Monday, May 11, 2020

Another Mistaken Idea: Luke 6:38 is speaking of money

 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:12 NKJV

  In times of crisis, one constant we always see is the helpers arising. We see those who respond with actions of love, kindness, and ministering life to those who've been negatively affected. First responders bring physical aid and then we see charitable groups bringing material aid. Many sincere people will give something, no matter how small, to help.

 In the face of such charitable giving, it seemed good to share again on some more mistaken ideas. When it comes to giving there is a mistaken idea that abounds through much of the Body of Christ. The idea that Luke 6:38 is referencing financial giving and receiving. 

 I can't number the times I've seen or heard this passage referenced before an offering at a church gathering or special meeting. The idea is that if you give your money, then it will come back to you good measure, pressed down, and running over. God will give all this money plus more into your life by using men to give financially to you. 

upon hearing news like this many many people will open their wallets, grab their checkbook, or empty their pockets. What a fantastic promise! God is going to make us richer and richer because we gave in a particular offering. 

 This kind of hype and gimmickry will fatten the offering plate or donation basket, but what about when people don't see their $50 offering returning unto them by the hundreds of dollars? What then? What happens to the offering plate then? 

 Now one must convince the giver that there must be some reason they aren't seeing this kind of promised return in their life. Maybe it's because they've sinned too much. Or maybe it's because they didn't give in Faith. They didn't believe just right when they gave. Or maybe the group the giver gave to wasn't "good ground." The giver needs to give to the "right" group. The "right" group, or "good ground" is usually the ministry or church that's currently asking for the financial offering.

 I want you to see just how much confusion and discontentment arises from mistaken ideas. The first and foremost method to see if something is true or not is to look at the passage in its context and setting. I challenge you to look at Luke 6:38 in its full context.  

 Note the setting and context of this passage. Jesus is speaking about how we treat our enemies. How we treat others who've wronged us. How we look upon others without judgment and condemnation. He is speaking to us to be merciful as our Father is merciful. Not one place does Jesus mention a financial exchange between God and man. 

 So if Jesus isn't discussing a financial exchange what gives us the right to lift one verse out of its setting and try to assign some financial exchange teaching to it? God's Word is God speaking to you. It is God speaking to me. It is not, nor ever been man speaking to God how things ought to be. We don't get to pick and choose what we like or don't like based on our emotions or intellectual reasonings. We don't get to assign meanings and interpretations to passages just willy nilly. 

 It's been said before, and it's worth repeating. When we lift a text out of its context, all we have left is a con. Men have been using Luke 6 as some offering or financial exchange teaching and all they have done is bring about disappointment and heartache and setback and shipwreck to the faith of so many.  

Why are you giving?

This brings the most obvious question. Why are you giving at all? Are you giving to further advance the Kingdom of God? Are you giving so that avenues such as radio, TV, and books are paid for and made available to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and hurting world? Are you giving to fund the operation and upkeep of the local church so they can feed the flock, seek and find the lost, and impact the local community? 

 Or are you giving financially so you can be made richer? I mean really ponder that. Luke 6:38, as it has been traditionally taught, turns giving into a selfish act and not a loving one. If we are giving to get back or receive something then we are focused on ourselves and NOT the Gospel or the Kingdom of God. 

 I strongly encourage all of us as believers in Christ, to relinquish man-made ideas, mistaken ideas. Understand the Word, rightly divide the Word. Keep the Word of God in context and don't let mistaken ideas con you. 

 So let's ask again with a confident heart and mind in Christ, why do we give? We give because we are loved eternally and unconditionally by God our Good Father. Because we are loved, we can now demonstrate that love. His Love is our supply that never runs dry. 

 So we give because we love God and want to see His Kingdom advance on Earth. We give because we want to see this Gospel of Grace, the Goodness and Love of God proclaimed through every means available. We give because we belong to a family. The Family of God. We, therefore, give to the local church where the local family gathers throughout the week. And finally, we give to aid and help meet the physical needs of the truly poor and needy.

 Well, what about our own needs one may ask? What about our own financial position? No matter our financial status we should give something, even if it's just a dime. Give something. Also, we can freely give of our time and prayers. 

We aren't giving to get something. We are giving to bless others. We are blessing God's work on Earth. We are already blessed in Christ. We also have the promise He supplies our needs. So we can give generously and joyfully. 

Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus—all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate him with all our hearts! Ephesians 1:3 TPT

19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 MEV

 However, one may be inquiring if there is any passage speaking of giving and receiving. Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians. Again the purpose of giving is to be a blessing not seek after a blessing. Paul simply encourages us that when we give we won't go without or be in want, when our heart, our motive is to be a blessing when we give.

 In summation, Luke 6:38 is about giving love and mercy and forgiveness and not giving condemnation and judgment. It is telling us when we give mercy we will get mercy in abundance from those around us. Don't allow mistaken ideas to rob you from the wonderfully amazing truths of God's good Word. We give to be a blessing not to selfishly desire some personal gain. We are blessed so we are a blessing. 

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay 

No comments: