How do you and I go beyond just existing and live a life that is truly worth living? How do we have an abundant life? In this broken world is there such a thing? The message the world seems to scream at us is to focus on our own happiness, our individual well-being and what’s good for me. Getting as much as I can. Excess and more and more is the message of the society we live in. But is that really the ultimate goal? Is that all there is? What if there is more? Maybe just maybe the joy of living is found in the joy of giving and not in the joy of getting. After all, doesn’t a life worth living ultimately come down to giving? Spurgeon said that “giving is true having.” The truth is there is no life worth living without giving, without generosity. Matthew 6:19-21(NLT) tells us, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
Is it important to God for us to live this giving way? For God so loved that He gave….. Isaiah 58:7-9(NLT) gives a pretty good indication of how God feels about this giving way of life. “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer.‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.” This world that we live in is broken. It’s aching. It’s in need. Christ gives his gifts through us to this broken and aching world. He gives to us but not so that we can hoard and hide but so that we can give and bless.
But what if we still feel like that what we have to give is not enough? Can our small acts of giving really change the world? Change our own lives? The truth is that every gift given creates a ripple effect that keeps going. Research says that those who give have reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and increased endorphins. If the physical benefits don’t convince you that this giving way is the best way to live wait until you experience what God does with the giving life. Luke 6:38 tells us that when you give your life away, it’s not just given back but given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way.
The only way to have true life is to give of the gifts you have been given. We all have time, talents and treasure that we can give away. Because, if our life isn’t about giving then we don’t have a real life. So often we want to hold tight-fisted onto what we have for fear that if we let it go, we will not have enough. How many times do we use this as an excuse to keep ourselves from giving? Matthew 6:26-34 clearly lets us know that we do not have to worry about what we will eat, drink or wear. Our heavenly Father will take care of our needs and make sure that we have enough. How often do we give but hold back on what we give because of the fear of not having enough? Do we ever give to where we feel true sacrifice? We don’t have to be void of need in order to meet the needs of others. We can’t be consumed with caring most about our comfort. Will we be the ones to live a life of giving, to keep our eyes open to the needs around us, to not just talk about being Christ-like but will we be the hands and feet of Christ to those in need? Will we realize that to live in abundance means to give sacrificially? It’s up to us to decide if we will live filling our lives with more and more stuff or if we will give so that we can have more of what we really desire, more of Him and His abundance because when we give to the least of these, we are giving to the Lord, (Matthew 25:40).
But compassion isn’t just a once in awhile action. It has to become our everyday lifestyle. Living by giving to those who can’t repay you is the way to abundance in God. We just celebrated Easter and Jesus didn’t hold onto His life, but He gave. God so loved the world that He gave. So what can you give? Your gift will not look the same as the person next to you, and that’s okay as long as you give from your abundance. The way to abundance is in giving. So give out of your abundance to those in need. While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Luke 21:1-4) The widow got it. The way to abundance in God is to give to God.
So what kind of life do you want? Are you ready for the abundant life? The giving way of life? Compassion Services International has many projects around the world that minister to the physical and spiritual needs to some of the world’s neediest and most vulnerable citizens. We know that you have many choices when it comes to giving and we are so thankful to each one of you who supports this ministry. Live abundantly today!