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Making a Difference By Giving

By Dr. Tom Walker

McDowell Countytom walker mcdowell county Zion Hill Baptist Church


In Luke 6:38 the Lord Jesus says: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

One of the greatest blessings of life is to be a person who is a generous individual. The Lord saved me when I was about eight years old, but I did not immediately begin to be the giver that I should have been. Later, I married Linda Tipton, who gave the encouragement I needed to become a solid tither. We make it a practice to give a tenth of our income to the local church and beyond the tithe, offerings as well. As a result, you will have experienced many blessings from the Lord. The person who hoards his or her money, failing to be generous toward the work of the Lord, is not enjoying the blessings that could be experienced.

We are going to consider the truths we can discover from Luke 6:38.

The Demand

The word that introduces the verse under consideration is the word “Give.” One way we understand the Bible is to carefully study words. To give implies several thoughts. What does it mean to give? It basically means to transfer one’s possession or holding of something to someone else. When we give, we provide for someone else or make a present or a gift to someone other than ourselves.

Our English Bible New Testament came from the Koine Greek language and it is very revealing. After my years of study in Greek, here is the understanding I get from this little four-letter word. It is a present tense word, which points us to an ongoing or continuing practice, not a spasmodic one. Not only is the word present tense, it is in the imperative mood, meaning it is a command, not a suggestion. “Give” is also a plural verb, hinting at the idea that not just one should carry the financial load in a local church, but that all should participate in giving. Each one should do his or her own part in supporting the work of the Lord. Not all can give the same amount, but we can give in the same proportion (tithe-10%). Nothing on earth is more reasonable, and fair, than the tithe.

It is a reasonable demand because it is according to income. A person making $200,000.00 per year, would be able to give much more than an individual living on Social Security and a small retirement check.

It is a productive command. It we will do what God commands us to do, it will produce wonderful results in our lives. We must put God to the test so that He might prove what He is able to do when we obey Him.

It is a helpful command. I had a friend years ago that sat down and talked to me concerning his financial life. While sitting at the dinner table, he told me about how as an evangelist, years ago, he found himself in debt. God directed him to some verses in the Bible; there God spoke to this evangelist through His Word. He continually increased his giving and gave himself out of debt. God honored him for his cooperation with God’s divine plan!

The Delight

After commanding us to give, the Lord makes a delightful statement. Note the words “It shall be given unto you.” If something is delightful, it is something that pleases or gratifies a person. Nothing should delight us more than this promise from the lips of Jesus.

There is no evidence of uncertainty in those words, but there is certainty and assurance in them. “Give….it shall be given unto you.” Some have called this the “Golden Rule of God. As you deal with others, so shall God deal with you. We should be kind, generous, ready to make allowance, easy to be appeased, and ready to do good with what means we have at our disposal. It is by the measure you give that will be measured to you again in your day of need.

It is a moving incentive to give. No one can say they do not have a selfish bone in their body. But, some who are very substantial in their giving can claim this heart-warming promise. God guarantees what you give will come back with dividends and in multiplication. Proverbs 11:25 tells us, “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”

The Degree

            Let’s think about the words—” good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” The term “good measure” speaks of having a full measure, nothing lacking. The words “pressed down” may refer to the processing of grapes. When they are pressed down, there are more grapes that could be put into the press. “Shaken together” has reference to the bringing together what is shaken so there would be room made for more. “Running over” means to be so full that the measure would be overflowed.

Those words express to us if we will do what God expects us to do, then there will always be enough, and often more than enough, to have our daily needs met. The message is simple, if you want more, give to the Lord’s cause regularly and proportionately.

1 Corinthians 16:2 gives us instruction on when to give to the church-“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” You will possess by the proportion you give. When others see your generosity, many will of their own will, or being moved by the Lord, will help you see that your needs are met. You never go wrong by doing right and being compassionate toward others.

The Decision

Note the words– “Shall men give into your bosom.” The best decision to make, is not to hold back in your generosity, but to be a good giver.  William Barclay gives some insight into this statement by our Lord: “The Jew wore a long loose robe down to the feet, and round the waist a girdle. The robe could be pulled up so that the bosom of the robe above the girdle formed a kind of outsize pocket in which things could be carried. So the modern equivalent of the phrase would be, “People will fill your pocket” (Barclay’s Daily Study Bible).

If you choose right, look at what God promises in another place in the Bible. If you choose to honor the Lord in your giving— in Malachi 3:10-11 God promises, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.”

            God knows how to rebuke the devourer! What does that mean? The Hebrew word translated “devourer” means “eater” and refers to the locust or caterpillar or any such creature that devours crops. It can speak of pests or insects. The “devourer” could also refer to plant diseases—anything that would destroy Israel’s crops. Swarms of locusts were common in the Middle East in those days and could destroy virtually all the produce of an entire country. The devastation brought by locusts could be devastating. When God said He would “rebuke the devourer,” He promised that He would protect Israel from such disasters.
Like all promises under the Mosaic Law, the promise of God to rebuke the devourer was conditional. If the Israelites would cease robbing God and give their whole tithe (Malachi 3:9–10), as required by the Law (Leviticus 27:30), then God would keep the locusts away from them and bless them with such abundance of healthy crops that theirs would be known as a “delightful land” (Malachi 3:12).

So many churches undergo many fund-raising efforts because their members do not give their tithe and offerings as they should. The Lord says part of the reason for our giving is that there may be “meat in mine house.” If the church is going to have funds to do what it needs to do, people who know the Lord must give, and each one should do his or her part, whatever that might be. The end result will be that God will bless us and be pleased with us.


Dr. Tom Walker is President of Foothills Bible College and Pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Marion, NC. You can read more good Christian News from Dr. Walker HERE.