Upside Down Kingdom
Giving is Receiving
Matthew 16:24 (NLT)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
The cross represents unspeakable pain, humiliation and suffering – but it is also the symbol of His absolute, unconditional, all powerful, infinite love! At the cross, Jesus won our salvation and restored our relationship with God, which is completely free but certainly not cheap! It didn’t cost us anything – but it was very, very costly!
To follow Jesus means to do what He does, to be just like Him, to display His character in ALL that we do!
Matthew 10:7-8 (NLT)
7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
ESV says – “You received without paying; give without pay.”
The Message says – “You have been treated generously, so live generously.”
Luke 6:38 (NLT)
38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
This is definitely not the way of this world – this world is all about greed and self indulgence!
ME ME ME
“How does this help me?” “Wait what do I get out of this?”
“Of course I deserve it” “I want it” “I NEED it” “Just give it to me!”
Definition of ~ Selfishness: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.
This has become the attitude of our modern world, especially in Western civilizations. People concentrate on themselves—having an inward focus. This is because people think in the short term, how this will help them now, not how it will impact others later. Slowly, over time, people have become more selfish and greedy and there are major repercussions.
Luke 12:13-15 (NLT)
13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
What is life measured by?
And how is love expressed?
John 3:16 (NLT)
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
How did God express His love for us? He gave!
Someone once said ~
“You can give without loving,
But you cannot love without giving.”
This is the culture of The Kingdom of Heaven – expressing love through giving
Proverbs 21:26 (NLT)
26 Some people are always greedy for more (kingdom of this world),
but the godly love to give (Kingdom of Heaven)!
Proverbs 11:24 (NLT)
24 Give freely and become more wealthy (Kingdom of Heaven);
be stingy and lose everything (kingdom of this world).
Matthew 25:29 (NLT)
29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.