I was thinking about Jesus… and I was trying to think of when he asked anyone for anything, when he took anything from anyone.
I came up with:
- The woman at the well. Jesus asked her for something to drink.
- The disciples. Jesus asked them to follow him.
- Maybe the food from the boy when Jesus fed the five thousand.
- That was about it. You may be able to think of more though.
It seems that every time Jesus asked someone for something, he did so in order to be able to give them something greater in return.
- He asked the woman at the well for a drink so that he could start a conversation that would ultimately lead to her being forgiven of her sins.
- He asked twelve men to become his disciples so he could do the same for them.
- He asked the boy with the loaves and fish so that he could feed the boy AND everyone else. Imagine, for the rest of your life being the guy who gave Jesus your lunch so he could feed five thousand people with it!
Jesus gave and gave and gave, not so that he could put himself in a position to ask for something back but so that he could give some more.
I love following Mike Ellis on Twitter. Mike is a great guy and a wonderful brother in Christ – he’s also a marketing man. Mike talks all the time about giving, giving and more giving in the social media world. His reasoning is that you have to give to receive.
I’m not going to dispute that. In this day and age, companies need to give before people will buy, that’s the nature of competition in this day and age.
Jesus was teaching us something different though. He taught us to give, give, give and give some more and, if we need anything, to take our needs to God in prayer.
I love the Autobiography of George Muller. If you’ve never read it, I totally recommend it. Mr Muller lived a life totally dependent on God. He gave and gave and gave and would not ask man for anything. Everything he needed he got on his knees and prayed for.
Maybe he was a little extreme but I think we can all learn something from him. How often do you give in the hope that you will get something back? How often do you give to receive?
I want to live my life as Jesus modelled. I want to give, give, give. Not to receive but just to give.
As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.