I Corinthians 11:23a For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you.
A person cannot give you something he/she does not have. I can’t give you a million dollars because I don’t have it. In Acts 3 Peter and John were going into the temple to pray. A lame man was at the gate begging for alms. Peter said silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee. He had no possessions to give the man but what he had was more precious to give. Imagine a man who had never walked leaping up and walking and praising God. Give what you have to give.
Each of us has at least five things to give. You’re a steward of what you have. Everything you have came from God; it’s a gift. How will you use it?
Salvation to give. Don’t misunderstand me. None of us can save anybody, but if you are saved you can offer salvation to others. Everybody needs it. Paul received a new birth on the Damascus Road and his world was turned upside down. The Lord makes a difference in our lives. Many people in the Bible met Jesus and told someone else. We don’t hear much about Andrew but he met Jesus and went and told his brother, Simon Peter. That’s what Jesus wants! Philip told Nathaniel. The woman at the well ran into town and told the people to come see a man who told her all things she had ever done, saying “is not this the Christ.” If you have salvation, give it to others–share the good news.
Testimony to give. A testimony is nothing more than speaking of what you have seen, heard or experienced. Paul stood before Agrippa and told him all about how he met Jesus on the Damascus Road. Agrippa responded with the famous words almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. The man born blind said I once was blind but now I see. That’s me. I was blind. The Lord came and showed me I needed a Savior. He picked me up out of my sins and gave me eternal life. You may attack me but you cannot attack my testimony that Jesus saved me. All you have to do is tell others. Are you willing to share what happened to you when Jesus saved you?
Material things to give. All of us have something to give. A widow in the Bible gave only two mites. Jesus was more impressed with her giving than the riches the others cast in. He said she gave more than they did. A lad had only five loaves and two fish and 15-20 thousand were fed. There were very few resources that day. This lunch was nothing to the disciples. Jesus could have fed the people without it. We know that. The boy could have kept it, but he gave it to Jesus. We have something to give. I’m not talking about money. Will we give it?
Gifts, talents, skills to give. Gifts are supernatural abilities given at the new birth. We all have at least one; some have many. Talents are natural abilities given at birth. Some people can play just about any instrument. Some are athletic. Some are good communicators. Everybody has some kind of talent. Skills are worked at to achieve them, whether it be typing, sewing, using a computer, whatever. You worked to acquire it. We all have some skill, some talent, some gift. Will we use it for the Lord?
Life to give. We have a life to give, some only a few years and others of us several. The only regret I have about salvation is that I wish I’d done it sooner. Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow him saying the person who saves his life will one day lose it but the person who gives his life to God will have saved it. The one who refuses God will lose his life in eternity while the one who accepts him saves his life. Jesus told of a person who said he’d follow him wherever he went but it was a superficial response. We don’t hear anything else about him. Another said he’d follow him but to first let him go bury his father. He was saying let me wait until my father is dead and buried. He allowed family ties to get in his way. Another wanted to first go home and have a farewell party. Have you decided to follow Jesus? As the song says: “no turning back; no turning back.” There’s a song that says “if I had a thousand lives to live, I’d give them all to my Lord.” Remember you can’t give what you don’t have. You have only one life. Satan will use it for his glory or you can give it to the Lord and be used for his glory. Paul did a 360 on the Damascus Road. He was going to persecute Christians but became one when he met the Lord. That’s what salvation does: it turns us around.
Five things: salvation; material things; testimony; gifts, talents, skills; life. Will you lay these before God and say “here I am.” Don’t wait on somebody else to do it. Lay your life on the altar for the Lord. Give it all to him.