God is a giver. He is indeed the ultimate giver, and the greatest giver of all. His nature is to give because He is love, and love knows to do nothing else – but to give… and to give… and to give. Witness the creation of the earth and man: they are an expression of His love. And He has given us the greatest gift and expression of His love in His Son, our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ of Nazareth (John 3:16).
Born of His Spirit, made of His very essence, He expects no less of us but to be givers, cheerful givers – just like Himself. The G in God stands for generosity. If we are to be like our Father, generosity must be one of the first words people use to describe us. The Dead Sea is dead because it has no outlets. Whatever flows into it never leaves.
God is the Creator and Owner of all things, and He gives to His children as is pleasing to Him (James 1:17). Giving is a pillar of our stewardship, and faithfulness is its first requirement (1 Cor. 4:2). We will be accountable for everything He provides. Giving will be part of our accountability to God. Giving proclaims the goodness of the Lord, and it is a powerful tool for spreading the Good News of the cross. He wants us to give, that there may be provisions in His house, the church (Mal. 3:10).
Prosperity in the kingdom answers to the principle of sowing and reaping (Mal. 3:10-12; Prov. 3:9-10). We understand by the nature and promise of God that He does not owe anyone anything. Asking us to give to His work is His ordained guideline and principle for blessing us, His provision for returns and replenishment in manifold magnitude. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38).
Giving in quantity and quality of your substance to God provokes Him to bless you more and watch over your provision. If you give merely a little or leftover from your abundance, you are unwittingly holding His hands and limiting the returns on your seed sown. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. But this I say: … He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (Gal 6:7; 2 Cor. 9:6).
Giving must be done from a willing and cheerful heart. So, let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). God is pleased with willing, personal giving (Ex. 35:22).
PRINCIPLES OF GIVING
1. The Lord Jesus expects and requires of us to give. Christian giving is not optional; it is an imperative. He expects all His children to give (Luke 6:8; Matt. 6:2).
2. The Lord Jesus wants us to give for the right reasons. We are to give for the glory of God and the good of His people, His church (Matt. 6:1).
3. The Lord Jesus wants us to practice benevolent, charitable giving. This is to be done towards the needy (Matt 6: 2-3).
4. The Lord Jesus reminds us that our giving is ultimately to our all-seeing heavenly father. When we give, we are not doing so for the church budget; we are making a Thanksgiving offering to the Father Himself. This we must give As Unto The Lord (AUTL). The ultimate goal is to please Him (Matt. 6:3-4).
5. Christian giving is an act of worship. When we put our money in the plate or bag, we are worshipping the Almighty God in accordance with His Word. The apostle Paul talks about giving by the church to the church for the church..
6. Christian giving should be done in light of the incarnation (2 Cor. 8:9). Christ’s self-sacrificing should be the standard for our giving. We begin from the base of First Fruits, Tithes and Offerings, etc., emulating His self-denying sacrifice. Ultimately, our giving is to be inspired and instructed by Christ’s inexpressible gift of Himself to, and for us – the best that heaven can give.
7. The liberality of God’s blessings to us informs the liberality of our Christian giving (2 Cor. 9:6). Our reward in giving comes from our heavenly father. Remember, the desire to be magnanimous and the means to be benevolent both come from God.
8. Christian giving should be done in accordance with our means (2 Cor. 8:12). Two truths are evident here:
a. We are supposed to give proportionately. Those who have more means, money or substances are expected to give more.
b. The Lord has not asked us to give what we do not have, or to contribute beyond our means. (See also Luke 12:48).
9. Christian giving must be willing, free giving (2 Cor. 9:7). True Christian giving is both
mandatory and voluntary. This means that it is required by God, but it is to be done willingly at all times by the believer.
The attitude the Christian should have in his giving should be cheerful. Apostle Paul
assures us here that the Lord takes special delight in those who are joyful, energetic, merry givers.
BENEFITS OF GIVING
1. God is pleased when we give generously (Ezra 2:68-69).
2. God is pleased with sacrificial giving (2 Cor. 8:2).
3. It gives honour to God (Prov. 3:9).
4. Giving is viewed by God as an act of worship (Matt. 2:11).
5. Giving tithes and offerings assures the blessings of God (Mal. 3:8, 10).
6. Giving commits God to prevent devourers from destroying our seed and harvest.
7. Generosity comes back to the giver (Luke 6:38). Our heavenly father is not a hard task
master. He set the pace for us by being the ultimate Giver (John 3:16).
However, any giving that has its source in illegal business, or is polluted, is not acceptable to God. Advance fee fraud (“419”) business, prostitution, human trafficking, bribery, pimping, stealing,
etc. – these are all sources of blood money.
Stop such illegalities! Engage in genuine businesses and let God bless your efforts. Make your
offerings acceptable in His sight.