February 5, 2023

The Shepherd's Corner

THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER

On Chinese New Year Santy gave ang pao to all our grandchildren.  Upon receiving the money, our four-year-old grandson told me that he would like to buy toys.  Expecting him to reply, “My money” because after all he had just received an ang pao, I asked him, “Will you use your money or my money?” He answered, “Your money.” Surprised, I then asked him, “Why?”  To which he replied, “Because I don’t want to waste my money!”  I almost had a heart attack!

We like to receive but we do not like to give, or at least, we like to receive more than to give. We can of course produce a lot of reasons why we do not give but at the end of the day, it boils down to one: We do not like to give.  We prefer receiving and keeping because we find more joy in receiving and keeping than in giving.

I think that was the reason Jesus had to promise us incentive when He commanded us to give, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put in your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38-39).  The problem is that we do not always receive “the same measure” or “running over” after we give, arithmetically. Instead of the same measure, we receive the less measure and instead of running over, we are running out.

God does not want us to live by “quid pro quo” principle—give one, get one. He wants us to live by grace—give one, get two. But to live by grace, we must first learn about generosity—give two, get one. God wants us to learn about generosity first because it, along with love, is the heartbeat of grace. There is no grace without love; there is no grace without generosity.  The test for generosity comes when it is time to give. Luke 6:38-39 is not a formula for investment; instead, it is God’s promise of grace for His generous children.  

Pastor Paul

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