"The Perfect Giver"
If we were to reckon all that Jesus gave by His giving of the material and outward, I need hardly tell you how sadly we should fail to comprehend the wonder of it ail. We can never forget, it is true, that He fed the hungry, or that once He turned the water into wine. Neither can we forget that His poor band had a bag to hold the offerings for poor. Yet if we sought to measure all that Jesus gave by what He gave of that which was without, how little would we understand of Him! Our blessed Lord was born in a poor home, and lived to the end the life of a poor man. Others may leave fortunes when they die; He left nothing but the seamless garment. Indeed it has been questioned in these latter days, on the ground of certain well-known Gospel incidents, whether our Savior ever handled money. Measured by the test of things without, there are thousands who give far more than Jesus gave. There are men and women who in a single day give more than Jesus gave in His whole ministry. The giving of our Master is unique not in the giving of that which is without, but in the glorious and heavenly lavishness with which He gave that which is within. He gave of His virtue, and the sick were healed; He gave of His sympathy, and sorrowing hearts were comforted. He gave of His joy, and men were glad again; He gave of His peace, and restless hearts were quieted. He gave of His prayers upon the mountain side when the shadows had fallen and His locks were wet with dew, and faith was strengthened and courage was revived, and Satan was baffled of his prey. He gave of His vision of a Father-God, and men who were heavy-laden sang again. He gave of His love to the fallen and the far, and womanhood stole back to women’s hearts. He gave of His life to the last drop of it until its very cup was dashed in fragments, and, because He died for us, we live. That, brethren, is the spirit of Christ, and if any man have not that Spirit he is none of His. May God grant us the joy of spending and of being spent. Ceaselessly and happily and secretly may we give for alms that which is within, for it is more blessed to give than to receive, and he that loseth his life shall save it.