Give to Get

I remember when my children would do extraordinary chores around the house.
They might sweep and mop the floor, wash all the clothes, or wash the vehicles.
Then came the announcement of what was done.

“Mom! Dad! I took down all the screens and washed all the windows today!”
“Did you notice that I shampooed the carpet and waxed the floors?”
“I just thought the house would look much better with a fresh coat of paint on the trim!”

I was always suspicious of their domestic charity!
Then comes the truth about this burst of energy and wonderful act of love and kindness for the “old folks”.

“By the way, could I borrow $100 for a new pair of shoes I really, really need?”
“Oh, yes! I’m going to the beach with some friends for a few days! That’s okay, isn’t it?”
“Did you happen to notice page 401 in the new catalogue? That sure would make a great Christmas gift!”

What they have done is what every child has done, including me. They have sought to buy some kind favor from me in order to get something in return that they really want.
Once their fun is over, so will their need to do anymore charitable contributions to the family household.

As parents, we see it coming a mile away. So does God!
And I don’t let my children go someplace or give them some money because they do things for me. I do it because I love them. So does God!
How many of us try to impress God with some good deed or promise of divine motives so that we can get something from Him?

If it doesn’t work on parents then it’s not going to work on God.
We don’t have to try to buy God’s good graces; He gives it to us free of charge because He loves us.
And just as parents often tell their own children “NO!” for their own good, God will often tell us the same for our own good.

We are not saved by gaining God’s favor; we are saved by God’s favor, that is, His grace.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. Eph 2:8-9

Should we continue to do good things?
Yes!

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10

So if you want something from God, just ask.
And if you want to give something to God – give yourself.

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