Sharing the Love
September 9, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. - John 3:16 NKJV.
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? - Romans 8:32 NKJV.
For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. - Matthew 25:35-36 NKJV.
In the German town of Aschaffenburg the unexpected occurred. Someone began giving away money. Now we are used to seeing people standing at intersections with signs asking for money in some way or the other but this time the man had a sign saying, “I am not unemployed or homeless. I have a wife. I am well. That's why I'd like to give you a Euro.” It was still a fearful sight for some who called the police thinking it was a scam of some kind. When the police questioned the man, they found out that he had recently retired, and was celebrating by giving away some of his money. He simply wanted to share his happiness with others.
It is such a rare thing for anyone to give anyone anything that it is at times shocking and almost frightening. However, for Christians it should not be that way. We ought to be the most giving of all peoples in every way. God has given us the ultimate example of love and the ultimate example of giving. Prior to Jesus being born as a tiny human baby upon this earth, there was something that preceded that event. That something was love. “God so loved the world….” God so loved this world that Jesus left the glories and comforts of Heaven to come to this earth and live as a human being. In love, God gave the greatest gift of all. In love, Jesus walked upon this earth and suffered and died upon that cruel Roman cross. In love, Jesus is today at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.
Did you notice in John 3:16, in describing the greatest of all acts of giving, that there is not a single mention of money? To follow the example of Jesus in giving it is usually not necessary to give money. It is expected that you will, but the greatest acts of giving are not necessarily monetary.
Jesus was given in love. There is another word that describes this act of giving and that word is, sacrificially. Jesus was given as a sacrifice for all sins, once for all (Romans 6:10). It is an example for us that when we give, we should give sacrificially. It should cost us something, again not necessarily money, but it should be of value to us to be of a sacrificial nature.
There is at least one more word that describes the great gift of Jesus and that word is, willingly. Jesus willingly was given, and willingly went through the agonies of death on the cross. That should be our attitude as we follow the example of Jesus in giving. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 we are told, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” The context of the verse is about the giving of money. However, it is a spiritual principle that we can see demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus. That attitude of willingness must be present, whenever we give anything if we want to please God with our gifts.
As Christians, if we want to follow in the steps of our Lord Jesus, we must be giving people. We must also give lovingly, sacrificially, and willingly.