Posted by UcheIkpa on Oct 11, 2012.

click to enlarge

GIVING IS REDEMPTIVE

But mercy is above the scepter’d sway
It is enthroned in the heart of kings
It is an attribute to God Himself
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons with justice

William Shakespeare / Merchant of Venice

1 The Joy of Giving:

The times we live are hard for many, including myself. So a friend of mine gave me some money. Then I realized she had a desperate need as we talked. I decided to use a big portion of the money she gave me to buy her the need. I knew she wouldn’t like it, but I felt strongly she had a need that must be solved immediately. I felt so joyful and at peace when I did that. I could see a need in someone’s life and fill the need gave me tremendous joy. It is actually given back what God gave me through her. I felt I had even more money when I did that. Suddenly, I realized how powerful giving is, and that giving is redemptive. Despite the fact that I didn’t have money, but the little I had, I could see a need deep in someone’s life who didn’t even realize they had such need.

2 God’s Redemptive Purpose:

When ever we give: giving our talents, giving our material wealth, giving jobs to those who need it if you are able to give it, giving food or shelter to those who need it, etc., you participate and link yourself to the redemptive process of God; and the believer looks more like Jesus. Look at the Lord on the cross giving His life for the redemption of humanity; suffered in a transcendental way to purchase salvation for us. Many have rejected salvation in their life time, scorned and repudiated the Christian faith; but on their dying bed, God’s mercy still followed them-always lovingly pursuing the sinner to repent. The Scripture says: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son,” John 3:16; He gives the world peace and rest- the greatest commodity in the world. John 14:27 Ephesians 3:8, He gives the gift of grace, purchased through faith in exchange of our weakness to live the Christian life; we overcome sin and have eternal life. God has elevated our lives in a profound way, incomparable to our material attainment through His giving.

As we participate in giving, we have a glimpse of what Jesus did for us on that infamous cross. He was highly exalted by His father above every name: “That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father.” Philippians 2:10&11. The way of giving is the way of exaltation, and that is the way God wants us to take. He will exalt us when we learn to give “As you have received freely, freely give back” Mathew 10:8: whether it is the gift of financial blessing, gift of talents, gift of salvation, teaching, miracles and healing, evangelism, etc., seek to use it for the glory of God and pass it unto others.

3 When You Give, It Comes Back to You:

Luke 6:38 says: “Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over, shall men give unto your bossom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, thesame shall be measured to you again.” This is exactly true. Any time you give: whether it is materially, or help someone, or give your time to do something for someone or anything that involves selfless contribution to others, you always receive it back; not only that, you experience a kind of joy and fulfillment. You might think you are wasting your time, or you are foolish, not so. The reward of your kindness sooner or later comes back to you. That is God’s word. God honors His word. Mathew 24:35 says: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” You will surely receive back the reward of your kindness. God will never forsake you in your own hours of need if you are kind to others.

4 Better to Give Than Receive:

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 The Scripture instructs us to learn to give. You may ask how can I give or who can I give or you find it hard to give. It will change your life if you learn to give. Look around you and find people who are struggling. These are hard times. If you are a CEO or a leader able to provide jobs, don’t hesitate to hire people and give them jobs. Your life will be richer and happier that you made others happy; your destiny meaningful and fulfilling. That is what life is all about.

It is not having millions of dollars and not able to use it to help anybody. The Lord gave it to you to make the world a better place. Sometimes, I wonder about those who are rich what they do with their money when many in our societies are jobless, hopeless and homeless in our societies. You are so blessed and joyful when you learn to give, and not only receiving: and you look in disdain those not like you. You could have been like them if not “grace.” Share what you have in these hard times. It is the only way of blessing and redemption.

I was 4 years old when my father died a tragic death. He was extremely intelligent, a man of great vision far above his contemporaries in his time. He was a teacher and later became a stenographer / reporter and excelled in a unique way in what he did. He sent all his half brothers to school. He was exceptionally talented and very kind and compassionate. He left my mother 7 children to raise. My mother a young woman at the time wept and was inconsolable. They were very close and both enjoyed giving and sharing what they had with others. The people that my father helped came to our rescue like my Uncle and others. He consoled my mother and promised he would never allow us to suffer considering what my father did for them; he would do the same thing my father would have done for us. My parents gave all and shared all with people they knew and strangers; gave jobs to the needy, helped the elderly, did so much before he died. The power of giving saved my family. The seed of giving he sowed came back to redeem my family in my mother’s greatest hour of need in life. We did not know we would attend school again when he passed away, but we did. God admonishes us to learn to give and it shall be given back to you.

