You Can’t Beat God’s Giving
We used to sing, “you can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try.” What is God’s giving? How do we receive God’s giving? We take a deep dive into answering those questions
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:5-7 NKJV
It has been sung, “you can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try.” We used to sing this song at collection time every Sunday when I was a little boy. “The more you give, He gives to you,” is what we would sing. I feel that we are always looking for God to give us something! We are certainly looking for God give us something today, I know.
What are we looking for God to give?
I start off today’s sermon with a question. I’m curious, what would you like God to give you? If God were to ask you today, what can I do for you? What would be your response? Would you tell God to give you money? Would you tell Him to give you that man or woman (a spouse)? I believe many of us have a wish list of things that we really want to come true in our life. Ultimately all of us want to simply live a happy and joyful life, and we have been taught that some of these things bring about happiness and joy.
King Solomon was asked by God (1 Kings 3:5-9), “what shall I give you?” Lord have mercy the answers that I would direct to the Lord today. Solomon’s response was one of need base; he responded, “give to your servant an understanding heart”. I feel like many of us would have asked out of want; things that this world could give to us.
Why seek from the Lord what the world, or even man, can provide? We go out and work for money; we then spend the money that we worked for. All we end up doing is swapping money around with each other. I look for God to do the impossible in my life! I want God’s giving! You see, I know that God has something better for me – something that this world or man can’t offer.
God’s giving has to be greater than what we, mankind, can come up with! The Lord tells us that His thoughts and ways are not like our thoughts or ways because He is God. Therefore, what God can give you or I must be greater than what we can even fathom – this is what I believe, and know to be true! I can’t believe that God puts significance towards things like money.
How do we retrieve God’s giving?
Peter said (1 Peter 5:6), “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.” When you ask the question, how can I receive what God has for me? This is your answer: we must humble ourselves: take off pride, submit ourselves to the Lord, and then devote ourselves to God. Humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
Take of pride. In our Sunday school lesson last week, pride just so happen to come up in the lesson. Moses was told to remove the sandals from off his feet because he was standing in the presence of the Lord. We deduced that this was a sign of one removing pride and humbling himself in the presence in the Lord. We must take the sandals off our feet in the presence of the Lord – who just so happens to also dwell in us. We must humble ourselves.
Pride compels us, each of us individually. Pride, in my opinion, can be a good thing because I feel that when you take pride in what you do, you choose to go the extra step and extra mile compared to others who may not take pride. Yet, I have learned that there is danger in being overtly prideful. The overly prideful become arrogant and in arrogance I have noticed that people tend to miss things.
I feel this is what led Solomon to write the Proverb (Proverbs 16:18), “pride goes before destruction.” Pride leads to arrogance and the feeling of superiority, and both of those causes people to miss the little things (or go blind to the little things). The arrogant and superior man has grown over confident and in his cockiness, he stumbles and falls.
You will notice that Solomon in the very same proverb states that a haughty spirit also goes before a fall as well. I believe that we, as a Church, are getting to the point of the haughty spirit. Haughty: arrogance/superiority. We stop seeing what God has already given us because we feel it is “too small”.
We have gotten so arrogant that we tell God that His blessings are “too small” for us! We are like the kid that gets upset with his parents on Christmas because he didn’t get the right pair of shoes, instead of just being happy that he got a pair of shoes in the first place. We have to remove pride, I have been saying that a lot recently!
Submission! How do you retrieve God’s giving when you decide you’re going to serve another master? Are we truly submitting ourselves to the Lord? There are many people who still live a life of “their way or the highway”; it can be your way or the highway, but you cannot be trying to ride on your highway and then on the highway of Christ at the same time.
Jesus said (Matthew 6:24), “no one can serve two masters.” The problem with trying to serve two masters is that you can’t genuinely love both masters equally; you will hate the one and love the other is what Jesus said. Jesus said, “he will be loyal to the one and despise the other”. People like to try to ride with Jesus for a little while, but get off of Jesus on a Saturday night!
We must also devote ourselves to the Lord. We expect God to give us and bless us, but we don’t want to devote ourselves to the Lord. We want the Lord to answer the second we are done praying, but we don’t want to give the Lord a second of our time, unless we have gotten ourselves in trouble! This is not me preaching “go to church, go to church” because that is not the only way one dedicates himself to the Lord.
We can devote ourselves to the Lord by focusing on Him – walking and following in His way. How often do you focus on the Lord? What is your devotion to the Lord like? When we enter into a relationship with another, we show our love to them through devotion; we ask of people’s time and most importantly their attention! Are you giving God your attention?
You see, this all boils down to your faith – it always seems to come down to faith. Where is your faith? You can’t make this out to be a game of, “what can I get out of this guy versus the other guy.” People like to do their thing in the world, see how rich they can get, but then turn to God when the breaks aren’t breaking their way. God is not looking for you to be there some of the time; He wants your faith in Him all of the time! This relationship with God cannot be a one-sided relationship.
God’s giving can’t be beat!
Jesus said (Matthew 5:45), the sun rise on both the evil and good, and that rain is sent to both those that are just and unjust. This is when we, the just, begin to look at the unjust (unfaithful) and wonder why good things happen to them. King Solomon said (Ecclesiastes 9:2), “all things come alike to all.” This is life in the world after all, this is a true saying, but Solomon didn’t stop right there.
Solomon says: “One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean, and the unclean.” The one even that Solomon speaks of is death; we all must pass away from this world. I believe Peter understood very well of which he spoke when he said, “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”
In passing from this world do we find God’s giving. Down here, in the world, we sit and we worry about what we don’t have or don’t have enough of – it is very stressing. However, we must forget about this and continue to keep our eyes on the greater treasure that is stored up for us in the Lord’s house. Nobody and nothing can beat what awaits those who have humbled (submitted and devoted themselves to God) themselves to the Lord.
Peter says that one day you will be exalted by the Lord because you have given yourself to Him! Exalt: elevate, upgrade, promote, raise, lift up. Oh my, how uplifting and encouraging is this to my spirit! I don’t know about you but this fills me with great joy and with great happiness because the Lord is going to exalt little ol’ me! Not everybody will be exalted by the Lord.
Those who have believe in God’s giving His only begotten Son shall be exalted. The ones who believe that God gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me, shall be exalted! You just can’t beat that! Folks get out looking for adulation from their peers because they feel mighty and powerful. I’m not worried about adulation from my peers; I look for the exaltation that will come from my Lord.
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