It’s been a few days since our last devotional due to the men’s retreat at Covenant Point. With no cell service, I chose not to post. Today, we’re back.
“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 measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38
Today is leap day, that special day every four years that is added to our lives. Sure, its there to make sure our calendars line up correctly (who knew in first grade that there weren’t really 365 days in a year, but 365 1/4), but today I choose to receive it as a gift. Too often we complain about not having enough time to do the things we must or want, and many have rhetorically asked me if I didn’t think it would be fantastic to have an extra day. Well, here you go!
As I think this Lent about Jesus’ gifts of salvation and resurrection, about giving things up, and about the call to give our own selves away as gifts to others, this passage came to mind. “You’ll receive gifts in the same way you give them,” is how I read this. Too often we’ve read it as, “You’ll receive the same level, amount, or kind of gifts you give,” but that can’t be right. I know that I receive so much more from God than I give to Him. You can’t “out-give” God. You can’t even match Him. So this can’t be about the amount of the gift, or even the value of it.
I believe this is speaking to the attitude of the gift. If we give begrudgingly out of a sense of duty, we will receive less because one of the great gifts we receive is the joy of giving itself. In fact, elsewhere the bible tells us, “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.” When we give out of the joy of gratitude for what we’ve received, then not only do we receive more, but the very act of giving is a gift. When we give, we get the opportunity to join with God in His amazing plan for His people. What could be a better use of our money, our time, our talents, ourselves than that? What else do you want to spend it on or save it for?
What is your attitude when it comes to giving? Take some time this Lenten season to sit quietly with God and ask Him and yourself that question.
What is your attitude toward the gifts you receive from Him? Are you a “cheerful giver” like God, or are you giving your time and talents and tithes to church because you have to, because God won’t love you if you don’t, or because “if I don’t, nobody will so I guess I better”? When we recognize our giving as an opportunity from God, a gift in and of itself, then we’ll begin to see that God’s gifts come, “pressed down, shaken together and running over.”
Lord, this Lent, may we truly comprehend the lavishness of your generosity and respond with an equal joy in the gifts we give. Amen.