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Sunday, June 29, 2014

He Said it with Flowers

bouquetGive, 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 6:38

Jesus said it and it's true. When you give away, you get back. This has happened to me numerous times. But I've been challenged afresh about my giving in terms of where my treasure is.  

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt 6:19-21

We only have a limited time, here on earth, to store up treasure in heaven. So we need to take every opportunity to do so.  

To Give
On Sunday afternoon, I was speaking in an inner city church with a tiny congregation. Because this message of treasure is consuming my thoughts at the moment, I decided to make it the subject of my message, using Matthew 14:44-46. At the end, as they always do when I visit this fellowship, they gave me the flowers that had been on the platform at the front of the church.

Normally the street outside is empty when I leave, but this Sunday there was a young woman walking past. I had the overwhelming urge to give her the flowers. Her face lit up and she hugged me. Then she told me she was on the way to visit her sister and would give the flowers to her. I got such a thrill from doing that, I felt I'd had my reward.  

To Receive
I then went on to sit in the congregation of another church which I often go to on a Sunday evening. The message was almost exactly the one I had given that afternoon using the same passage from the Bible.

At the end the minister came over to me for a chat and, for no particular reason that I could see, gave me some flowers, even more beautiful (being my favourite colour) than those I'd given away just a few hours earlier.  

Using the Right Measure
There have been times when I have given with the wrong motives. I have begun to learn that the way God measures His giving back to us is related not so much to what we give but how we give. If I give reluctantly or out of a sense of duty or compulsion, why should I expect a blessing? But if I give joyfully, joy will be measured back to me, because, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7)

Does God keep His word? Yes, He does. And He says it with flowers.

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