“Freely you have received, freely give” is the message God is now sending through many people. If we only quote that part of the scripture, we are taking it out of context and it will hinder the move of God. Let’s take a closer look at what God is saying.
Before Jesus told them to “freely give” He gave them power and authority to verify the message He was sending with them: The Kingdom of God is at hand. This is what they received for free and what they were expected to give for free: displays of God’s power (anointing) and the message God gave them.
Our Lord then gave some very specific instructions to show what He expected to happen. He told His disciples to take nothing with them. No food, no money, not even the basic needs of extra clothing and shoes. Jesus finished by saying, “for the workman deserves his support (his living, his food).” (Matthew 10:10)
Imagine if that happened today: someone shows up with nothing, only the clothes on their backs and God’s message. Would believers take them in, supply for all their needs after receiving a message they knew was from God? Stepping out with nothing is a huge step of faith: we have to trust that God will show up and that people will respond to what God is saying. However, in that day and age, the disciples had knowledge that we do not.
Paul speaks of this to Galatians. They were not Jewish like the disciples, so they needed to be taught God’s ways.
“Let him who receives instruction in the Word [of God] share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his support].” Galatians 6:6-7
The disciples would have known that this was the way it was done. However, they would literally be stepping out in faith as they walked to nearby villages with no provisions whatsoever, not even extra shoes to continue walking. They put their trust in Him as Lord, believed that He had empowered or anointed them so that people would be healed and set free as they gave the gospel message.
This is the way it should be done. When we receive something that we know is from God, we should give back to acknowledge that God sent it, not so much the person bringing it. This opens the door so that God can move in greater measure in that area of our lives.
This is a principle of the Kingdom of God that can be seen throughout the Bible. We see this by not taking what Paul said to the Galatians out of context:
“Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
After Paul told the Gentiles to support those who are teaching them, he gives this Kingdom principle. What you give to, opens a door to that thing in your life. Do you want more of God in your life? Do you want to hear more from Him? Do you want to be used by God? Then give to where you receive from God, acknowledging Him by sowing seeds in that place. You will reap (receive) wherever you sow (give).