Not Seeking Any Reward!
“If you give you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over.”
Luke 6:38 (NLT)
The world’s rarest stamp was sold in New York a while ago for $9.4 million, or £5.6million! It’s called the “British Guiana One Cent Magenta Stamp” and was issued in 1856 after being printed in an emergency when a shipment of official stamps failed to arrive from London. Today it is considered to be the holy grail of stamps by the philatelic world. It was printed in black on red paper with a sailing ship image and the colony’s Latin motto—Damus Petimus Que Vicissim,or “We Give and Expect in Return.”
On reading this motto I just couldn’t help but reflect about God’s instruction on giving and receiving. As usual, he has a very different approach than the one that we mere mortals display. Jesus taught a totally different approach during his Sermon on the Mount when he said, “But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you” (Matthew 6:3-4). The Spanish theologian Ignatius Loyola (1493-1556), obviously thought of this when he penned the following prayer:
“Teach us, Good Lord,
To serve Thee as Thou deservest;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labour and not to ask for any reward,
Save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord,
Jesus taught this kind of giving and serving. It comes as we yield to him and we are able to follow his example by joyfully giving to others, not seeking any reward or recompense—but, surprise, surprise, our Father promises to bless us anyway. As we saw in Matthew 6 above, our generous Father is aware of our giving and rewards us openly because giving is part of his nature. “Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32 italics mine). Now; how is that for a promise?
Thank you, Father, that you are a generous giver. Help us also learn to give simply and not expect anything in return from others.
Study by Cliff Neill
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
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