(Jesus said): “Whatever measure you use in giving--large or small--it will be used to measure what is given back to you”.
Roses are best known as ornamental plants that provide flowers in your garden, and in your home. Not only are they used for cut flowers but are used for perfumes, medicine, food, and drink. Roses are sometimes given to a person for a symbolic reason. For example, the red rose conveys deep emotions like love. A yellow rose is symbolic of friendship and caring. A pink rose conveys gentle emotions such as joy and gratitude. A lavender rose expresses love at first sight.
Recently my husband planted several rose bushes in various colors in the back area of our new home. He was aware that roses are one of my favorite flowers. Early in the coolness of the morning he would dig each hole and carefully plant them until they lined the entire fence line and the lanai. Not only did he plant them, but he continues to joyfully and unselfishly tend them on a daily basis. What a wonderful way for me to begin the day because each morning he cuts beautiful roses to give to me to place on the fireplace mantle to add joy and beauty to my day.
Helen Steiner Rice wrote a poem titled, “The Joy of Unselfish Giving”. A few lines state: “Time is not measured...by the years that you live...But by the deeds that you do...and the joy that you give...So what does it matter...how long we may live...If as long as we live...we unselfishly give”.
Another example of a person joyfully giving, and the simple faith of the receiver of the gift, is given by M. D. De Haan, M.D. of “Our Daily Bread”. De Haan wrote a story about a Cornish miner by the name of Billy Bray. The story went like this: one day Billy Bray was greeted on the street by one of his “Quaker friends”. The friend spoke to him and said: “brother Bray, I have wanted to see thee for a long time, and I have heard about thee and all the good things thou has done for my Master”. The friend went on to say he had asked the Lord whether there was something he could do for Bray, “and the Spirit told me that a very fine suit of clothes which I have in my home must be given” to Billy Bray. The friend said he wanted Bray to come to his home to get the clothes, providing they would fit him. Billy Bray thanked him and told him he would be after the clothes, and not to worry about the fit. Bray went on to say: “For if the Spirit of God told you to give them to me, He will see to it that they fit”.
In the Book of Mark there is an example of a poor widow who unselfishly gave all she had to the collection box in the Temple. As Jesus was watching the crowds, including many rich people, put large amounts of money into the collection box, he noticed a “poor widow came and (she) dropped in two pennies” (two mites). He then called His disciples to come to Him and He said, “I assure you, this poor widow has given more than all the others have given. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has”. In the Lord's eyes, this poor widow unselfishly gave to the collection box in the Temple more than all the others put together, although her gift was by far the smallest.
God's people may want to keep in mind that the value of a gift given is often not decided by the dollar amount, but by the spirit in which it was given. When a gift is resentfully given; or for self-recognition; or applause, it loses its value. If His people generously and unselfishly give to others, such as a rose each morning, and they give it with joy; love; and caring, then those types of kind deeds will come full circle back to them in full measure.
Lord God, thank You for giving to us the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to show Your love by reaching out and giving to others. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington