Chapter 9: Be a Giver

12/16/1990

THIS is a crucial point that I’d like you all to take very, very seriously. Do come, both to the highways and byways and to the gatherings of His Saints, prepared in your heart to be a giver. You know by now that I am not referring to being a spiritual hero and regurgitating something that you’ve studied up on in a commentary, or read in a book, or heard on a cassette tape. Let the Word of God read you on a continual basis. Let it “make its home in you richly.” Prepare your heart. And then you’ll be able to consider, ponder, question, and think in advance as to how you might “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24‑25). (This verse in Hebrews is in the context of “don’t get in the habit of not gathering together as His People,” vs. 25.) Consider what the Holy Spirit is doing in you. Don’t come as a spiritual vegetable, ready only to receive.

You’re not at the gathering to watch a show and soak in your fill, right?! (Did you know that you can even be guilty of having a dry “worship service” in miniature even in a living room!) That attitude of “feed me” is similar to the role of babies in a household. They only take and take and cry, and never contribute. In other words, please don’t assume the “baby’s” role, but rather take responsibility in God’s Household. Hear that again, underline it and add an exclamation point. PLEASE take responsibility for your life, and the lives of others. I cannot emphasize that enough. Nobody’s going to do it for you. Be a giver, look for others’ needs, and live to meet them as Jesus did.

Come prepared. That will require that you live the Life outside of meetings, not just at meeting time. If your life is hidden in Christ and you’re busy delving into the deep things of God and the hearts of men, rather than wasting time on trivia, junky entertainment and hobbies, you will naturally burst with the life of Christ during meetings. You won’t be tempted to “crank” something out. If you are living with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength for the Kingdom of God, your life will be buried in God’s things. It won’t, in that case, be a problem to come prepared or have something to offer your brothers and sisters. You won’t have to grunt and groan to get something out, or scurry off to the latest book and see what you had underlined so you can bring something. It’s not that way at all. If your life is hidden in Christ always, and not just theoretically in meetings, His overflow will pour out of you. And it will be as likely to happen in a living room at ten minutes after five or a quarter till seven as it is at an 8:30 gathering.

If it is not our LIFE before God and if we are not really “joined and knit together” with our brothers and sisters on a seven‑day‑per‑week basis, then I perceive we have the wrong idea about what gatherings are for!

 

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