(No investment, No return)
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. (Luke 6:38 NLT)
By Fr. Chris Lee OFR
Most of the folks in the Bible worked hard managing livestock, planting and raising crops, as well as harvesting the crops planted. The concept of placing a seed in the ground, watering and waiting for that seed to grow, then harvesting its yield was necessary for survival. In fact, many of Jesus own teachings had something to do with farming life. Our core verse is no different. It implies so much more then just a financial suggestion. It is a way of life!
We are called to be generous. “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.” (2 Cor. 9:7 NLT) Being generous is not just giving, but giving with joy, with purpose, because we are glad to give. We are glad to give because our hearts are warm with the Love of Jesus who has given us everything. “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” (1 John 3:17, NLT)
Throughout the New Testament we find a basic concept when it comes to living out our faith. Some call it the “law of the farm”, “reciprocity”, or the “golden rule”. The law of the farm says, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” (Gal. 6:7 NLT) As we have seen in our core verse, the law of reciprocity says, “Give, and you will receive….(Luke 6:38 NLT). Finally, the golden rule teaches, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you…… (Matthew 7:12, NLT)
All Christians are called by God to be generous, kind, peaceful people who willingly invest in the Kingdom of God. Whether we are giving money, time, service, talent, prayer, or a simple glass of water. Whatever we are willing to invest in the gospel enters a heavenly treasury and is then dispersed throughout the Kingdom to those in need (even if that winds up being us…the giver). But here’s the deal….NO INVESTMENT, NOT RETURN! “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:19-21, NLT)
- What are some ways you can begin investing in the Kingdom of God?
- What do you hope for in return?