[Jesus said] “Freely you have received; freely give.”
This command was among the many instructions given by Jesus to his twelve disciples before sending them out on a mission trip. The disciples had received God’s love and forgiveness, mercy and compassion, call and commission. Now Jesus said to them, “Freely you have received, freely give.” The work they were called to do was not fee-based. They weren’t to profit from sharing the gospel of Jesus. From the heart of God, they freely received his gifts of forgiveness, new life, and salvation. God opened for them the floodgates of his grace. As they had received his blessings, they also were to give them away to others.
This message applies not only to sharing the gospel—our greatest treasure—but also to the many other gifts our Lord has graciously given us: our money, our time, and all those various skills and abilities that God has bestowed on us. As he has freely blessed us with all that we have, we will want to thankfully respond to God’s love by freely giving him some of our blessings for the benefit of his work to spread the gospel.
If our gifts are given under compulsion or only out of a sense of duty, then our offerings of money, time and skill are not gifts at all, and God is not pleased with them. If our offerings are not motivated by what we have freely and firstly received from God, then they sink into a mere go-through-the-motions activity.
Reflect on God’s generosity for you. All that you have for soul and body is a gift of God’s wonderful grace. Through Jesus, you have received the free gift of salvation! With a heart moved by God’s many free blessings, freely give to him.
Dear God, forgive your selfish servant and move me by your generous nature to love and serve you and others freely, for I am richly blessed and privileged to give through Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen.