Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Plenty to Share
THE FRUIT OF THE HARVEST
Terry R. Baughman
“Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).
The horn of plenty is a well known symbol for Thanksgiving. The variety of fruits and vegetables spilling out of a fluted basket depicts an abundant harvest of plentiful produce to share with others. From the first Thanksgiving when settlers shared the game and harvest with the indigenous people there was a sense of community and reflection as they gathered around and shared their feasts as friends. There is something truly special when we gather around the table to eat with friends or family, and especially during a season of Thanksgiving.
Blessings are meant to be shared. The increase we have received from our labors is not solely for us to enjoy but to share with others. That is where true joy comes from. In one of Jesus teaching stories he spoke of a successful landowner who enjoyed a bumper crop. However, the foolish man chose to build bigger and greater storehouses to contain his blessings for himself saying, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:18). What the man did not know was that death was imminent and all his blessings would be left behind for others to take. The indication of the story was that a wise man would share from his abundance knowing that we are in certain of the length of our life and we would never regret sharing our blessings and enjoying our success with others.
Whether it is natural growth, financial increase, or spiritual blessings, all things are given to us for responsible stewardship and the opportunity to share. Jesus instructed his followers, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
Jesus taught much about giving and stewardship. He said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38). In the same measure we share with others we will be rewarded. If we use a thimble when sharing with others, that is how much we can expect in return. However, if we use a barrel to share our blessings, we will be blessed with barrels full. The Lord challenged the people through the prophet to put God to the test. He said, “Try Me now in this,” and see, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
We should not hesitate to distribute to the needs of others. For the promise of return is seen throughout the Scripture. The preacher said, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1). Though the blessings may not come in the same fashion as we give them, in unseen ways and many days the reward will be seen.
Sharing affects our worship and the sacrifice of praise bring pleasure to God. The Word said, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:15–16). We have been given plenty; now let us share!
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).