Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

(Luke 6:38)

Do you have a heart for the harvest?

By Dr. Don Sisk

MURFREESBORO | November 2017

As we reflect at Thanksgiving on what the Lord has given us, we are reminded of his command to give, and the promise of what he will do if we give. God promises to provide for us as we depend on him. He wants us to trust in his provision.

Giving to missions means giving by faith, and claiming the promise that God will provide for us as we depend on him. It’s called faith-promise, or grace giving, and it’s all about commitment. When we  look at the commitment card for our faith-promise missions giving, it says, “By dependence upon God’s provision, I will endeavor to give X number of dollars toward the missions program of my church, believing that if I am willing, God is able.”

Just as the Bible says:

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 

(2 Corinthians 9:8)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everybody, all the teenagers, all young adults, all the men, all the women, would give something to missions, just as God wants us to? Every man as he purposes in his heart:

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

(2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

In Luke chapter 6, God tells us simply to give, and it shall be given to us “in good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over”—probably in reference to a bushel of wheat. You put the wheat in the bushel and you put your hands in it and press it down, then shake it a little bit, then put some more in and press it down, shake it a little bit, and then you fill it all way to top.

In reality, God is saying that whatever you give to God, he’s going to give you a whole lot more back. It’s that simple.

For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 

(Luke 6:38)

The word “give” is found 811 times in the English Bible. The great majority of the times it is in reference to what God has given, will give, or is giving to us. The apostle James reminds us that everything we have, we got from God:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” 

(James 1.12)

You might say, “Well, I work hard for what I’ve got.” Really? You could live in a country where there were no jobs available, or you might be unable to work.

In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul asks a rhetorical question:

“What hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” 

(1 Corinthians 4:7)

In other words, why are you bragging about what you have, when it all came from God? God owns everything. When we trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, we became children of God and he became our Father, and our Father owns the universe.

So what does God desire from me in return?

“And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?”

(Deuteronomy 10:13)

Notice the words, “for thy good.” God is not a killjoy. He knows what we ought not do, because it would not be good for us. And when he tells us to do something, he’s not trying to overload us, but is saying it will be good for us.

What God desires, and what God deserves

God desires—and deserves—my trust, and my love. In Luke 6:38 God is saying, “whatever you give to me, I’m going to give something a whole lot better than that back to you.”

When I give the Lord my soul, when I trust him as my Lord and Saviour, the Bible simply says this: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.”

In reality, when I trust him, I’m receiving something from him. “He came unto his own and his own received him not, but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

When I realized I could not save myself and trust him, he gave me eternal life. He washed away all of my sins, cast them in the sea of forgetfulness, put them as far from him as the east is from the west, and told me he would never remember them before us again. He gives us wonderful things when we trust him.

And when we give our lives to the Lord, God beseeches us “to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God for your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

What happened? When you give your life to the Lord, he is now your Father. He knows more about you that you know about yourself, and whatever he tells you to do, is the best thing for you to do. The best place, and the safest place in the world is where God wants to put you.

We give ourselves to the Lord, we sacrifice ourselves, and we say “I will do anything you want me to do, go anywhere you want me to go”, and God does some wonderful things.

Whatever you give to God, he will give you something a whole lot better back to you. But he desires my trust. He desires my love. Remember, Jesus said to Peter three times: “Simon loves thou these more than me?” He wanted to be sure.

He wants us to trust him, and he wants our love, our heart:

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

(Matthew 6:19-21)

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. If you have a burden for souls, you will go soulwinning. If you love missions, you will give to missions. You can’t go out and see the condition of mankind and not have a burden for people. But if you sit at home and never go out knocking on doors, and never help anybody, you are not going to have a burden.

If you begin to give to missions, the first thing that’s going to happen is that you are going to have a great interest in missions.

You let me see your budget, or your checkbook or credit card account, and I will show you exactly what you love. Where your treasure is, that’s where your heart is.

What does our giving prove? When I give my tithe, and give my offering, what does that prove? It proves that I trust God. It proves I believe the Bible. God has made the promises. In the Bible, time after time, there’s the promise—bring the first fruits to the Lord and your barns are going to be filled, give and it shall be given unto you.

The term “faith-promise” means that you purpose, or plan in your heart an amount to give to missions by faith, and God promises to make all grace abound toward you (2 Corinthians 9:6) as you give cheerfully, not grudgingly—“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

It’s a matter of the heart, and purpose, and trust, and love.

MESSAGE

Dr. Don Sisk

This is an edited version of a message preached by Dr. Sisk at the Franklin Road Baptist Church’s 2017 missions conference. Dr. Sisk serves as president and general director emeritus of Baptist International Missions, Inc., and is chairman of the missions department of West Coast Baptist College, a ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church, California.

 

MESSAGE

Dr. Don Sisk

This is an edited version of a message preached by Dr. Sisk at the Franklin Road Baptist Church’s 2017 missions conference. Dr. Sisk serves as president and general director emeritus of Baptist International Missions, Inc., and is chairman of the missions department of West Coast Baptist College, a ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church, California.