Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38

She was NOT a happy camper.

As I sat at the diner-style counter eating my eggs, it was obvious from her comments that this poor server had gone to clean her last table, only to find the prior patrons had stiffed her.  No gratitude, no thank-you, no tip.  I heard her frustrated queries to fellow servers, “Did you clean off table 17?”, “Did the people say anything?” and shared her sinking feeling as she realized her efforts give her customers an enjoyable meal had amounted to nothing.

I checked my wallet: $13.  I estimated my bill: $8.50ish, plus a couple bucks for MY server.  I knew my timing would have to be perfect, so I waited… waited… and sprang into action with a quick question.

“Did your last table stiff you?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Did they not leave you a tip?”

Her shoulders slumped and her face fell as she answered, “No”.

“Then here, this is for you.”

I haven’t seen $2 spark so much protest in quite a while, but I would not be denied.

“It’s not from me, it’s from God.  Jesus loves you; have a great day!”

She was dumbfounded and other servers were gathering to investigate the commotion, so I used the confusion to make my escape.

Ten steps later the dim comfort of restaurant lights was replaced by a bright sun burning overhead, but it was merely a candle compared to the joy burning in my heart.  I changed that woman’s day.  Heck, for all I know I might have changed her life!  Offered in the name of Jesus, a $2 investment in another person took next to nothing from my bank account, but deposited a fortune of joy into my soul.

That’s what worship does.  Whether it’s a few notes sung over some instruments, an act of service to someone in need or a timely gift to another, when we let our actions be guided by love for Jesus and the truth of His word, the joy we receive is infinitely greater than the effort we put in.  Living a lifestyle of worship means that everything we do is done out of love for and for the glory of the risen Christ, and that is the kind of giving that God blesses in all sorts of ways.

This week, I hope you’ll have eyes to see opportunities to give to others and give to God, and a heart ready to do it, and receive the joy that comes as a result.