It is more blessed to give than to receive.
HYMN: I HAVE MY LIFE FOR THEE
Text: 2 Cor. 8:1-5; Luke.6:38, 21:1-4
To give is to pass something into someone’s hand or care or to hand over something as a present to someone. One may give something to someone in anticipation of a return of something else while others may give out of love and concern without expecting anything from the person to whom he/she has giving such thing. Giving is like a seed sowed which must germinate in due season, however the quality of the fruit a seed brings forth is determined by the quality of the seed. Since failure to give does not attract any reward, it is proper that we develop the right attitude towards giving to enable us get the right reward from the great rewarder and giver of all good things. This is what this lesson tries to highlight.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand the starting point of giving.
- To discuss some ways in which God demonstrates giving.
- To explain some ways the Bible describes giving.
Q1. WHAT IS THE STARTING POINT OF CHRISTIAN GIVING?
The starting point of Christian given is to give oneself totally to the Lord. Giving is an act of grace which represents one of the forms of worship and show of gratitude, when it is done by first offering oneself as a sacrifice to the Lord. This is self-denial which will give Christ a first place in one’s life. Many people give without the right motive and as such the attract the wrath of God instead of his blessings to themselves. If we truly give ourselves to Christ and allow him have absolute control over our lives, we will give him the best that we have and not that which is worthless. Some people like to give things that are of no value to them to God, it is not proper to give as offering to the Lord, Moneys that Bus conductors/drivers and traders or even banks have rejected. Such giving reveals a lack of knowledge of whom God is to the individual and how he should be appreciated. We should solemnly make a fresh – surrender of ourselves and all we have on to the Lord Jesus Christ, sanctifying our contributions to God’s honor by First giving ourselves to God.
Q2. DISCUSS SOME WAYS IN WHICH GOD DEMONSTRATES GIVING AND THE CHALLENGES DISPOSED TO US.
- Sacrificially, John. 3:16; Rom. 8:32:
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. It pleased God to give Jesus for us. He gave him up to suffer and die for us. It is so wonderful that God should so love such a sinful world as to give his only begotten son, not one out of so many. Only himself (God) could do such a thing and this is real sacrifice that is beyond human comprehension. Because of this unique gift of God, we now have life in abundance. Therefore, in appreciation of this, we should Also be willing to give our all freely to him.
- Unconditionally, Matt. 5:44-48:
It is human to give to people one hopes to receive from again. They could even borrow to give in such a situation. But when given to a person that cannot reciprocate or give for a course that we are not certain they will pay us back immediately or later, we become very reluctant to give. This is not supposed to be so. The Scriptures enjoin us to give when the person cannot give back to us and then our reward will be great. We must give unconditionally because we are children of God who gives liberally to all irrespective of their attitude to him.
- Faithfully and consistently, Gal. 6:9; 2 Tim. 2:13; James. 1:17:
God gives always and liberally to all men. We should give regularly without hesitation as the Lord empower us. Faithfulness and consistency is the nature of God. He cannot change and has never changed, even while we are unfaithful in honoring and worshiping him yet, he blesses us daily.
The Bible enjoins Us to sow always as we cannot tell which side will do well in which will not.
Q3. HOW DOES THE BIBLE DESCRIBE GIVING?
Giving is described in different ways in the Bible; however, three of these are herein Examined; namely; Scattering and withholding prov. 11:24.; Giving and receiving Luke. 6:38 as well as sowing and reaping 2 Cor. 9:6.
The Bible says in Prov. 11:24. “there is that scattereth and yet increaseth; And there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty”.
From this passage, we can understand that giving does not make us to become poor because every giving we do faithfully as unto God has a corresponding increase. When we fail to give, we become like a farmer who failed to plant a seed during planting season, such a farmer cannot expect any harvest when those that sowed are reaping.
Luke 6:38 says “…. The same measure that you mete withal it shall be measured to you again”. In other words, we must receive whatever we give out to others back in one way or another either here on earth or in the world to come.
Lastly 2 Cor.9:6 (NIV) makes us understand that we receive according to how we give. If we give generously, then we will be sure to receive generously as well but if we give sparingly, we will also receive sparingly. Sowing and reaping is a general principle that holds true and the physical as well as in the spiritual (Gen. 8:22). Before harvest there must be a period of planting. God has giving the power of increase and multiplicity to the seed (Gen. 1:11), so we should be mindful of the kind of seed we sow in life. The quality of harvest depends on the one who gives the increase. (2 Cor. 9:10; 1 Cor. 3:6-7).
Daily Living Application
God’s promise to you is “if you sow generously you will reap generously”. When you make giving to God your first priority, you don’t have to fear. Jesus said, “put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well”. (Matt 6:33). “and he looked upon and saw the rich putting their gift into the treasury and he saw a certain poor; widow putting in two mites. So, he said, Truly, I said to you that this poor widow has put in more than all but she out of her poverty have put in all the livelihood that she had (Luke. 21:1 -4).
The widow gave out of her poverty, the same way the Macedonian Christians were eager to make contribution to the saints in Jerusalem even in their poverty. Believers should not be tied to their possession. There are many in the household of faith who need to be taken care of. The rich among us should see the riches as being from God and selflessly minister to the need of the church and the poor in the fold.
“be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a men soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Daily Devotional guide
Monday: Giving starts with the individual.
2 Cor. 8:5; Rom. 12:1-2
Tuesday: Give sacrificially.
John. 3:16; Rom. 8:32
Wednesday: Give in love.
1 John. 4:9-10; Matt. 5:44-48
Thursday: Principle of sowing and reaping.
2 Cor. 9:6; Gal. 6:7
Friday: Give willingly and generously.
Prov. 11:24; Luke. 6:38
Saturday: Principle of watering.
Prov. 11.25; 19:27