5 We Look More like God When We Give:

But mercy is the sceptr’d sway
It is enthroned in the heart of kings
It is an attribute to God Himself
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons with justice

William Shakespeare / Merchant of Venice

Shakespeare said mercy is enthroned in the heart of kings and we look more like God when we are merciful. When I look at those who call themselves leaders and lack this quality of mercy, or spiritual leaders; they look so hollow and people despise them. Even in Church setting, you see many desperately in need struggling and they are not helped. The heart of the Christian faith is compassion. The core of the foundational base for faith is compassion and giving. Without compassion, the Church is empty, insincere and unreal. Redemption was born through God’s compassion and mercy for humanity. “For God so loved.” These attributes drove Him to that horrible cross.

Jesus emphasized this attribute of giving so much; of caring for the poor- the needy. The Scripture records on many passages: He was moved with compassion; He wept; we do not have a high priest who is not torched with our infirmities; etc. Without the mercy and compassion of God to the sons of men, righteous or sinners, where shall we be? It is the mercy of God that upholds this world. The wickedness and sins of men and women are only offset by His compassion and mercy, if not, He could have destroyed this world because of our sins. We are witnessing many leaders across the glob and their oppressive regimes: who will deny their subjects anything, even healthcare- a matter of life and death. This attribute of compassion and mercy are disappearing in our society, and replaced with greed- where a family or individual wants to control the financial resources of nations. Even here in America, we are becoming a strong class system of just rich and poor, and those perpetuating this justify their greed as been superior and hard working individuals, but without the poor they oppress, they would not be rich.

Political and spiritual leadership have become a place of enrichment. You won’t last long as you exhibit your selfish and greedy motives. Sooner or later, you fall as a leader. This is why the world is reeling: whether it is the Western World or Third World Nations, it is this attribute of compassion and mercy lacking that is causing the problem. It is the antithesis of greed- where one person or a family wants to have the whole money that belongs to the people, and view others in disdain.

This attribute of mercy enthroned in the heart of kings makes us look more like we possess the image of God. If there is no mercy or compassion in us, we become devoid of divine attributes and nothing attractive around us; it doesn’t matter what we claim - believer or non believer. James said 2:13&14: “For he shall have judgement without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgement. What doth it profit my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have no works, can faith save him?” People amass and enrich themselves with the people’s money and impoverish them. Bank failures and corporations- it is lack of godly fear and wisdom; worse lack of empathy and in deference to what happens to others.

6 Remembered by What We Have Done:

Someday, we shall be remembered by what we have done. Someday, each of us will die, and our works will follow us. A song writer said:

Fading away like the stars of the morning
Loosing their light in the glorious day
Thus we will pass from this earth and its toiling
Only remembered by what we have done

As we interact with people in our daily lives, don’t forget God is watching; people are watching; the wicked ways openly or secretly will follow us; the good deeds openly or secretly will follow us. Then when we die, we shall only be remembered by what we have done. God strongly encourages us to be kind, merciful and compassionate, at all times, and specially be sensitive to those struggling in these hard times. What you give will come back to you even in greater measure. That is the promise of God who does not lie.

A poem written by the writer:

Immortality of Human Action:

Some people are born
They live years on earth
They live, eat and die
Sometimes, they are poor
Sometimes, they are rich
Like a dream that puzzles,
And never remembered
They are gone and forgotten
and

Some people are born
They live years on earth
They live, eat and die
Sometimes, they are poor
Sometimes, they are rich
Though they are gone
And never seen again

but
They live imprint indelible
Imprint impossible to erase and duplicate
Like a fragrance whose aroma lingers
They linger in our minds perpetually
They live in our minds forever

Links:

Rev. Uche Ikpa
amarachiruth.com
Amarachi Film Production & Publishing
cctvcambridge.org / blogs / UcheIkpa
Show: Riches of God’s Grace / Cambridge Television. B-Live