Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
I’ve thought a lot about this verse recorded by Luke. I like to imagine overflowing blessings pouring out. I realised recently though that I haven’t really had my head around the first part, “Give and it will be given to you”. It’s taken me a while to learn what Jesus meant, and I understand now that while it does include the mighty dollar, Jesus meant way more than that. Being a generous person covers all sorts of things including sharing food, giving gifts, offering your help, and the giving of my time.
I am one of several volunteers who work at Hobart’s Christian radio station, ultra106five. I love the ministry of this station as it is focused on outreach. Just like the seed in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13), the mix of modern music with about one-third high quality Christian music is broadcast to anyone who tunes in (and you can listen online).
Promoted as a family-friendly station, the announcers are positive and affirming, and the songs are carefully selected to avoid inappropriate lyrics. Several times every hour, spots are broadcast specifically to encourage thinking about life and faith. We hear remarkable stories of how God uses the airwaves to bring people closer to him.
The show I host, Sunday Morning Favourites, is meant to prepare Christians for Sunday worship in their own local congregations. For this reason it is the only show that ultra106five airs with 100 per cent Christian music. Beginning at 6am (AEST) with quiet and reflective songs, the melodies are often well-known to older listeners. As the morning progresses, the tempo gradually shifts to more upbeat tunes, and ends at 10am with the most recently released worship music.
Frequently I also have the privilege to conduct interviews and hear some special stories. Over the years I have spoken to a broad spectrum of people, from well-known musicians, to those publicising an event, to those who have had their hearts broken and are keen to tell how God mended them again.
Whoever it is, and whatever God is stirring in them, it is great to learn how God has drawn them into a life of purpose and discipleship to honour him. They are on a journey of understanding how God is using them, and just like you and me, they have given their time and energy to something bigger than themselves.
Giving time for a worthwhile cause could almost be described as part of one’s tithe – a sacrifice of time and abilities to God, intended to serve others and glorify him. Many of us do exactly that.
Do you offer your time as a volunteer? Personally, I also volunteer at my own church; and I work with several hundred volunteers around Tasmania who combine their efforts to contribute to the amazing work of Operation Christmas Child. I have no doubt they would all agree, they are blessed because they give.
“Give and it will be given to you,” Jesus said. What better reason for contributing to the life of your congregation. If you are thinking about volunteering as part of your church family, then go for it!
And if you are one of those who already gives like this, be encouraged – Jesus sees what you do and blessing will come. Our churches can only function because of the many generous people, offering their skills and abilities, called to serve our local congregations. Thank you.