WHY GIVE AT ALL?
He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn
will be lifted high in honour. Psalm 112: 9
It should be noted that in GIVING the church still needs to be properly educated. GIVING and RIGHTEOUSNESS
go hand in hand. When a Christian starts living a life of giving, God sees EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS there. For instance, giving
should not be out of greed and covetousness, but rather based on "wanting" to help, which means generosity or kindness of
heart. This does not mean that God does not bless when you give; he blesses and that cannot be challenged, but the intention
has to be clear otherwise giving is futile.
Offering is expected from:
a. THE BELIEVERS
"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared
everything they had" (Acts 4:32). If
one is A BELIEVER one has to GIVE irrespective of age. If you’re a parent, you should ensure that your children (the
little believers) have their little safes, where they put their tithes whenever someone gives them money. That comes after
you have got them to receive Jesus and having taught them about giving to the poor. Giving has no age limit, otherwise they
may not get used to it when they grow older. If they have not received teaching of this nature, chances are that they might
learn “cheating God” when they become older. Therefore, giving is a sign of being a TRUE BELIEVER. Giving is also
a sign of sharing according to this verse. That was part of the Doctrine of the Apostles, which we claim to follow. Do we
live up to it?
b. THE POOR
43Calling his disciples to him,
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all
gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on" (Mark 12:43-44). If Jesus were you and me in His thinking, He would have stopped her
“in compassion.” He would have said, “No! Not you! You don’t have to! Just keep your money and buy
some bread with it!” Jesus wanted us to learn a lesson that God requires His Word to be practiced by all. If He had
prevented the poor woman, He would have misled her; thus aggravating her situation.
c. THE CHURCH LEADERS
Church leaders are also BELIEVERS themselves, so they have to give. 6 Then the leaders of families,
the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge
of the king's work gave willingly" (I Chronicles 29:9).
1.1 WHERE DOES THE OFFERING COME FROM
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from
each man whose heart prompts him to give (Exodus 25:1-2). Offering comes from the
heart, not from the pocket or the bank.
Offering must start as a wish and a covenant between the believer and God in private, even before the need for it becomes
visible to the people sometimes. 12 I set out during the night with a few men. I had not told anyone what my God
had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:12). He does
not speak about what Jerusalem could do for him, but he talks about what he himself could do for Jerusalem. Nobody
else had asked Nehemiah to give, but it was an inborn covenant between him and his God. That’s how it should be, Ladies
and Gentlemen. It must start at home in the closet and then when the time for it comes, all should be well. No murmurings
can be found, if we look at it from that direction.
THE MACEDONIAN CHURCHES
II CORINTHIANS 8
2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty
welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.
Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.
Macedonian churches were the poorest of them all but they excelled through giving. They gave more than their ability could
allow. They pleaded with Paul to allow them to demonstrate this. The irony is that they pleaded with Paul, instead
of Paul pleading with them. They asked for the opportunity themselves. All this amazed the men of God, Paul and Titus.
thing to note is that, to these churches God came first. 5And they
did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. The kingdom of God comes first then the offering follows. 33But
seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33). Kingdom
and Righteousness first: They did just that.
5Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before
unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty,
and not as of covetousness. (II Corinthians 9:5). NOT AS OF COVETOUSNESS (i.e. MATERIALISM, GREEDINESS). Here we see GENEROSITY vs
GREED. We should not do that, neither when giving nor when pleading for the offering. Let’s show love by giving.
Paul of Tarsus Cilicia once wrote. 12This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of
God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God (II Corinthians 9:12). The Word of God calls it a “service,” which fascinates me. A service is something
continuous rather that a sporadic act. God does not consider THOSE THAT HAVE GIVEN, but THOSE THAT LIVE A LIFE OF GIVING.
There is a big difference there! Let us worship God by giving, particularly to the poor and to the work of God.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. I Timothy 6:6
In conclusion let us look at contentment.
It is a fact that CONTENTMENT and GODLINESS are two sides of the same coin. One cannot be separated from the other: It’s
just that you don’t see both sides simultaneously. When you see CONTENTMENT it is obvious that the flip side of the
coin is GODLINESS. It doesn’t matter which side you are looking at. If you notice, almost all sins come from LACK OF
CONTENTMENT. So it pays to be content in all things inclusive of giving. However, our giving should be out of a content and
cheerful heart: Out of generosity. In other words our focus and intention should be clear.
9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge
men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money,
have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. I Timothy 6:9-10
REMEMBER TO LIVE A LIFE OF GIVING, BUT WITH UNDERSTANDING. UNDOUBTEDLY, GOD WILL BLESS YOU.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
To the Glory
of Him whose NAME is above all names