“All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.” (Proverbs 21:26,NIV)
Greetings and welcome to message number 3 of 10 in our Ten Ways to Love series. I know that this series is moving along rather slowly, and I had the intention of speeding up the pace of my messages…but sometimes our intent and what really happens are two different things. I wrote this in another post, but I’ve come to understand that my greatest job right now is being Elisabeth’s daddy…and that as much as I would like to pick up the pace of the output of messages…I just can’t help but to stop and watch her. I didn’t get to do most of this stuff the first time I had a daughter…and I find that I really don’t want to miss a moment. This ministry is very important to me as well, but there are times that I just get so distracted because I can’t help, but stop and be entertained by my daughter. I’m not apologizing or making excuses…I’m just being honest enough to say that I am going to try to pick up the pace of my writing…but not at the expense of my daughter. So, I hope you’ll continue to be patient with me, and while we have the lengthy breaks that will give you a chance to check out the more than 300 other messages I’ve written.
So, we return to this series to talk about giving without sparing. I had to look it up to get some ideas of what to say, and of course I’m relying upon the Holy Ghost to help me to write as He always does. Believe with me that the Holy Ghost will help me to pen a message that will be received by hearing ears and hearts that will be receptive and responsive. Amen!?!
Today’s Message – “Give Without Sparing”:
The third of ten ways to love is to give without sparing. I looked at several translations of this verse before settling on the NIV translation of this verse. I think it gives the best translation of where the Holy Ghost wants to take this message. I was nervous at first because I really didn’t know quite what to write or say about this subject, and then as I read the verse translated this way it hit me. So, let’s look at it again, shall we?
“All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.”
At first glance and in most cases this verse is talking about a slothful person. A slothful person is a long-term for someone who is more than just lazy…the literally have no ambition to do anything. Some of us have teenagers that are quite slothful. Maybe that will help you to understand the meaning behind the word slothful. I’m not saying all of us do, but there are some that don’t really take initiative or have the ambition to do anything…that’s odd to me because when I was a kid I couldn’t stand to be cooped up in the house for too long. I always needed to be out doing something, going somewhere, riding my bike, playing baseball, or just exploring the city the further and further my parents allowed me to go out. This isn’t the subject of my message, relax. I’m not going to talk about lazy people or anything like that…as long as I’m not lead to go in that direction. I’m just trying to give us an illustration of what I’m about to get into because I think it will help me write it as well as you to read it and understand what we’re talking about today.
The best help I could find in what we’re about to talk about comes from the Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible and it reads:
He coveteth greedily all the day long,…. The slothful man does, as he has nothing to do to employ his time and his thoughts with; he is always craving something to eat and drink, or wishing he had such an estate, or so much wealth and riches, that he might live as such and such persons do; and this is what his head runs upon all the day long;
When you think about this in the context of the end of the verse that says the righteous give without sparing, and then you tie it into loving people…then you come to understand that love isn’t greedy with their time, their possessions, their money…and when they give it…they give (as another translations says) without holding anything back.
The rest of what I found via
Ironically, at the time my wife and I are watching the entire 6 seasons of “Lost” on Netflix. The thing that strikes me is all of these characters in this show have a difficulty in expressing themselves in love fully. They love to a point, but they’re always holding something back. There’s always something that they’re just not willing to give the other person (of themselves) in order to fully commit to loving the other person.
You see, friends. Love isn’t selfish. Love also doesn’t hold back. In order to truly love someone you have to be willing to give of yourself freely without holding anything back. That’s not to say you need to be an open book or open wallet for everyone…but what it is saying is that when you have that opportunity to find someone who you truly love…you must be willing to give freely…and give without holding back.
Have y’all ever watched the movie Fireproof? I know, a movie and a television show in the same message from me is quite rare, but I guess sometimes watching those things will help. After all, Fireproof is a Christian movie. Anyways, remember when Caleb was first starting to do the infamous “Love Dare”? He came to the day where he had to buy her something that said he loved her, and he bought her this sad-looking bouquet of flowers? Remember when he called he asked how much stuff was, and he haggled them down until he got what he thought would be just enough to get by? Remember how that didn’t go over very well.
You see. One of the other things love doesn’t do, and I haven’t read the other points yet…but if this isn’t on there then this will be free information. Love doesn’t count the cost. In fact, when you truly love someone when you buy them something…you don’t even keep the receipt. When you give of yourself…do you give fully whether they return anything to you or not? Can you imagine if God loved us that way? If He loved us that way…do you think that He would’ve sent Jesus to the Cross? If He gave sparingly…I’d be willing to bet that He wouldn’t have laid down His own life…He might have had one of His angels do it…but the Bible says that God loves us so much that He didn’t even spare His own Son’s life.
