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The Heart of Giving and Receiving - Buy Without Money and Without Price!  October 22, 2014  (2.4.1)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Romans15:4:
For whatsoever things were written aforetime {the Old Testament} were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Today in grace, we have the tremendous benefit of having the Old Testament to study and benefit from, a blessing that the believers throughout most of the ages in times past did not have in complete form. The Old Testament Scriptures give great hope to believers in our current grace administration because of all the detail we find concerning Christ. As we continue on in our discovery of Jesus Christ as our way to the Father (John 14:6), we have the advantage of an enormous viewpoint because we also have the Gospels and the New Testament to search through and study while we continue building on the foundation of Christ.

I Corinthians 3:10-11:
-10: According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
-11: For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
        
The Apostle Paul, as a wise masterbuilder, took his time laying the foundation of Christ throughout all of his teachings, and as a result the believers knew how to stand on the truths from the whole Word of God. Romans 15:20 reads, “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation.” For the most part, Christ (even today) is preached by way of the Gospels almost exclusively, whereas Paul taught about Jesus Christ from the whole Word of God (Acts 17:1-3, 18:28), including his vantage point of having met Jesus Christ (Acts 9:8, I Corinthians 15:3-8) and knowing the narration that we read about in the four Gospels.

As an excellent case in point, Paul even quoted the words of Jesus that are not recorded in any of the Gospels; for instance in Acts 20:35 when Paul quoted Jesus’ words - “it is more blessed to give than to receive” - something we quote today, though this quote is not written anywhere in the Gospels.

Paul always taught God’s children about our Savior using all of God’s Word, and he did this “freely,” expecting nothing in return as God was his sufficiency. Paul taught that giving was a partnership between the giver and his or her heavenly Father.

The Christian believer is not instructed in the Scriptures to give until it hurts. Giving is not a form of penance, nor can the act of giving relieve a person from sin and condemnation because God does that freely (Romans 8:1, I John 1:9). Giving according to the Scriptures is always meant to be a profitable blessing and adventure to the giver first. Giving with the correct heart of understanding the Scriptures will indeed invoke God’s true spiritual blessings and power upon our lives.

Philippians 4:17:
Not because I {the Apostle Paul} desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

The subject here in Philippians 4:13-20 is about giving and receiving, and Paul is expressing the true spiritual perspective in the absolute will of God for godly giving, and that is that fruit may abound back into your account. The first biblical truth about giving is that fruit may return and abound in your life. This verse does not emphasize the fact that Paul could also receive because he (and God) wanted the believers to understand thoroughly that the blessing for giving always returns to the giver. The word fruit represents the result, the product of their labor of love that was involved in their giving freely.

Matthew 7:11:
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Matthew 7:11 commences with If ye then, being evil; this simply means “having the potential of being evil,” and does not mean that all people are evil, plus Jesus was teaching his disciples, i.e., good people. Although people have the potential of being evil, we normally give good gifts to our children; however, God is never evil (Jeremiah 29:11, James 1:13), and He will only give good things to us.

Giving comes and is offered in many forms, from sharing our talents with others, our resources, our time, and sometimes from our finances. We are never instructed or commanded in the Church Epistles simply to give mindlessly despite our own feelings or apprehensions about giving. Giving needs to be freely offered from the heart and in the love of God in order to receive the full spiritual benefit. When we share without restraints, demands, or coercion, then the spiritual blessings will return many-fold. Paul wrote, “Not because I desire a gift” because he taught the Scriptures and gave the healing Word of God to people freely. However, he did his best to show people how to have fruit abounding back into their accounts.

I Corinthians 9:18:
What is my reward then {for preaching the Gospel}? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

Paul’s reward came from God because he gave the Gospel; that was his ministry and he made the Word of God available to people freely. (Compare how Paul gave the “Gospel of Christ without charge,” to others who gave the Gospel for the sole purpose of getting money, and see the result in Micah 3:11-12.) People themselves are solely responsible for deciding whether they want to give, not only in monetary ways but also in whatever capacity they feel comfortable. Paul’s responsibility was simply to give the Gospel freely to others and God would continue to care for him, and the same is true with anyone who believes God’s Word. The more understanding we receive from the Scriptures, the greater our receiving from God becomes.

Learning about the culture of the biblelands from the Old Testament times up until the first century when Jesus and the apostles lived in the regions of Israel can help enrich and benefit our lives today and aid our standing on the foundation and principles of Christ. 

This can be clearly seen from one example we have in the Book of Isaiah:

Isaiah 55:1:
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Buying anything without money and without price honestly sounds too good to be true and impedes our common understanding of the literal language, would you not agree? The Bible, having been written in the East, has many truths that we in the Western culture do not comprehend upon a simple reading of Scripture. However, once we begin to learn the intent behind some of the words and phrases and understand the culture of the biblical lands, we can bring unknown truths of God and of Christ to the surface of the light of day.
       
This is the case in the verse above. Even today in some Eastern marketplaces, such as in India, the merchants still yell out these words, “Ho, every one that hath money, let him come and buy! Ho, such a one, come and buy!” Yet, from time to time, a merchant would yell out the exact wording of Isaiah 55:1 and invite the passersby to come on over and buy without money and without price. To us in the Western Hemisphere this does not make any practical sense at all because if we did this in our businesses we would eventually go broke, and believe me, so would they in the East. How can a merchant survive if he gives away his products?
       
