Giving should be a response to love, not in order to be loved. As children of God, we give of our time, money and talents to the Lord in response to Him. It is because of who He is, not in order to get “blessings.” We should not “do” things “to get” something from Him in return.
It is because He first loved us that we love Him. Responding to who He is, what He has done, and abiding in Him causes us to give all we are in return. We do not give to others in response to what they have given us or for what we hope to be given in return. Giving should always be unconditional just like agape love. Appreciation can be shown from the heart without involving a gift of equal cost. A hug from a heart of love is worth much more than an expensive gift from obligation. The value of a gift is the love behind it.
When we give as we purpose in our heart, we are cheerful because giving brings us so much happiness. Our heart is at peace not because of obedience, but because love and grace abound. We look for opportunities to give because we know it is more blessed to give than to receive. It’s the heart of our Heavenly Father. We are blessed to be a blessing, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 9:7 “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Whenever we are running short of what is needed, we can trust the Lord to provide above and beyond our necessity.
We run short of love, patience, joy, gentleness and self-control. We run short of wisdom, understanding and ability. We run short of hope, strength and passion. We run short of finances and things we think will bring us happiness. It’s when we run short that we run to the Lord. God uses our lack to show us His abundance. We come to Him, knowing that no matter why we reach forth to fill the void, only He can satisfy.
If we need bread, He’ll add a few fishes. If we lack strength, He’ll increase His power. When we are deficient, He is all sufficient. When we feel inferior, we remember He is superior. When we cannot, He can. We all fall short of the glory of God, but when we receive Him, we receive His glory and can come to Him with trust and expectation. God will meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, from glory to glory!
John 2:3 “And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ ”
There are many speculations on the meaning of the number of fish that were caught in obedience to the directions of the risen Lord. Aside from whatever it may represent, what is truly remarkable is that 153 fish were counted. Counting the provisions of God helps us appreciate what He does to a greater degree. It’s in the counting that we process and truly recognize how much He has done.
We can be so busy going from one thing to another that we don’t have time to stop and assess the blessings we walk through day by day. The best time to do so is at the end of each day, before we go to sleep. As we recount His provisions in the spiritual, emotional and natural realms, we recognize the abundance of what He has done. We are then able to trust Him in more areas where there may be a need. Our loved ones are included when we praise God, and in doing so a burst of love and joy floods our souls.
There is always something more to seek, but what we do have may be forgotten tomorrow. Today we have so much to rejoice over: what the Lord has done that we know about, and what we may not know about, blessings of what did happen and of what did not happen. If we are counting more trials than blessings, let’s take another count taking no thought for tomorrow and no regrets for yesterday, from glory to glory!
John 21:11 “Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.”