There’s the example of giving without sparing I was waiting to get to so that we could really run with this message, and now that I have it I found the Holy Ghost…and that means I’ve also found where we are going with this message. This isn’t going to be about marriages or anything else.
You know, friends, when I really think about the first couple of messages in this series…I come to a place where I’d be afraid of what would happen if God loved us the way we loved one another. In the first message we said that we love by listening without interrupting, in the second message we said that we love by speaking without accusing, and now we’re talking about giving without sparing.
Think about it. What if God interrupted us when we were praying? What if we started praying: “Dear Lord Jesus, thank You…” and God was like: “Did you like the beautiful day I made for you today?”, and you’re like “Yes, Lord, but I wanted to thank” and God was like: “What do you need?” and you’re like: “I’m trying to tell you, Lord, but” and He’s like: “I am busy, can you check back later?”. That’s silly, Pastor Bryan. God wouldn’t ever do that to us. I know He wouldn’t…so why do we do that to one another. I’m not going to go back over everything I said in the message. If you missed it just click on: Ten Ways To Love – Listen Without Interrupting, and you can read that message in it’s entirety. But, we act like what we have going is far too important to just sit and listen to people without interrupting them. Aren’t you glad God doesn’t treat us that way? I know I am.
I know we all ought to be thankful that He doesn’t love us like we love one another with the next point. We all know that God has so much to accuse us of that if we dare accuse someone else we ought to think about the people who brought the adulterous woman to Jesus. God knows every single thing we ever did or are ever going to do…yet we think we’re loving our Christian brothers and sisters by pointing out the specks and logs in their eye…when we completely forget about the trees that are sticking out of our own. The Bible talks about how we live in glass houses, but so many of our homes are busted up shards of glass because we throw rocks at everyone…accusing and judging people like God isn’t on the throne…and He is somehow hiring out His job. We accuse everyone of being hypocrites and worse…but we forget about all the stuff that God could write in the sand of our lives for everyone to see. The Bible says that the devil is the accuser of the brethren…and I would just like to say that if you’re always accusing people of stuff…then you might want to take a moment to repent and ask God to forgive you for being on the devil’s payroll. Again, I’m not going to re-hash what I wrote in message number 2 if you’d like to read that message click here: Ten Ways To Love – Speak Without Accusing.
So, now we get this message. We know that God loved us so much that He gave without sparing His Son…what if God gave like we do? What if God loved us, but instead of sending Jesus to die in our place He made one of His Angels do it? That’s a crazy thing to say, Pastor Bryan. I know it is, but think about the what if in that scenario for a moment…and then think about it in the context of how you love and give. What if God us forgiveness, but held back healing? What if God gave us healing for our bodies, but held back salvation for our souls? You tell me this is silly, but this is what we do. We think we give the people we love so much, but are we? Do we really give without holding anything back or as another translation says give expecting to receive something in return?
Do you realize that God sent His Son to die for a world full of people who would still choose to not just reject Him, but mock Him and make jokes at His Son’s expense. This Son that God sent in the world to die in our place KNOWING that people would not just reject the ONLY acceptable sacrifice that would allow us to be reconciled to Himself…but that there would be people who would purposely mock and make fun of not only Jesus, but those of us who choose to call upon the name of Jesus to be saved. Do you know that God doesn’t expect us to accept Jesus? God gave us free will to choose whether to accept Jesus or reject Him.
Of course none of us are capable of loving or giving like God loves us and gave Himself for us, but the whole point of this series is learning how God loves us so that we can learn how to love others like He loves. When are we going to come to a place where we figure out that our capacity to love and give isn’t as limitless as we think…nor as unconditional as we think. There’s always a limit on what we’re willing to share and give…but when you find someone who truly loves and accepts you for who and what you are…that’s one of the greatest ways that someone can love you. When you find someone who chooses to accept you and love you as is…without expecting you to change and become who they want you to be…that’s loving someone without condition…and a start when it comes to learning how to give without holding anything back.
The rest of what I found via Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible reads as follows:
but the righteous giveth and spareth not; not gives to the slothful, which does not restrain his desire, as Ezra interprets it, but to the poor and necessitous, to proper objects; a good man will work with his hands, that he may have a sufficiency for himself and his family, and may have something to give to others that are in want; and “he spares not”, or withholds not his hands, neither from working nor from giving.
