A memo on giving


I listened to a lovely sermon this week on giving and I felt it necessary to share it here.

  1. Giving is a Bible teaching. We are all called to give, of our bodies and first fruits, tithes and offerings.
  2. 2 Corinthians 8 talks of the grace of giving. We give because God has given first to us.
  3. It must cost us to give. King David (1 Chronicles 21:24) refuses to make an offering unto God if he could not buy the land on which to place the altar. This says to me that we can’t give something we did not work for or give our tithes despite feeling that we need that money for other needs. There must be a slight pinch to us.
  4. (Deuteronomy 16:16) Do not appear before the Lord empty handed.
  5. God cares about the other 90% that we keep. He is also interested in how we spend that. We need to be careful that we also honour God with that expenditure.
  6. With our finances, we either Give (to God), Save or Live. In what order do we apportion each of these?
  7. It is our calling to use our wealth to provide an inheritance for our children’s children (Proverbs 13:22).
  8. Sometimes God gives us for our (and others) sustenance but at times He gives us to plant a seed that many and others can also benefit from that ( 2 Corinthians 9:10 –11).

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

Remember also that God loves a cheerful giver and that our giving does not depend on what our neighbour is doing or not doing. Or commonly, the question of what the Church is doing with our tithes or that they are not spending it well. Very often, there is a preconception that if we give our tithes and offerings (our money) that God must provide us with wealth, be it cars, houses, jobs and all that. Our God knows the number of hairs on our head and he looks after the birds in the sky. That is who we serve. His ways are not our ways and so we cannot expect that if we give we must receive like for like. And this is where I depart from prosperity gospel teachings. We are promised numerous blessings and we can call upon each of them before God and remind them of His promises to us but we cannot bribe him with our giving or hold him to ransom with that either. He is God and we are man. We can test Him (Malachi 3:10) by giving repeatedly but we dare not prescribe what we want in return like he is an ATM machine.

We give because of what He has given to us and He gives according to our needs and based on His love for us.

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