God loves a cheerful giver.
HYMN: I GAVE MY LIFE FOR THEE
Text: Phil. 4:10-20; Mal. 3:7-12
And part 1 of our study on giving, we laid more emphasis on having the right attitude towards giving to make it acceptable and rewarding. And this second part, attempt will be made to identify what to give and the various kinds of giving in the scripture.
Giving is not just an act but a lifestyle of the kingdom, just like prayer, and standing on the word of God for growth, nourishment and blessing. It is an important part of our worship of God. Since giving is one of the measures of our spiritual maturity, it is very important that we understand the various kinds of giving. This is necessary because God judges our mind and attitude before, during and after giving.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand what should motivate us to give.
- To identify what we are to give.
- To know the benefits of giving
Q1. WHAT SHOULD BE THE MOTIVATING FACTOR IN OUR GIVING?
John. 3:16; 15:13; 1 Cor. 13:1-3
The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. The greatest factor that can motivate any giving that God will accept is love. Without love even if we give all that we have, it will amount to nothing in the sight of God (1 Cor. 13:1-3). So we must make love the basis of any giving we want to be involved in, otherwise, that reward that God gives for every giving that is with the right motive will be lost.
Q2. WHAT ARE WE EXPECTED TO GIVE?
As children of God, we are expected to give all that we have to him. However, for the purpose of clarity, we shall identify some of the things we are to give.
1.) Self, 2 Cor. 8:5:
Like the Corinthians, we should first and foremost give ourselves to God because whatever we give will not be acceptable to God unless we first give ourselves to him, and recognition of the fact that all that we have come from his hands. (1 Cor. 4:7).
2.) Tithes and offerings, 3:7-12; Luke. 21:1-4; 1Cor. 16:1-2:
Tithe is 10 percent of our income and it belongs to God while offering is something we offer to God voluntarily and happily. Many people do not see the need to give their tithes to God because they do not understand the word of God in the benefits attached to it. Many people tend to emphasize tithe while being silent on offering when considering this book of the Bible. It is necessary to point out here that both are very important and should be given adequate attention. The only difference between tithe and offering is that tithe is specifically define one tenth of our income while offering is left at the givers discretion which could even be more than tithe.
3.) Forgiveness: Mark. 11:25- 26; Matt. 5:23-29:
Forgiveness is something we all owe one another. Unforgiving spirit hinders our blessing and defiles our relationship with God. It also gives substance to our offerings, at times our giving is not accepted because we failed to forgive. Matt. 5:23-24. When you sow forgiveness, God opens His arms for you and pours out His grace upon you.
4.) Hospitality, Heb. 13:1-2:
We are enjoined in this passage to keep the bond of brotherliness and not forget to entertain strangers as they could be angels that God is bringing our way. And these perilous times that we are living in, when it is becoming more and more difficult to trust anyone including Christians and coupled with the current economy situation in the world today, it is becoming increasingly hard to welcome people into our homes, especially when they are not known. The word of God cannot be broken, so we have to uphold it in totality no matter what, and practice hospitality prayerfully and with wisdom. The Lord is able to protect His own who obey Him, therefore as much as it lieth within our power, let us be hospitable. It is an act of giving and must attract its reward.
5.) Rightly: Gen. 13:1-12:
Abraham gave his right to choose first to his nephew Lot when strife was trying to destroy the peace and harmony between them. Most times holding on to our right does not work out the righteousness of God. When you willingly give what is rightfully yours, God has a way of recompensing you back with a better one.
6.) others. Matt. 24:14-16, 34-40:
Other forms of giving that most people do not pay attention to include, the area of giving our time for visitation and evangelism, sharing the gospel to the sick in the hospital, prison wards, homes etc. and using also our talents for the advancement of the kingdom of God. And it is expedient we become a good steward of God’s gift in our lives. The orphans, widows, jobless and our congregations also need our attention.
Q3. HOW SHOULD WE GIVE?
As Christians, we must give according to the Bible principle. These include the followings:
1. Willingly, Ex. 35 :4-5; 36 :2-6; 1 Chron. 29:9:
We must be willing and not be forced or casual got to give. In Ex. 35:5 the people were taught to give from a willing heart. Giving is not a tax to be impose on anybody but it is voluntary because God never imposes a thing on anybody.
2. Sacrificially. 2 Sam.24:24:
Many of us today would jump on the offer that Araunah made to David in this passage and thank God for the wonderful provision. If David could be willing and actually paid for what he would use as burnt offering unto God, we should also be willing to give sacrificially unto our God and not always give only when it is convenient for us.
3. Proportionately, as good as He has prospered us 1Cor. 16:2:
Some people seem to make up their minds that no matter what, they will not exceed a certain amount of money as their offering. To this class of people, year in and year out, they do not add to what they give as offering. This is wrong. Everybody experiences growth in one way or the other and we also grow in work or business. Consequently, we should also reflect this growth or increase in our giving Unto God. The Bible tells us that the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof. Therefore, whatever we are giving to God must be with all the respect and dignity that we can afford. We must be careful no matter what we want to give.
Q4. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GIVING?
There are so many examples in the Bible to assure us that there is no one who gives to God and loses his/her reward. No one can beat God in giving as he will always give back to such a person even more than his/her imagination. Luke. 6:38 says, “Give and it shall be giving unto you: good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall man give into your bosom…” Every giving has a corresponding benefit which must come to the giver.
Daily Living Application:
One important way of showing love is through giving. And giving just like in sowing, one receives. One does not become poor because one has giving but could because One refuses to give or perhaps because such a one gave with wrong motive.
2 Cor. 9:7
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give not grudgingly or of necessity; for God Loveth a cheerful giver”.
Daily Devotional Guide:
Monday: Give willingly.
Ex. 35:4-5; 36:2-6; 1 Chron. 29:9
Tuesday: Give sacrificially.
2 Cor. 8:2; 2 Sam. 24:24
Wednesday: Give proportionately as God as given you.
1 Cor. 6:2
Thursday: Give cheerfully and Love.
John 3:16; 15:3; 1 Cor. 13:1- 3; 2 Cor. 9:7
Friday: Give in Faith.
Mark 10:29-30; Heb.11:6
Saturday: Give in Obedience.
Isaiah. 1:19; Luke. 6:38