What’s in your wallet?
Giving is often one of the most uncomfortable topics to discuss; however, without giving many of the things we, as the Church, do to impact our communities and the world would be difficult.
The Apostle Paul never hesitated in addressing the topic of money and would even send reminders to churches who had pledged money to the ministry to fulfill their promise. 2 Cor 9:1-5. Giving is a Biblical concept. Giving is an indication of love. The greatest demonstration of God’s love to us is not creation, but in the giving of his Son. John 3:16 God’s love was not lip service; He exemplified love by giving us the greatest gift, His Son.
Giving to God honors Him; it provokes a blessing from Him. Proverbs 3:9-10 “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine."
Giving is not always the easiest thing to do, it can be and will cost you. In 1 Kings 17:7-16, Elijah went to the widow of Zarephath and asked her to give him some water and “first make a small loaf of bread” for him. Elijah tasked her with a difficult request; he was asking her to sacrifice her last. It’s very unlikely that the widow was singing and dancing in excitement at Elijah’s request. She explained why Elijah’s request was near impossible, then obeyed. “But first make a small loaf of bread for me” We must give to God our first-fruits; not the remnants.
In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul elaborates on how to give. We must not give sparingly or grudgingly. The motive for our giving is as important as the gift. God did not give sparingly, He does not hold back in giving to us. Romans 8:32 A person who gives sparingly is the one who thinks of how much he or she can withhold instead of how much he or she can give. We must give bountifully, willingly and cheerfully, even when it’s difficult.
When we give, we are not at a loss, rather we are gaining because we’re giving to God. No farmer plants a seed and weeps over it. He plants the seed rejoicing because he knows that one seed of corn, in due season will produce a harvest. The harvest you reap depends on how much you sow and what you sow. If you sow on an acre of land, you’ll reap a good harvest but the one who plants three acres will reap more than the one acre farmer. He who is willing to invest more, will receive a higher return than he who invests less. Proverbs 11:24-25; Luke 6:38.
2 Corinthians 8:1-7 gives a narrative of the churches of Macedonia. Despite the deep poverty they found themselves in, they cheerfully and bountifully gave. Paul used the Macedonian church to encourage the Corinthians to give. The Macedonian church would have been justified not to give because of their lack; however, their circumstances did not prevent them from giving and they even begged to be allowed to give. So also, we must seek to give willingly despite our predicaments. The Macedonian church had given themselves fully to Christ and so abounded in the grace of giving.
Your willingness to give is directly related to your relationship with God. When you have completely given yourself to Christ, you’re enabled to give. There will always be a reason not to give; the biggest factor being fear. For most of us, giving large sums of money arouses a sense of fear. The thought of giving more makes us fearful. We can’t say we trust God if we can’t trust Him with 10% of our income. When we give, we invite God into our finances; we give him permission to get involved in our finances. Don’t limit your giving to what your capable or comfortable giving. Most people have a threshold when it comes to giving. Test God by going over your threshold.
Give yourself fully to Christ so that you may receive the grace to give!
Take God at His Word; give!