If you belong to any Christian assembly or you have visited one before, chances are that you must have heard something about giving and getting blessed one way or another. It could be written on the offering envelope, it could be projected on the screen or the lead Pastor would have announced it
“Give and it shall be given unto you, good measures, shaken together, pressed down and running over…”
This popular quotation is gotten from Luke 6:38 and is credited to Jesus. However, Jesus was not talking about money, he was not talking about offering, he was saying entirely something different. What Jesus said here is more close to “one good turn deserves another” than what we understand the statement to be.
TRADE BY BARTER IS NOT GOD’S SYSTEM
To get the context of what Jesus was saying, let’s read from the previous verse
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:37-38 NIV
Can you see that now? Jesus was not saying we should give offering and it will be given back to us. Jesus was not referring to giving in the broad sense, he was very specific about what he wanted to address. He was discouraging his audience from judging others unnecessarily because the same standard they used to judge others will be used even much more against them.
WE RECEIVE BY ASKING
To receive from God, we were never asked to give. Let’s see what Jesus said concerning this
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Luke 11:9-10 NIV
There was no condition attached to asking, Jesus didn’t say we should ask after we have given some offering, he didn’t say we should give certain seeds to validate our request. The rule is very simple and straight forward “ask!”
If you desire something from God, whether it is an idea, prosperity, direction, health and so on, Jesus said we should ask! Everyone is qualified to ask and we must receive answers. These answers do not come in our own defined timeline, it doesn’t come the way we think but it surely comes. We ask with the assurance that answers will come from God. Peter wrote saying
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
God cares for us, his care is not dependent on what we give, he just cares and all we have to do is ask!
A FRAGRANT OFFERING
Let’s see something that happened between Paul and some believers after they had given material gifts to him, he wrote saying
“I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:18-19 NIV
Paul described their gift as a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. We know very well that meeting the needs of ministers of the gospel is a way to give to God, giving to the needy is yet another way.
Paul blessed them and reminded them that their needs are met according to the riches of God in Christ. Paul never implied that God would bless them because they gave, however, their gift to Paul stirred Paul to release a fatherly blessing to them.
Many times, one of the reasons it seems our Pastor’s blessings does not affect our businesses is because many of us do not even believe in their ministry, we believe they can just teach us the word of God but we do not believe their words can have an impact to our physical well-being. It is difficult or almost impossible to be blessed by a ministry you don’t believe in.
When we do not believe the ministry of our Pastors, it is of no use submitting under them or pretending to be under them. The blessings of a Pastor is simply a reminder of what God has done, it is meant to birth a consciousness in you and make you place demands or stretch forth to receive boldly.
Whether it is your earthly parents, your Pastor, your leaders, an elderly person and just anybody you look up to, you can get to their hearts with your gifts. The Bible says
“A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” – Proverbs 18:16 NIV
However, we need to understand something about Paul’s prayer or I’d rather call it a reminder. He only reminded them that God is faithful to supply their needs, he wasn’t saying that their needs will be supplied on the condition that they gave him gifts, he was only reminding them that as much as they had given, they will not run out of divine supply.
It is not like what we see today where a Pastor would say “come and sow a seed of a thousand dollars so that God will open the heavens over you and pour the anointing of a million dollars on you”, that would be a scam! Paul never raised funds in that guise. What was given to him was called a gift, not seeds. To Paul, it was a gift and to God, it was an offering. They gave to Paul not only for his sake but for the sake of God’s work.
GIVING IS LOVE AND FAITH; A ROOM FOR MORE
We can’t bribe God into giving us anything. When we give for the furtherance of the gospel, we are giving out of what God has blessed us with. God has already released his blessings to us, they are not up for purchase, it has been released. Faith and mercy are how we receive them.
Nevertheless, while giving is not how we receive, giving can also be how we make room to receive more. This is just so true at all levels. Giving is how we express love but also a means of expressing our faith. We don’t give to get, we give knowing that we will get.
When we give to the needy and for the furtherance of the gospel knowing that God supplies all our needs according to his riches in glory or when we give out of what God has given us, we are saying “I know God has supplied provisions to me. I am giving this out because I trust that I will receive more of what God has made available to me.”
When we give, we receive. We don’t receive because we gave. Our giving can be expressions of faith in God. As a result, I am not afraid to give because my riches are not counted based on what I have and what I don’t have. It is based on what God has.
WE ARE BLESSED, WE ARE BEING BLESSED
In summary, God has blessed us and God is still blessings us, not because we gave but because he is faithful never to fail us. When we ask we receive but when we give out of what God has blessed us with, we are making room for more and we are expressing our love and faith in God. More so, as givers, we are availing ourselves as channels through which God’s blessings flow to others.
The true understanding of giving doesn’t make us stingy towards people, it prepares us and launch us into the realm of cheerful giving, a realm where there is so much consciousness of what God has already given to us. Many people are in this realm without even knowing, they think they are receiving because they are giving but they are receiving because they are conscious of the fact that God supplies all their needs and therefore they shouldn’t be hesitant to give.