"If one gives, he will also receive," I often hear, and it is true. But how about this statement often included with the promise: "Yes, if one gives, he'll receive, the Lord says. But you shouldn't give in order to receive." Hear this sentence, and it will almost surely be followed with a chorus of amens!
Does God promise that we will receive if we give? Without question. Could we review some examples?
Luke 6:38 says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you..."
Proverbs 11:25 says, "The liberal soul shall be made fat..."
Galatians 6:7 says, "...whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The context in Galatians 6 is giving to one who has taught Bible truth.
So, okay, give and you'll receive is true. Should I believe that? Stated differently, should I live by faith and trust God to keep His promise? Well, the answer is most certainly, "Yes."
If I live expecting to receive when I give, then what would be wrong with giving "in order" to receive? "That's wrong," some would say. "Your motive for giving is wrong!"
Why? I should give. The Lord said so. I will receive when I give. God says so. I should expect it then. I should live by faith, trusting God to keep His promises so that when I give, I expect to receive.
"Yes, but motive, Bill - motive," I can hear some saying.
Okay, forget the fact that neither you nor I can really know heart motives, and let me ask another question. If one who gives, a giver, expects to receive when he gives, what will he do with that which he receives?
Is it then all right for one to have a desire to give? Certainly. Great! If you have a desire to give, how will you have anything to give? The answer: believe God's promise. Give in order to receive, in order to give. Let me say it this way - give to get to give.
Have you ever heard your pastor ask for a special offering for a specific need?
"The church is helping Missionary Smith in Africa build a church building. Our goal is to send five thousand dollars!"
"Praise the Lord," you think. "I'd love to help, but I just can't."
Why not? Remember "give to get to give"? If you will be a giver, you will be a getter, and you will be able to give. How in the world do you think the widow who gave her two mites was able to give? She gave even though she was a "poor widow." She was able to give because she had given!
I can almost hear someone say, "Are you sure this will work, Bill?" Hey, don't ask me; ask the One who made the promise. His answer will do more for your faith than mine ever could.
By Evangelist Bill Rice III
copied from the Branding Iron, February-March 2012, Vol. 51 - No. 1
photo courtesy of Royce Bair