For the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measure to you again
HYMN: I GAVE MY LIFE FOR THEE
Text: Malachi 3:10-12; Matt 6:1-4
In the first lesson in this series, we examined what giving is and highlighted the attitudes we should have towards it. Following that, we identified what to give and the reasons for dating so. In this concluding lesson we shall be looking at some fertile grounds unto which we can sow and the blessings derivable in obeying this injunction.
The objectives of this study are:
- To identify areas in which we can practice giving.
- To understand how not to give.
- To identify some factors that discourage people from giving.
- To examine the blessings of giving.
Q1. WHAT ARE SOME AREAS WE CAN PRACTICE GIVING?
There are so many areas we can sow into that can be considered as fertile grounds. These include:
1. Evangelism/Mission, Mark 10:29-30.
Evangelism is the primary assignment the Lord committed to all believers. However, many of us are not able to do this work the way we ought to. There are those out there who have devoted their lives to ensure that the assignment is carried out as the Lord commanded. If we therefore give generously to support them, we are helping to fulfill the task we have been given and so will get the reward of obedience.
2. Needs of the Church, Mal 3:10.
Any need in the house of God can be regarded as “God’s need” at the moment and when we contribute to meet such needs, we will be sowing on fertile ground that will yield the desired harvest in due season.
3. Needy Saints, Matt 10:40-42; Phil 4:17-19.
Whenever we give to help a needy brother or sister whether known or unknown to us, we are actually giving to the Lord Himself as we see in Matt. 10:40-42. Anything we give in the name of the Lord will attract is due reward.
4. The Widows, Fatherless, Orphans and Aged, James 1:27.
It is God’s desire that we show love to the widows, fatherless, orphans and the aged by giving to meet their needs. Anyone who gives to this category of people will be rewarded by Him.
5. The Poor, Ps 41:1-3; Prov 19:17.
This is another very fertile ground that we can sow into which unfortunately we are neglecting so much. The Bible says in Prov 19:17 that he that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Lord. If any on is call upon to lend to the One who owns heaven and earth, it is a big opportunity which if we understand what it means, we will do all in our power to give. We should develop the right attitude towards the poor by giving to their need.
6. Ministries of the Gospel, 1 Cor 9:7-14.
The Bible makes us to understand that we should not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. Thus all due encouragement should be given to those who are laboring for our good. Those that labor daily for the good of our souls should not be deprived of care and sustenance. Let us remember always that those who preach the gospel should also live of the gospel.
Q2. HOW SHOULD WE NOT DO OUR GIVING? Matt 6:1-4
We should not give hypocritically as the Pharisees because it is a subtle sin. It is sin because when we give to be noticed or applauded, it becomes pride because we are not giving from the principle of obedience to God or love to man. We are only giving for vain glory to earn men’s praise instead of God’s approval and blessings. One of such way is to widely publicize our giving in any form. Some people will do the publicity themselves like carrying Television and Radio to cover a visit to an orphanage where they will give a bag or rice, a few tubers of yams and so on. At the end of the day, the money spent on media coverage is often more than the things that are actually given to such home. This is a very wrong way of giving which we must discourage. We should let our giving be unto God who sees all things and will reward us accordingly.
Q3. WHAT ARE SOME FACTORS THAT DISCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM GIVING?
A number of factors discourage some people from giving. Among such factors are ignorance, selfishness and leadership.
- Ignorance: Many people have the belief that what ever they give in the church ends up with the pastor so they do not want to give because of that. If they were aware that they are actually giving to God and not to man, they will have better attitude towards giving, Heb 4:6.
- Selfishness: Some feel that giving will make them poorer than they are or it will make others to become better than themselves, so they will not want to give so that they will not become poorer. Therefore, they make up their mind not to give beyond a specific amount no matter what.
- Leadership Style: So many leaders are not leading by example. Some leaders misuse whatever the people give claiming that they are accountable to God and not to man. Thus, they can do whatever they like with whatever the people give without any sense of accountability to the congregation. Some of them live in so much affluence to the annoyance of right-thinking human beings even when their members are living in abject poverty. They live as if they are in competition with others and as such must be up to standard. This attitude discourages people from giving.
Q4. WHAT ARE THE BELSSINGS THAT GO WITH GIVING?
Mal 3:10-12; Heb 13:16; Luke 6:38; Matt 6:20; Prov 3:9-10
The blessings that go with giving cannot be quantified. In Malachi, God says He will open the windows of heaven and pour on us blessings that there will not be enough room to accommodate. In Luke, He said He will cause men to give back to us good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. God often makes use of men as instruments of His rewarding justice. He will incline the hearts of others to give to us when we need and to give liberally.
Q5. WHAT AWAITS THOSE WHO REJECT HIM?
John 3:17-19, 36; Romans 6:23; 1 John 5:12; Revelation 21:8
God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved, John 3:17. It is not His will that any should perish, but that all should come to His knowledge and repent. Sadly enough, only few have responded positively to this singular unmerited favor and privilege. Others are still wallowing in ignorance and vices.
Those who reject Christ throughout their life-time are regarded as God’s enemies as a result of Adam’s willful disobedience. They are also being pursued by the wrath of God because they have rejected the only begotten Son of God. They shall be eternally separated from God who made man in His image and likeness. Even being a member of a church does not mean one has accepted Christ. It is only those who abide in the principles of the Bible that are said to have accepted Him. Thank God, the door is still very open to as many that can accept the offer of salvation by God and make Christ their Lord and personal Savior.
Daily Living Application:
God owns everything in this world including ourselves and possessions. We are only caretakers, therefore, let us use our treasures to glorify God. Inadequate giving is an evidence of inadequate spiritual life.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meant in my house, and prove me now here with, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”.
Daily Devotional Guide:
Monday: Give for missions.
Tuesday: Give for the needs of the Church.
Wednesday: Give to needy saints.
Matt 10:40-42; Phil 4:17-19
Thursday: Give to widows, the fatherless, orphans and the aged.
Friday: Give to the poor.
Ps 41:1-3; Prov 19:17
Saturday: Give to Ministers of the Gospel.
1 Cor 9:7-14