The “give and gain” principle or What’s precious to you?

July 24, 2012 — 2 Comments

Last week I shared about Bob’s incredible act of generosity .

Since then, I’ve been thinking about how I sometimes struggle to give back to God a portion of what He has given to me– even though I have so much more than Bob.


I started to wonder what enabled Bob to be so generous towards God. The very next day I read Psalm 19 and was struck by this verse:

The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous.
  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;

is this your precious?

I realized that one reason why Bob can give so much of his money away is because he understands the wealth he has in God’s word. Psalm 19 describes what a treasure this really is, how it is:

  • perfect
    trustworthy
    right
    radiant
    firm
    precious
    sweet

And Bob has experienced the riches that come from this treasure. Psalm 19 says that God’s word gives:

  • refreshment for the soul
    wisdom
    joy
    light
    warning
    reward

I think Bob can give back to God generously because God’s commands are more valuable to him than money. He knows they give him what he can’t buy.

Think about it
How much money does it take to buy wisdom?
You can pay for knowledge at a top university
but obtaining wisdom is priceless.

How much money does it take to buy joy?
You can spend all you have on new clothes,
and the latest electronics,
and wonderful vacations,
and delicious meals at the best restaurants,
but joy is not for sale.

How much money does it take to refresh your soul?
You can distract yourself with games
or internet surfing
or alcohol
or food
but peace comes from knowing that God, in His great mercy, has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in heaven for you. [I Peter 1:3-4]

Give and Gain
That’s why Jesus taught his disciples the ‘give and gain principle’:

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
[Matthew 16:26]

Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for Me will find it. [Matthew 16:24-25]

That’s the paradox of God’s grace:
lose your life for Jesus, and you will gain your soul.

That’s how I can develop a generous heart towards God:
by focusing on what I gain from His precious treasure.

I’ve seen this truth in people who have come to know the worth of God’s word.
Some of these followers of Jesus are very poor and some are very rich.
But they have all learned the lesson of giving up what they cannot keep to gain what they cannot lose: an inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade.

♦◊♦

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.
In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
John 1:1-4

2 responses to The “give and gain” principle or What’s precious to you?

  1. 

    I’ve been pondering a lot lately about what it means to deny myself. Paul said it beautifully: I no longer live, but it is Christ who lives in me. I empty myself, deny my existence for my own sake and let the Holy Spirit dwell in me and guide me. Then he uses me, his empty vessel, to love and forgive those around me. I don’t get it right all the time, and I thank God that his mercies are new each morning. But the joy in feeling that love flow through me is amazing!

  2. 

    That is wonderful to hear! It’s so true that being filled with the riches of God’s mercies requires first being emptied.

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