Merely Going or Graciously Growing
Captain Levy, a believer from Philadelphia, was once asked how he could give so much to the Lord’s work and still possess great wealth. The Captain replied, “Oh, as I shovel it out, He shovels it in, and the Lord has a bigger shovel.”
We benefit greatly from God’s rich harvest in our lives, and yet there are different types of harvest that we can also pass onto others, as we find out from the Word of God, there’s:
- The harvest of God’s physical provision, as we know from Genesis 8.22: While the earth remains, Seed time and harvest … Shall not cease.
- The harvest of our emotive giving, knowing that as mentioned in Galatians 6.7 we should,… not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
- The spiritual harvest resulting from the good news of Jesus Christ, as He spoke about in John 4.35, Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
- And finally, the eternal harvest of God’s judgment we know about from Matthew 13.30, At that time, I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.
Winston Churchill once said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’. It’s a profound statement to say we make a living by what we get, yet our lives gain meaning by what we give. Meanwhile, we know this to be the example God sets in all He gives to us, not only in our salvation through Jesus life, death and resurrection, but also in our daily provisions, our eternal promise, and the blessing when we bless others (see passages mentioned above).
From God’s wonderful gift of life and bountiful blessings, our gratefulness is displayed through the acts of our thanksgiving in generosity of giving to others. God wants us to be enriched by sharing what we have, as He asks us to invest in the harvest for others from our interest in them, demonstrated by our generous grace.Someone once said, ‘Our giving is a ‘grace’, as it demonstrates that God has met our needs, and that His grace has inclined us to give to others’ (Kent Hughes). This echoes out from the rich and varied text we find in Philippians 2.1-7, as it frames a true mindset for giving to those who have not.
This Scripture directs us away from our personal worldly concerns, to a world view that is concerned with the interests of others. That is to say, we who have, ought to be concerned with the interests of those who do not have. After all, we only have what comes from the hand of God in the first place.
During this season of Harvest, we offer our thanks to God for all we have, this is an event that compels us to consider the richness of life as defined by what we give to others who have genuine needs. It was in the interest of others, that Jesus came to give meaning to life by what He gave: His body and His blood, His very life. Jesus put the interest of everyone ever born before His own, and through the harvest of the Gospel, there is a way for everyone to rejoice at the harvest of God’s eternal judgement (Matthew 13.30).
Jesus gave the offer of salvation to those who have, and to those who do not yet have, in equal measure. His way is a model, that is as spiritually fulfilling, powerful and meaningful, as it is materially rewarding, yet unattractive and challenging. The way of Christ in harvest thanksgiving and in our selfless giving, serves as our ever-present challenge in how we live, whether that is making a meaningful living or making a meaningful life. Because, victory often comes by reaching out to those in need; by giving of ourself, praying for them, loving and serving them in whatever way we can. Perhaps in our giving we graciously grow with meaning through life, rather than just merely going through life.
Lord, in the Name of Jesus Christ, we want to praise and thank You simply because we appreciate all we have in our lives. Today we celebrate the harvest of Your provision in so many ways, yet in all we have, it is our giving that makes our living more meaningful. Help us to recognise what we give of ourselves can be the most rewarding as we become living sacrifices to Your glory. So, Father, help us to put our faith in You to work, sowing the seeds of change and hope, and as we embrace our God-given gifts, we will be strong and courageous and generous with all You have given to us, sharing and helping others through life to eternity, amen.