and turns away wrath. 

            It is definitely more blessed to give than to receive, but giving can encompass many things—giving of our time; our energy; our resources; giving assistance with some task; giving encouragement; and just giving a smile to an unhappy soul.  If anyone says, Just pray for me, we should always be willing to do that, and to assure them that we will keep them in our prayers. 

            The apostle reminded the believers Acts 20:35 “In all things I have set you an example, showing you that, by working as I do, you ought to help the weak, and to bear in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  When we give to someone, there is more going on than we realize—it is literally following the Savior.

            In a selfish world, we are called to selflessness.  It is one or the other in our dealing with others—selfish or selfless.  The world’s attitude is, Don’t touch my stuff; the believer’s attitude is, Please use my stuff—God has blessed me with it; I know it is only on loan, so if you need it or can use it, please do—God has more blessings for me.

            Christians are supposed to be givers—and the greatest gift ever given is John 3:16 “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.” 

            We know that stealing is wrong and would not think of doing so—if for no other reason than the consequences for taking something that does not belong to us.  Besides, we know the Bible clearly says Exodus 20:15 “Thou shalt not steal.”  Nevertheless, there are other ways of stealing—time from our boss, or time away from our children.

            We should be looking for ways to give—whatever that would be; our time, assistance, finances, or encouragement.  Giving is a heart issue—it has nothing to do with how much money we have, or do not have.  The heart is what wants to give when it follows the Lord.  We should be in a giving mode—always!

            God makes us this offer Malachi 3:10 “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try [prove] Me now in this,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.’” 

            The self within that we began life with, wants to keep everything for itself—but when the Spirit of God is within, we want to give anything to anyone we can, as God opens the way for us to do that.  Believers are givers because it is more blessed to give than to receive Acts 20:35.  Everyone wants to be blessed, but we have to first, be willing to give. 

            We have to be careful when giving as Satan is always trying to put some pride in our heart, for having done some good thing in our day—telling someone of our giving, or boasting of how we helped the poor, etc.—the list could be long and the pride deep in our heart.

            Luke 18:10 “‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.”

            13 “‘And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’” 

            Even if we have zero dollars, we can still give, because when we give to the Lord, we can give our time; our tithes; and our talents to help someone else.  There are many ways to give to people, we just have to be willing to ask God to show us how we can help, or who we can bless with our time; our energy; and our prayers. 

            We should not be concerned if we have little or much to share, the issue is whether we are willing to share whatever it is—large or small.  The Christian lyrics say: Little is much when God is in it—labor not for wealth or fame; there’s a crown and you can win it, when you go in Jesus’ Name.  It is not the amount of something, but the attitude of the heart—that is what matters.

            Jesus knew the importance of laying down His life for the sins of mankind—and He carefully instructed His followers John 15:12 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

            Some say they would lay down their life for Jesus, but are often not willing to give what is in their pocket for Jesus.  Many will not give their time to the Lord, yet say they will die for the Lord.  It just does not work that way.

            Christians are not hoarders, but givers. 1 Timothy 6:7 “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”  We should look for ways to give, and seek some way to help another.  We take nothing with us—we may as well send it on ahead by giving it away on earth.

            Jacob had a giving spirit and said to his brother Esau Genesis 33:11 “‘Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.’ So he urged him, and he took it.” 

            The instructions are clear and the reward is great—Luke 6:35 “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest.”  There is a reward day for believers—what we did with what we had reveals the attitude of the heart.

            God wants to shower us with rewards for the life we lived on earth for Him. 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  If the same God Who has given us His Son, has something else to give us, we should definitely want it—it has to be amazing!


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