Friday, April 1, 2011

Live to Give

For God so saw fit to give to humanity, to love us, to reconnect with us, to provide a way of escape for us, to heal us, all the while we were really at odds with Him. We were at a huge disadvantage because it had been centuries since we really knew Him face to face, and had had any kind of real relationship with Him. Nonetheless, He came looking for us, sending an invitation to reconcile and be family once again. All we need to do is RSVP in a timely manner.

I wonder; of all the doctrines in the Bible, which is the hardest to live out? I suppose we could debate this question all day long, because context tends to frame most of God’s commands; not that they’re relative or adjustable, but context does count.

So again, the question looms over my heart. Which doctrine is the hardest to live out?

Without exception, I believe the “Live to Give” doctrine tends to be the hardest. As a matter of fact, I believe it was the one and only doctrine of greatest challenge to Jesus. Remember the garden of Gethsemane? Remember the thrice times question the Son presented to the Father, yet the Father was silent? His Word had already been declared; therefore He had set in motion His will, and not Jesus’.

I present this question, because though we suffer in many ways, and frankly most of us don’t suffer too much as compared to many in the rest of the world; great suffering here on earth is and has been a stark reality; yet only a minority truly know and understand the suffering ordained by God.

The pain that Christ experienced under the scourging and crucifixion was not His primary suffering. That’s right; His primary suffering was revealed in the garden when He willingly, albeit difficultly, relinquished His will to the Father’s. And in doing so, it culminated in the Father turning away from the Son in the last few moments of His life and death on the cross; ergo the tangible difficulty of such an event. Yet all for the Father’s glory.

The scourging and crucifixion were demonstrations of Christ’s passion for the will of His Father and for all of humanity; but His ultimate suffering was letting go of His will to align with the Father’s. And that my friends, IS THE SAME battle you and I face right here and right now.

The doctrine of “Live to Give” takes on many shapes and sizes, and can be expressed or experienced in a myriad of ways, but let me tell you IT IS THE GREATEST doctrine we can express or experience.

Ask yourself this, trivial life temptations notwithstanding; is giving over your will to the Father easy?

If you said yes, I’ve got a ring of keys for a little church in Altoona, Iowa that maybe needs a better leader. But if you said no, you just might be onto something. You might be onto the trail of truth that leads to life. For the Bible clearly tells us it is better to “give than to receive”; as counter intuitive to the flesh that may seem.

The absolute greatest doctrine you’ve been CALLED TO LIVE OUT is the doctrine of giving. And the Bible actually tells us to give to those who’ve offended us. It tells us to give to and bless our enemies and actually pray for them. It tells us that if we are going to be like our heavenly Father and our Brother Savior Jesus, we must be people who LIVE TO GIVE.

For the act of taking in any way shape or form, is a doctrine of demons. And we’ve been told that that doctrine will be on the increase and rampantly expressed in the “last days”; so look around its very obvious. In a world desperate and bent upon an entitlement mind set, this doctrine has found a comfortable home in the seat of many a soul; and often without struggle or argument (even within the church).

Jesus said, in essence, no greater love could ever be demonstrated, except that of one giving their life for another, and especially giving their life for the life of an enemy, yet that’s what He did, and that’s what we are called to do.

I understand the geopolitical roller-coaster that we are facing in the days ahead. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? And I know we still have an obligation to dispense justice and righteousness if and when we can, but the message of grace and mercy have NEVER been removed from the divine MANDATE. And the only way for us to properly dispense justice and righteousness is for us to first and foremost understand and dispense grace and mercy.

Until we understand the gravity of grace and mercy, in the light of our own depravity, we will never properly understand nor apply the doctrine of justice and righteousness. Oh surely you remember the plank in the eye thing don’t you? I hope so.

The next time you contemplate what you are living for; take pause to consider the hardest doctrine in the Bible; the doctrine of Live to Give. For if you are unable to even ponder this thought, it’s likely you live to take; and that my friend just might determine your eternal destiny.

Find some way today; LIVE TO GIVE!

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