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The Heart of Giving and Receiving - We Were Bought With a Price  October 24, 2014  (14.5.9)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus Christ gave one hundred percent for you and me; he gave his all in all. He never gave his life for ten percent of our money, but much rather he gave everything for us so that we could freely walk with God. We were not redeemed with tithes, but with all of the precious blood of the Redeemer (I Peter 1:18-19). We were redeemed with every fragment of Jesus’ being, he paid the ultimate price for humanity’s salvation so that we may “freely” walk with God and with our Savior and enjoy the more abundant life (John 10:10).

A professional athlete would not just give ten percent of their abilities or talents, they give one hundred percent. God does not require ten percent of what you own or earn, He wants all of you (Romans 12:1-2) in the sense that you already belong to Him because of the work of Christ, and this God desires that we know.

I Corinthians 6:19-20:
-19: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost {or the holy spirit} which is in you, which we have of God, and ye are not your own?
-20: For ye are bought with a price: therefore {give, give, and give until it hurts - no - but rather} glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

All we own is already God’s: “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof” (Psalms 24:1ff), and all Christian people are His children. The very best that we can return to God today is glory, praise, and honor, and commit our ways unto God with thankfulness that He indeed is our heavenly Father. When we get to the place in our own minds that we believe all we have is God’s in the first place (after all He did create everything), then through our believing, God will become our true sufficiency in life (at one hundred percent).

When people give ten percent of their incomes and an hour or so of their time to God each week, then they inevitably will end up ninety percent short, and receive only sporadically. However, as we acknowledge God as our true sufficiency of all that He has given for us to enjoy in our lives, we will experience the more abundant life.

First and foremost, what God has given to us is meant to sustain us! Then as we become genuinely thankful for whatever abundance we have, even more of God’s abundance will come our way. Having a heart of thankfulness and gratitude for knowing God, recognizing that we will live with Him throughout eternity can cause us to become cheerful givers who are inspired by God’s divine love (II Corinthians 9:7).

Galatians 6:9:
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season {at the appropriate time} we shall reap, if we faint not.

This verse is a spiritual principle and promise from God that we will reap and that we can receive from Him for standing faithful to God “in well doing.” For as believers “commit the keeping of their souls {their lives} to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (I Peter 4:19), we will discover that God our Creator is indeed our sufficiency, and our every reason to remain faithful to Him day by day.
 
Proverbs 16:3 reads, “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established,” even if our thoughts are, “I wonder if God is real, is He really my sufficiency, and does He really hear my prayers.” God can establish even these to you personally and prove to you that He will never leave or forsake you.
 
Psalms 37:4-5 states: “Delight thyself also in the LORD, and he shall give the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it {the desires of your heart} to pass.” The more we commit ourselves into the care of God, the greater the blessings become manifested in our lives. In II Corinthians 8:5 we learn that the believers “first gave their own selves to the Lord,” this is when (and how) believers truly begin receiving abundance from our Creator.

Yes it does take time for people to put their trust and believing in God, Whom they have never seen, yet Jesus encourages, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The more we receive and understand from God’s healing Word, the easier it becomes to allow God and His blessings into our lives. “Whom {Jesus} having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8). When we learn to give God our first thoughts in the day, and thank Him in Christ’s name for the day, which He has made for us, then we will be experiencing joy that is truly beyond words.

Proverbs 3:5-6:
-5: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
-6: In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

The more we commit ourselves to God, the greater our trust in Him will grow effortlessly and without compulsion. As we begin acknowledging Him in all our ways, the clearer our daily paths in this life will become lit up in the light of God’s healing Word and guidance (Ephesians 1:18-19). By learning to put our trust in God with all our hearts, God then can begin directing our walks with Him on the path that will be most pleasing to Him and to us.

When we share our hopes and dreams with God and allow Him to work within our lives, He will most assuredly give to us the desires of our hearts, for God is able to do more than we could ever think of asking or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). As we give God our earnest prayers, our continued love, and our daily thanks - believing that He has received them - then God begins to work mightily in our lives. When we begin making room in the heart of our hearts for God, we will also discover that we were formed, made, and created to be the actual habitation of God (Ephesians 2:22).

Then becoming a cheerful giver (to God first), will be a continuous blessing to us. This is why I believe that Christians can become the most generous and giving people on the planet. As we learn to trust in God and become good stewards of what He has given, He will inspire us to become “cheerful givers.” From a biblical point of view, it does not cost a Christian who gives to God, but rather pays in eternal dividends.

The more we begin believing that all we own are gifts from God, and that He has made us stewards of His gifts, then He can inspire us in love to be cheerful givers. We will know within our hearts that when we share of our God-given abundance, or of our God-given talents, or of our God-given time with others, we will literally be giving His blessings to others, blessings He gave us to share.

II Corinthians 9:7-8 (The Amplified Bible:)**
-7: Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].
-8: And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no {additional} aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].

The greatest giving that Christians can possibly give is to dedicate their lives to God. This thankfully does not mean that we need to change our lifestyles because God loves us the way we are. He not only accepts us with our hopes and dreams but with all our shortcomings and frailties as human beings. God simply wants you to begin enjoying life; only He desires that you take Him with you.

Romans 12:1-2 shows us that we can “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” If we were to give God our prayers in the morning, and spend a few moments in His healing Word, thanking Him for the upcoming day, then God will be proving to us that He is with us throughout the day. This is how (and when) God begins showing us His good, acceptable, and perfect will can indeed be enjoyed moment by moment, day by day.

Psalms 34:8:
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

One who has placed his trust in God is one whose life is blessed (by God) to the point that God’s gracious Word and His many promises becomes truly palatable spiritually, physically, and even mentally.
 
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but {man shall live} by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). So, God’s wonderful Word can be feasted on and savored in the heart of our hearts. No wonder the Word is called “the bread of life” (John 6:48), and “wholesome words” (I Timothy 6:3). Jeremiah confessed: “thy words were found and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart” (Jeremiah 15:16). It seems he thoroughly enjoyed the Scriptures. When a believing soul puts his or her trust in God as their sufficiency in physical matters of life, God also fills to the full the true spiritual matters of the human heart such as having inner peace between man and his God.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” As we taste our heavenly gift of righteousness, of holy spirit, of the joys discovered from the Word of God, and the immensity of the powers of God (Hebrews 6:4-5), we cannot but be inspired to continue trusting in God’s gracious Word. Our thirst for the fullness of life with God in Christ can and will become a reality within our lives.

I Peter 2:2-3:
-2: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
-3: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

There is genuine milk (i.e., whole milk rather than skim) within every ounce of God’s winsome and delectable Word! God is so wonderful and gracious to us in so many ways, which are at times beyond our comprehension, yet we may assuredly know that we have received from God (II Corinthians 9:15, I Peter 1:8).
 
God’s desire for us is that we take Him at His Word, allowing Him and His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, into our lives, and permit the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God into our hearts and lives in our day to day adventures.

Let us be men and women of God who have decided to give Him our inner hearts’ trust. Agree to continue allowing God Himself to show us how to be the kind of cheerful giver we personally desire to be, and give God His rightful place in our lives, giving Him all our love and our hopes and dreams as we continue savoring the taste of His divine graces upon our lives.

Hebrews 13:5 (The Amplified Bible):**
Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

What a comfort it is to realize that God is with us always, this indeed is savoring the taste of God’s grace upon our souls because We Were Bought With a Price.

** Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE. The Amplified New Testament copyright © 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

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