It is a stretch to link Red Hot Chili Peppers’ lyrics with Biblical themes, but every now and then even the less than perfectly moral stumble on the preachable phrase. Such is the case with RHCP and the one song you probably know even if you were not a child of the early 90s and missed the 2014 SuperBowl performance with Bruno Mars – Give it Away Now.
The title lyric is really all we need to know – Give it away now. Jesus would say it is great advice, although not exactly as intended by the band. Give yourself, your best, your life away.
It is difficult to do.
Last week I was preaching in Louisiana, and I hit a theme common in church this time of year – generosity. We have more than anyone could ever want. We are blessed to the point that ‘our daily bread’ while spoken is for many really not a prayer of need. Yet, we consume even more. Could we not – give it away?
Afterwards, a grandmother came up to me and said,
You’re right about that. My kids and grandkids have everything, and in spite of that this Christmas I am again going to write them checks and tell them to spend it on themselves.
I told her – The story can change, you could ask them to give it away?
She gave me an honest look in return – I should, but I doubt I will.
How often I wonder does the gospel flicker in us only to fail to take light? The teachings of Jesus are difficult and I am by no means perfect at their practice, but the changes we want for ourselves and this world begin with us. To say it maybe as He would – the Kingdom of God becomes the Kingdom on Earth only when we act. Jesus tells us in Luke 12;
He even takes it a little farther when he tells us in Matthew 19:24;
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
Both of these sayings point both toward the expectation of generosity and the light for the world generosity is. The most significant barrier to the generosity called for by Jesus usually, I find, is the eternal nature of our own want. Unfortunately, within us only one candle can burn making all the more essential our task of overcoming the darkness of greed and living in the light of generosity.
I am praying for the grandmother I met. Maybe Jesus could lead her to lead her family in a new way? I also invite you to do the same, and below have listed some of my favorite Kingdom-building missions. Their work is remaking our world into the Kingdom Jesus has in mind.
Take a look at what Jesus is doing around the world and listen to what Jesus is asking you to give away now.
(thanks for reading, please comment and share if you found Jesus in this)