I think it all started when the bananas started going bad. That’s when our daughter decided to bake them up into four loaves of banana bread. Then she asked their church for some folks who might need a little lift right now. With that cheer-up list in hand and our then four-year-old and two-year-old grandchildren assisting, she proceeded to drop off some banana bread blessing at four homes. She took the boys with her into each house, and they actually are the ones who gave the resident the gift. First house, the man’s wife had just died. He was so thrilled over their gift that he gave each boy a dollar which he refused to take back. Second house, a man with a very sick wife. He insisted on thanking the boys by giving them candy. Third house, a lady living alone, very serious, until the boys gave their gift. Big smile! And the fourth house, another lonely woman and a big hug for each boy. As our daughter debriefed her little banana ambassadors, our four-year-old recounted the unexpected gifts they had received in the process of giving, including a big smile and a big hug. Then the little guy summed up his feelings about the day: “Mommy, today was such an adventure.”
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Making Life an Adventure.”
At the age of four, our grandson was starting to figure out what really makes life an adventure; it’s called giving living. Living your life, not as a taker, but as a giver – not to make a name or make a fortune, but to make a difference. That’s one reason we experience so much joy at Christmastime. There’s something that feels really good about making others happy, sacrificing to give to them. Well, guess what? That’s how we’re supposed to live all year long!
Jesus taught this strange but wonderful truth. It’s in our word for today from the Word of God in Luke 9:24. He simply said, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” Those who try to hang onto their lives, their time, their money, and their stuff will end up losing it. But those who do it Jesus’ way; those who release what they have will end up actually gaining life. You lose it by keeping it. You find it by giving it away.
You don’t give in order to get – that ruins it. But when you give, you do get. Jesus put it this way: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). You pick the measure with which God will give to you based on the measure you choose to give to others.
If your life has seemed a little claustrophobic lately, unsatisfying, boring, maybe you’ve been all wrapped up in yourself, maybe with some reason because of what you’ve been going through. But you’re missing the adventure. You’re missing the healing power of getting your eyes off yourself and onto who you can help. There is no more exciting way to begin each new day than to say, “Lord, who needs me today?” I can guarantee someone does need your smile, your encouragement, your random act of kindness, maybe your compliment, your help; someone at work, someone at school, where you live, where you shop, in your neighborhood, online, in your church.
The equation of giving living goes like this, as spelled out in Proverbs, “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).
Look, if you don’t believe me, go back to my grandson. Remember what he said? He would tell you that a day full of giving is “such an adventure”!