Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Have you ever been tempted to say those words to someone?  I'm not proud to admit that I have.  Unfortunately, the fact that I am thinking that thought is not an indictment against those "takers" in my life, but an indication that perhaps my giving isn't flowing from God's love compelling me. 

BASIC CHRISTIANITY - If you expect to GET something because you have GIVEN something, it isn't truly giving. It's a type of relationship bartering... or something like that.  If you have a mental ledger of what you've done for someone, you need to erase that ledger.

Is it easy to do? NO WAY.  
Is it what I am called to do?

Have you ever "been there" for someone in a real way when they needed someone to be there for them?  I mean, in a deeply committed way? During a trial, or a job loss, or a sickness, or divorce?  Encouraging them? Providing for them with your own resources? Giving up YOUR time? And then... when the crisis fades.. and the shoe is on the other foot.. and YOU need them to do the same thing for you.. they are nowhere to be found? You might think to yourself, "After all I've done for you..." We should do what we do for others for the glory of the Lord.  Because HIS LOVE IN US makes it impossible to not lay down our lives for those in need. 
Is it easy?
No way.

How about your children? (Let me say that my son is not who or what I am referring to). You sacrifice.  You give so that they have, even if it means you don't have. You don't ever make them feel guilty about what you have done without - so that they didn't do without. You love them and only want the best for them.  And then... when they get out on their own...they disappear from your life. They find fault, but not gratitude.  And you are tempted to say, "After all I've done for you......" but your Heavenly Father explains to you that they belonged to HIM the whole time - and He will reward you for your faithfulness to HIM whether your children do.. or not.  
Is it easy?
No way.

How about your spouse?  I can't. I can't even take the ENORMOUS space here to remind you that if you are keeping a list of what you've done for your spouse.. EXPECTING to be fully repaid.. well... you need more help than this blog can offer today.. 

How about your Church? You work hard, you sacrifice your time, your resources, your gifts.  You love and support the pastor and his "vision." You give and give and give.  You give up doing other things, being other places just to be there and help. You do it freely... And then, when you are in need... and you could use a little love and attention from the church you gave everything to... you can't get past the church secretary and speak to your pastor. He never calls you, and neither does anyone in church...
And you're tempted to say, "After all I've done for you......"

How about the Pastor?
Being a pastor is - in its purest form - being a spiritual parent to a bunch of non-compliant children. (I am NOT referring to a political pastor who is there for his own glory. A hireling who cares about himself and his own reputation.. God help him.) 
I mean a true shepherd - one who truly cares about the sheep - and lays down his life for the people in the pews.  And often, sadly, all they do is complain about his lack of - so many things  He might be tempted to think, "After all I've done for you".... 
He doesn't say those words. 
Is it easy?
No way.

Today..if you are someone who is dealing with someone you think deserves to hear you say, 

"After all I've done for you"... 

Turn the focus on the fact that you think you should be rewarded HERE by THEM instead of being rewarded THERE by GOD.

God is keeping score.
You don't have to.
God sees WHY we do WHAT we do.

Jesus never puts the heavy burden of guilt on us by saying "After all I've done for you"  when we fail Him.
He willingly gave His life. 
He willingly shares His victories with us,
He shares His eternal inheritance with us.

After all He's done for us, we follow His example and give expecting NOTHING in return... 
Is it easy?
No way.
Does He give the Holy Spirit to help us?

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? 

Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

Luke 6:32-36

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