How is that when you give, you receive?

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Let me tell you a personal experience. We were in the preparations for our wedding. There were things still needed to be paid. Both Danny and I were working, and together we paid for our wedding. During this time, Danny instead of receiving paycheck was receiving chargebacks (where he had to pay back what already had been paid to him). This situation was not helping us at all. Since I met Danny, he has always been paid on commission, not salary. He works hard and with honesty. But what we were facing was beyond depending on our incomes. The big day was approaching; my salary was not enough; I felt anxious. I even considered changing the date.

About a month from our wedding day an evangelist came to preach on a Sunday night service. He shared how a church in another country worked together to obtain the finances to build a place to congregate. All this during a time of recession. At the end of his message, he made a call to give for the construction of the local church building. I felt a strong prompt in my heart that we should give, but I did not dare to tell Danny because we were short of money for our wedding. That feeling did not go away from my heart; it got stronger and stronger; I couldn’t ignore it. Then, Danny asks me, where’s the checkbook? I answered, “is in the car.” He got up immediately and went to get it.

While he was out in the parking lot, I said inside of me, “if he writes a different amount on the check from the one I have in my heart, I will have to tell him.” When he came back, he handed me the check folded in half. When I opened it, I saw the same amount the Holy Spirit had put in my heart. Chance? I don’t think so. God’s plan? Absolutely.

The preacher invited us to come to the altar to pray and give thanks for the offering. While he was praying, I felt the presence of God very close, like a dense cloud above all of us. Right there I said to the Lord, “You have asked us so little for what you are going to give us.” God’s provision was immediate. The next day, Danny went out to work, as usual, meeting with clients, but what the Lord had planned for that day was a miraculous provision. Business was incredible. We were in awe. It paid off not only the chargebacks but also the rest of the wedding expenses. The big day arrived, and we celebrated our wedding as we had planned it. God is always faithful to His Word!

‘Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.#6:38 Or The measure you give will be the measure you get back.”’ Luke 6:38, NLT

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¿Cómo es eso que cuando das recibes?

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(Click here for English version)

Permíteme contarte una experiencia personal. Estábamos en los preparativos para nuestra boda. Todavía faltaban cosas por pagar. Ambos trabajábamos, y juntos costeamos nuestra boda. Durante este tiempo, en lugar de Danny recibir su paga, comenzaron a llegarle “chargebacks” (donde tenía que devolver lo que ya le habían pagado). Esta situación no nos estaba ayudando en nada. Desde que conozco a Danny, siempre le han pagado por comisión, no salario. Él es muy esforzado y trabaja con honestidad, pero lo que enfrentábamos iba más allá de depender en nuestros ingresos. Se acercaba el gran día; mi sueldo no era suficiente; me sentía ansiosa. Hasta consideré cambiar la fecha.

A un mes de nuestra boda llegó un evangelista a predicar un domingo en la noche. Él compartió cómo una iglesia en otro país trabajó unida para recaudar fondos y construir un edificio para congregarse. Todo esto durante un tiempo de recesión. Al finalizar su mensaje, hizo un llamado a ofrendar para la construcción del edificio de la iglesia local. Yo sentí un fuerte llamado en mi corazón a ofrendar, pero no me atreví a decirle nada a Danny porque nos encontrábamos cortos de dinero para nuestra boda. Ese sentir no se iba de mi corazón, cada vez se hacía más fuerte; no lo podía ignorar. Entonces, Danny me pregunta, “¿dónde está la chequera?” Le dije, “está en el carro.” Se levantó inmediatamente y salió a buscarla.

Mientras él estaba en el estacionamiento, dije dentro de mí, “si escribe una cantidad diferente a la que tengo en mi corazón, se lo voy a tener que decir.” Cuando regresó, me entregó el cheque doblado por la mitad. Al abrirlo, vi que había escrito la misma cantidad que el Espíritu Santo había puesto en mi corazón. ¿Casualidad? No lo creo. ¿Plan de Dios? Definitivamente.

El predicador hizo un llamado al altar para orar y dar gracias por la ofrenda. Mientras él hacía la oración, sentí la presencia de Dios bien cerca, como una nube densa encima de todos nosotros. Ahí le dije al Señor, “nos has pedido tan poco para lo que nos vas a dar.” La provisión de Dios fue inmediata. Al día siguiente Danny salió a trabajar como de costumbre, reuniéndose con clientes, pero lo que el Señor tenía planificado para ese día fue milagroso. El negocio fue increíble. Nos quedamos maravillados. Dio para cubrir no solo los “chargebacks”, sino también lo que faltaba por saldarse de la boda. Llegó el gran día y pudimos celebrar nuestra boda como lo habíamos planificado. Dios es siempre fiel a Su Palabra.

‘Den, y recibirán. Lo que den a otros les será devuelto por completo: apretado, sacudido para que haya lugar para más, desbordante y derramado sobre el regazo. La cantidad que den determinará la cantidad que recibirán a cambio.’  Lucas 6:38, NTV

Take Off Your Grave Clothes

Lazarus was very sick so his sisters Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus. When he received the news, he did not leave the place he was right away. Instead, Jesus waited two more days. He knew what was going on; Jesus was aware of how bad Lazarus’ health was. But, why didn’t he go? Why did he choose to delay? He had a bigger plan, one that would touch the lives of many.

At his arrival Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Martha, who worried about many things, who perfectly planned everything (see Luke 10:38-42), said to Jesus “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Jesus asked to take the stone away from the cave where Lazarus’ body laid. Martha said, “but, Lord.” Next Jesus prayed thanking the Father because He always hears. Then, he called in a loud voice: “Lazarus, come out!” And the man who was dead came out alive all wrapped around. Then Jesus commanded to take off his grave clothes and let him go.

When you have a need and cry out to Jesus to help you, do you expect him to answer right away? I know that I do. I want him to come to my rescue immediately, and when He delays, I get anxious, frustrated. Does He enjoy seeing us suffer? Absolutely not! God hears us when we call Him; He may answer immediately or may take some time, or He may simply say “no.” But he always answers. He may wants us to learn something we don’t know.

The answer that delays is the one that brings us to our knees. We depend on Him because there’s nothing else we can do. Our primary plan and our backup plan have not worked. So, what do we do? We seek Him through prayer and by reading His Word, and then follow His instructions.

The time has come, His time has come to glorify His name. It is time to take off your grave clothes!