The solution to the question is quite wonderful. The answer relates to a person who has passed a milestone in their life, such as a twenty-fifth or fiftieth wedding anniversary, or a graduation, but usually on one’s own birthday they would give presents rather than receiving them like we are accustomed to in the West. They were grateful to God for their achievements and so they would want to thank Him, and the way that they achieved this was to give to strangers and just maybe they might bless an angel in his travels.

Hebrews 13:2:
Be not forgetful to entertain {be hospitable to} strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
            
Thus and then, on someone’s birthday (or another special day in one’s life) they would go out into the marketplace and strike up a deal with a merchant. They would pay a just price for a certain amount of the merchant’s goods and then stand beside the merchant and as he called out, Ho, come buy without money, all the passersby and shoppers out in the marketplace would understand that someone was giving for a special occasion. They would fill their water pot or their milk container, etcetera, and then go up to the benefactor and think him or her for their generosity, and wish them well on their achievement, and this blessed the giver, the merchant, and all the receivers as well. This kind of act of giving also gave the merchant a great boost in free advertising, and perhaps drawing in more potential, future customers who have never traded in his shop or seen his wares before.
       
Now Isaiah 55:1 has a much greater in-depth meaning when we read for understanding. Yet when reading the Scriptures we must always look for the subject of the Word of God who is Jesus Christ, for in him we will discover even more benefits that are truly wonderful.
       
Isaiah 55:1 becomes significant to us today because Jesus Christ is our benefactor, he went to the cross in our place, and he gave his life so that we could live for eternity. Jesus paid the just price for our total Redemption to the merchant and enslaver of lost souls (who is the prince of the power of the air). Our very lives were bought with a price (I Corinthians 6:20, 7:23), that being the price of the life and blood of Jesus Christ himself.

Now he stands at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56) as our benefactor, having paid the full price so that we could freely receive eternal life (Romans 10:9-10). As others learn of the benefits and blessings we have received, they, too, are invited into the heavenly storehouse of God’s to freely receive to the fill their eternal life.
        
The three words water, wine, and milk in Isaiah 55:1 have great spiritual significance for us today through Christ.
 
The Water:

Revelation 21:6:
And he {Jesus} said unto me {John}, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:17:
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

John 4:14:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I {Jesus Christ} shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The Wine:       

In Psalms 104:15, we read, “And wine that maketh glad the heart of man.” Wine according to Scripture was given to make the heart glad which is certainly contrary to some beliefs. I have heard alcoholic beverages referred to as liquid entertainment, but of course, excessive drinking is never best (I Timothy 5:23).

Today the wine of Holy Communion initiates a significant milestone event, representing the shedding of Christ’s blood for our sins (Matthew 26:27-28), and as our sins are truly forgiven, our hearts can absolutely and truly be so very glad, and quite thankful for our benefactor who gave so much.

The Milk:

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 within every ounce of God’s scrumptious, healing Word! God is so wonderful to us in so many abounding ways that 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, and allow Him and His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, into our lives. Imagine how many spiritually anorexic people there are in the world who are famished for lack of the fulfilling Word, and even in Christendom many are starving themselves, when all along access to the table of life is bountifully prepared with the fulfilling benefit of the nurturing Scriptures.

Titus 2:11, 3:4-5a:
 11: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
 4: But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward men appeared,
 5a: Not by works of righteousness which we have done {thank God}, but according to his mercy he saved us. . .
 
Grace is God’s divine and unmerited favor upon our lives, which brings to men and women salvation. While mercy is, from God’s point of view, the withholding of judgment, and because He withholds any judgment from the believer, you and I may continue enjoying God’s kindness and love for us every single moment of every single day.
 
Notice in the preceding verses that first God’s grace appears to all, then kindness, then the love of God, and then His mercy; in other words we have what I call a spiritual sandwich. First, God lays down a slice of divine grace that brings salvation; then, in the middle a big, thick portion of kindness seasoned with the love of God; and then it is topped off with a big, thick slice of His own special mercy. God has already accepted us into His household and given us a seating with Christ at the table of life. For dessert, God in Christ serves up a large helping of eternal life to go (to heaven), spoon-fed to us with the love of God. Then we may wash this all down with the sincere milk of the word, as we taste just how gracious our heavenly Father truly is to His beloved children.
       
Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but {man shall live} by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Thus, God’s wonderful Word can be feasted on and savored in the heart of our hearts. 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).
       
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. Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” The quenching of our thirst and the true satisfaction from the cravings and hunger pangs of our soul for the fullness of life with God in Christ can and will become a reality that we may relish within our lives as we receive the gracious, nurturing Word of God that is symbolized in the Scriptures as milk.
       
In Isaiah 55:1, the waters represent our eternal life; the wine represents our complete forgiveness of our sins, giving us daily gladness to enjoy life. The milk represents the wonderful Word of God. His Word is given to us so that we may grow and spiritually perceive how gracious the Lord truly is to us, and because of our benefactor, it is FREE. All we need to do is believe to receive, for with our believing, we are thanking the giver for the gift - this brings glory to God, to Christ, to us, and shows others that they are also welcomed to receive, and our just dessert will be served to us in heaven when the roll is called up yonder!

Jesus’ life was the most expensive offering ever given, costing him humiliation, torturous pain, anguish, rejection, crucifixion, and death before his being risen triumphantly, giving us today our eternal life ― freely.

On the glorious day that we accept Christ into our lives we receive spiritual blessings that enable us to stand on the foundation of Christ, and as well that day becomes our own spiritual birthday (for we become born again), genuinely becoming the children of God, generously without money and without cost.

We thank you for your prayers and support.

God Bless You!    



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