“Take this to the poor widow who lives on the edge of town,” the old German shoemaker told his young apprentice, handing him a basket of fresh garden vegetables. The shoemaker worked hard at his trade and cultivated his little garden patch to make ends meet, yet he always seemed to be giving away what little he had.

“How can you afford to give so much away?” he was asked.

“I give nothing away,” he said. “I lend it to the Lord, and He repays me many times. I am ashamed that people think I am generous when I am repaid so much. A long time ago, when I was very poor, I saw someone even poorer than I. I wanted to give something to him, but I could not see how I could afford to. I did give, and the Lord has helped me. I have always had some work, and my garden grows well. Since then I have never stopped to think twice when I have heard of someone in need. No, even if I gave away all I have, the Lord would not let me starve. It is like money in the bank, only this time the bank-the Bank of Heaven-never fails, and the interest comes back every day.”

* * *
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. Then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine!” (The Bible, Proverbs 3:9,10, NIV).

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By practicing the grace of sharing, a person is storing up treasure for himself. Gifts are investments.

* * *
Success is not getting the most you can, but giving the best you can.

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When this life is over and earthly days past,
Only what’s given to others will last.
* * *
A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle.

* * *
One makes a living by what he gets; one makes a life by what he gives.

* * *
“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:24,25, NIV).

* * *
According to legend, there was once an abbey which had a very generous abbot. No beggar was ever turned away and he gave all he could to the needy. The strange thing was that the more he gave away, the richer the abbey seemed to become.

When the old abbot died, he was replaced by a new one with exactly the opposite nature-he was mean and stingy. One day an elderly man arrived at the monastery, saying that he had stayed there years before, and was seeking shelter again. The abbot turned the visitor away, saying the abbey could no longer afford its former hospitality.

“Our monastery cannot provide for strangers like it used to when we were wealthy,” he said. “No one seems to make gifts towards our work nowadays.”

“Ah, well,” said the stranger, “I think that is because you banished two brothers from the monastery.”

“I don’t think we ever did that,” said the puzzled abbot.

“Oh, yes,” was the reply. “They were twins. One was called ‘Give’ and the other, ‘It shall be given unto you.’ You banished ‘Give’, so his brother decided to go as well.”

* * *
God loves to outgive you, and He’ll never let you outgive Him. He always gives you much, much more than you ever give! The more you give, the more He’ll give you back.

God may not always reward you in mere dollars and cents; it may be in protection from accidents, misfortunes or serious illnesses that would have cost you a hundred times more than anything you have given! But in whatever way it comes, He will reward you!

- David Brandt Berg

Gain by Giving, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International