You Can’t Have What You Don’t Have

Date: February 5, 2016

Bible Text: Matthew 14:19 | Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. Matthew 14:19

A lad was walking down the street with his mother when a gust of wind carried some trash across the walk way, blowing several large bills across his feet. Snatching up the money he cried out, “Look, Mother, see what I’ve found. I’m rich!” Clutching the money, he jammed his fist into his pocket. Walking on, the mother said, “Son, you remember the building program the pastor was telling us about, how you said if you only had some money you would give it to God. Now you can do that.”

Thinking about the money he had just found, he said, “Yes, Mother, I remember. When I grow up and get rich, I’ll take care of God, but this is for me!” Human nature doesn’t change, and being what it is, self is almost always served first.

Do you happen to remember the incident involving David, who was a refugee from King Saul, who sought to take his life? One day David remarked how good it would be to have a drink of water from the old well in Bethlehem. Three of his loyal men, hearing what he said, put their lives at risk and stole through the enemy lines, going to the well and brought back a jug of pure clean water for David. But David, so touched by their act of heroism and bravery, said it is too sacred to drink and he poured it out as an offering, giving it to the Lord. Only that which costs is really valuable.

Question: Have you ever given until it hurt? Have you ever given to a poor family and missed a meal yourself? Because of your love and compassion have you ever given so much that someone else might have something, that you actually suffered? I’m thinking of the time I spoke in a squatter’s area in Manila. At the end of the meeting a house girl came up and said, “Here’s something for your work.” Opening the gift later which is the cultural practice, I found a small bar of hand soap and a package making about one cup of instant soup. At first I thought, “Is this a joke?” and then I realized that was the kind of a gift she would give to a friend. Having practically nothing, her gift was significant.

When it comes to what you give to God, He always asks for what you have–never what you don’t have. The widow of a prophet had only a jug of oil, and when she gave it to the Lord, He multiplied it many times over. David had only a lad’s slingshot in his hand, but God used that to bring down the giant. When Moses stood before God in the desert, God asked the question, “Moses, what do you have in your hand?” Looking down, Moses saw only a walking stick. God said, “Moses, throw it down.” Or give it to me! And empowered by the Spirit of God, it became a symbol of God’s great power. Jesus took a boy’s lunch–all he had, blessed it and fed a multitude of people.

Most of us are like the little boy with the windfall of money which had just come his way. We are hesitant to say, “Take this Lord. Use it as you see fit.” But when you surrender what you have to the Lord, He who is debtor to no one takes note and blesses those who acknowledge that what they have is a gift from God.” Try saying, “I’m yours, Lord, lock, stock, and barrel. Take me, use me, break me and multiply me. I’m yours to command.” And then see what happens. Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have; only that which is in your hands.

Resource reading: Matthew 14