“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'”
Giving of one’s money as a sacrifice for the sake of redemption is futile. No matter how much a person gives, he cannot purchase the salvation of his soul.
- Psalms 49:7-9; “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit.”‘
Giving of one’s money (especially when in want as this widow was) as worship to the Lord to honor and thank Him for His blessings is joyful and rewarding.
- 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints–and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-11; “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, ‘He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’ He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”
Our motivation to give is not to approve ourselves before the Father or to get something in return; our motivation is to give back to Him who first gave everything for us.
- 2 Corinthians 8:9; “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
- Philippians 2:6-8; “Though [Christ Jesus] was in the form of God, [He] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
- 1 Peter 1:18-19; “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
The Almighty Lord of Glory set aside His kingly vesture to wear a crown of thorns for us. He who is the owner of cattle on a thousand hills humbled Himself low enough to be born in a manger–a cold, stone feeding trough for livestock. He had no place to lay His head while He walked the earth and no place to lay His body when He died. He became the poorest of the poor for you and me. He left His heavenly throne and the angelic choir who sang, “Holy, holy, holy,” day and night to be spat upon and mocked, beaten and nailed to a cross by the people He created.
All of this to make us rich.
All of this so that by faith in Him we could be made sons of God and heirs with Christ. Heirs of eternal life, recipients of mercy, portraits of grace.
Giving Jesus’ way is giving everything for nothing in return. Although through His sacrifice He did gain something. He gained us.
- Isaiah 53:11; “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”
He gained a kingdom of priests set apart to offer spiritual sacrifices to Him. He gained children made righteous: sinners justified and made to stand in His presence for eternity.
“You received without paying; give without pay.”
Even though it means the same thing, I like the way this verse reads in the New King James Version better: “Freely you have received, freely give.”
Since you have been blessed and have received free gifts abundantly from God (who the Psalmist says “daily loads us with benefits”), you must also give without expecting payment in return. You have received freely, therefore freely give.
You received without paying
God has given to us with no strings attached. Every good and perfect thing comes down from Him, the Father of lights. A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. How graciously He has given to us who only deserve His wrath!
He has given us eternal life
- Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- John 3:14-16 “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
- John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life , and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
He has given us righteousness & justification
- Romans 3:21-25 “The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith….”
He has given us His Holy Spirit
- Luke 11:13 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
- John 3:34 “He whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.”
He has given us salvation through faith
- Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
What marvelous gifts the Lord has given to us! How thankful we ought to be! How ready we ought to be to give back to Him and to others of our lives!
Give without pay
Not only has the Lord given us an example that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21), but He has also given us His Holy Spirit. With His Holy Spirit inside of us we gain the desire to give to others. He compels us, through the knowledge of the vastness of the love of Christ, to live our lives for Him giving to others just as freely as He has given to us.
- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
- 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, ‘He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’ He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”
- Luke 6:30-35 “Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
Knowing how much God has given to us, let us be impassioned to give back to Him by giving to others expecting nothing in return. “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”