Divine Reciprocity

By: Reverend J. Loren Russell

Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭38‬ ‭ERV‬‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Give to others, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”

‭‭Reciprocity is an in-kind return of some service, gift, or work. According to the Farlex Free Dictionary, it is a mutual and cooperative interchange of favors or benefit between two or more parties. Reciprocity could be seen as a quid-pro-quo or a mutual exchange of things of a similar value such as a service, gift, or item. ‬‬

Human nature is naturally selfish. Our first thought, even as we look at children playing, is “give me!” When Jesus taught this principle of reciprocity, He put a different spin on it, flips that notion on its head and made it divine.‬‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬Divine reciprocity says the way to get is to give, and the way we give determines the way we receive. We are challenged to give from both the repository of our affluence, and the scarcity of our deficits. Jesus taught that the return would be in good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

Imagine receiving in such abundance that you do not have room to receive it all. I was talking to one of my cousins recently who operates a community garden. He gave me a bunch of cucumbers and shared with me how a few seeds, planted and cultivated in good soil, produced so many cucumbers that he couldn’t give them away fast enough. The harvest just keeps coming! He said everything planted in the garden gave back in abundance. The Apostle Paul shared this teaching with the church at Corinth when he told them, “For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God” (2 Cor. 9:10-11 NLT).

Whatever is given, according to the lesson Jesus taught, yields an abundant harvest. This is true in our physical world as well as the spiritual world where giving is “no longer a debt that we owe, but a seed that we sow!” (New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1398). Jesus taught that the Lord desires to bless us plentifully so that we can be an abundant blessing to others. As we give, the law of divine reciprocity replenishes our reservoir so that we can give again.

Billy Preston, that great musician and song writer who became known as the fifth Beatle, wrote,

You can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try,
And just as sure as you are living,
And the Lord is in heaven on high.
The more you give, the more He give to you,
But keep on giving because it’s really true,
That you can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try!

When Jesus taught this principle, He challenged His readers then and now to embrace the kind of giving that results not only in a blessing for others but yields abundant and divine blessings in return. “The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.” That’s divine reciprocity! ‬‬‬
Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of the Evangelical Church of God, both in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company/J Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096) and is the producer and host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to ‘Friend’ the Matters of Faith YouTube Channel. Email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177.

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