“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Acts 3:6
“And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.” John 6:11
One day I had a beautiful young woman of God coming to my house to volunteer her heart and time to help me in ministry. Her birthday was the next day, and I felt a nagging worry inside of me that I needed to give her a present. After all, people love others by giving presents, don’t they? We’re to love one another by giving stuff, right? The truth is I stopped giving gifts on birthdays a long time ago except for with my Mom and rare occasions with others. The reason is simple. It’s not just that I live on a very low income as I devote my life 24-7 to the Lord and ministry. It’s that this isn’t how I love people, which I’ll get to in a minute. The worry was because my flesh thought I should do what the world teaches and run to the store and get a present. But my spirit felt something entirely different. That I need to love and give to others the way I believe God leads me.
The way I am led to love others is to love them in my heart, to edify and encourage them with my mouth, to give them my listening ear and time, to pray for them, and most importantly to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them and help them to become and remain forever followers of the Lord by helping them with the Bible and to walk in His ways, and to distribute to them the love and messages I believe God gives me for myself and for them as He teaches us to love, worship, and serve Him forever. This I do with my heart and mouth and time and with the gift of writing God has given me. And this I do borne of my boundless love for Him and passion to live and breathe for Him day and night forever.
Jesus told the disciples to give the people what He gave them. My desire is to give others what the Lord gives me in the way of His love, the Gospel message, and His Word as His Spirit leads. John and Peter didn’t give the man in need the money the man sought. The money would have only been temporary. They gave him healing in Christ’s name through their faith.
I still struggle with feeling bad when I don’t measure up to the world’s ways. But God reminds me He didn’t create us to live by the world’s standards, but instead to live by His Word to glorify Him. There’s nothing wrong with giving stuff to others; it’s a blessing to give and receive.
But let’s not forget the greatest giving is of God’s love, the Gospel message, the Word, prayer, encouragement, and our hearts, time, and service in Christ’s name to bring glory to the Lord God almighty!