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By Braxton King
“A man there was, though some did count him mad, the more he cast away the more he had,” is a quote from John Bunyan’s book, “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”
What an amazing statement to sum up the truth of gospel giving. The Bible says it this way, “Give, and it shall be given onto you; good measure, press down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give in to your bosom. For the measure that you use, it will be measured back to you again.” So, John Bunyan’s statement is true, the more he gave, the more he had. The Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all sin.” That’s an amazing statement-all sin is produced by the love of money. Notice, it doesn’t say money is the root of all sin, but that the love of money is the root of all sin. You can literally say, “Stingy people are the root of all sin.”
The wisdom of the world says those who have the most stuff are the winners. In God’s kingdom, it’s those who are giving away the most stuff that are the winners. Jesus set the greatest example of this by giving his own life away at Calvary. Giving encompasses more than our money. Giving is our time, love, talent, hope, peace, and so many other things. One of the most famous scriptures out of all of the Bible starts with these words, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son.”
The Bible also reads, “And he said to them, take heed and beware of covetousness: for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses”. Someone said, “You can separate the men from the boys by the amount of their toys.: This is a crass and evil way to look at life. Jesus said very clearly that our life does not consist of the abundance of the things we possess. God does not mind man having possessions, but he does not want those possessions having the man.
Jesus said, “What does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul?” Notice the terms there, gain and loss. That means in the eyes of the world you could have a gain, but in the eyes of the kingdom of God it could be a great loss. I can’t take my truck, or my house, or my books with me when I die, but I can take people with me. What is really important? What is really eternal? Where do I put the value of life, on things or on people?
Giving on this realm is a kingdom principle, and will require the grace of God to live it out. But by his grace and his mercy, we can be givers in a world of takers. The Bible says, it’s more blessed to give than to receive.