There was a time when I was a slothful person, and I’m glad to say that God has helped me to overcome that type of behavior. I have learned the value of having a good work ethic, and I’ve also learned that wanting to keep up with the Jone’s so-to-speak only leaves you bitter and comparing yourself to people whom God isn’t comparing you to nor is He expecting you to be. He didn’t create us to be more like so and so or to have what so and so has. He created us to be whom He wants us to be, to have what He desires for us to have, and when we look at other people’s stuff and wish it was ours…we’re simply being ungrateful to Him and telling Him that we don’t appreciate what He’s blessed us with.
A good man will do whatever is necessary for the sufficiency of himself and his family, and may have something to give others that are in want…and he spares not…
There’s a part of me that wants to be the breadwinner of this household, but with a criminal history like I have the best I’ve been able to do is grunt work for companies that have very little loyalty, care very little about their employees, and don’t really appreciate them. In the last job I had before I became a stay at home dad…I learned how to work and give of myself the way that this verse describes, and even though I eventually got fired because I couldn’t control my tongue…I am proud of what I did for them. The hours were extremely difficult, and the work was basically tedious and thankless. Still, I didn’t do the job the way I did for my benefit, but because everyone at the place I was working at was depending upon me to establish the reputation I did for our company with this particular corporation. I saved a lot of jobs because of my willingness to give of myself and work my behind off to get us established so that we would eventually be entrusted and gain favor for more stores and opportunities to put our product in their stores.
Today, however, I’m providing for my family in a different way. I’ve been a stay at home parent since I was let go from my job, and have come to understand that what I’m doing right now is the most important thing I can. Sure, we miss the income I brought in, but by being home I save our family the expense of child care. I am also able to catch the things I missed out the first time I was a parent, and I’m establishing a bond with Lizzie that you can’t put a dollar amount on. I’m also able to devote more time to studying and serving the Word of God. Sure, I am aware that I haven’t really increased the output of messages, and I really don’t have a better reason other than I still need to better learn how to balance my time. But, I’m fulfilling the call of God on my life…so far God has provided for our family. We still have my wife’s income, but we have to rely upon God’s provisions now more than ever because we have five mouths to feed, and four bodies to keep clothes on…and five heads to keep a roof over. So, being able to do this without freaking out is new to me.
I can think of a time when I would’ve been freaked out to go this long without a job…even knowing that by being home I’m saving us the expense of child care and establishing a priceless bond with my daughter. However, today, I fully trust that God is going to continue to provide, and I also believe that being a stay at home parent is only for a season…and that season is eventually going to come to an end…unless He allows me to win the Mega Millions or something like that…but in reality…thinking about winning the lottery is the same as being slothful…and I don’t want to be slothful with my time, Amen!?!
All my life the only thing I’ve desired to become is a good man. I haven’t always been a good man, but I’ve always wanted to be one. As I finish up this message I can see that God’s helped me to become the good man I’ve always hoped to be. I have to admit that I had lost faith that I’d ever become the person I am today, but that’s what is awesome about God…He never gives up on us…even when we give up on ourselves. He just continues to faithfully work in our hearts and on our lives to bring us to a place where we recognize that He’s taken Romans 8:28 and applied it to your life.
The reason I do this today is part of the giving of myself without sparing. It’s about operating in the calling of God and using the ability to write He gave me to share messages like this. So that hopefully it will encourage you to know that if He never gave up on me that He hasn’t given up on you either…and the work that He’s done and doing in…with…and through my life…He can and will do through your life too. It’s not always easy to share about my personal walk, but it’s always worth it because I know there’s people who need to know what God did in my life…He will do in theirs.
That’s giving without sparing. Loving people enough to give of myself without holding anything back. The truth is I never know what the Holy Ghost will speak to your heart and have you respond to…and so this is my ministry…and with that I believe I we’ll pray and close out this message.
Heavenly Father, I’m not sure we really understand what giving without sparing means, but we do know that You modeled that for us when You gave of Yourself withholding nothing so that we could be saved. Help that example of You giving without sparing teach us how to do the same in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Well, if I’m being honest…and I always try to be. I’m not sure I helped us to understand what giving without sparing really means. But, I think if we look at Jesus through the scope of this message we’ll get a better understanding. After all, when He laid down His life for us He gave it without holding anything back. I think maybe that’s the best way to understand what this means…to give of ourselves holding nothing back. If we can learn to love without holding anything back…I believe we’ll begin to understand more in more how this is one of the Ten Ways To Love.
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