The Benefits of Giving
Giving, by each member of a local church, will impact how effective that local body will be, as they reach out to their local community, and into world missions. Without a doubt, our tithes and offerings can provide rich blessings to those we may never meet.
I must admit, it took me a while to embrace the practice of giving on a regular basis. It was through the Apostle Paul, that The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the benefits of giving back to God, what He had already given to me. Paul’s wisdom helped me to understand that giving is part of our worship of God and fundamental to our Christian walk.
It’s God’s way of not only getting us involved in His plan for our lives and the lives of others but also to learn the importance of helping to take care of others and to stay unified in ‘one purpose under God.’
In 2 Corinthians 8: 9… Paul reminds us that… ‘even though Jesus Christ owned the cattle on a thousand hills, for your sake he became poor so that through His poverty, we might become rich.’ By seeing this model, Paul was encouraging us to look at giving not as a burden, but as an opportunity to become more Christ-like, while adopting a philosophy that promotes ‘living to give’.
In Luke 12: 1-24; the good doctor encourages us… 'Do not be afraid, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. So, sell those possessions that are not essential, and give them to the poor. And provide purses for yourself that will not wear out, to hold your ‘treasures in heaven’, where thief or moth cannot destroy. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
There is no question that God commands us to help support those that are less fortunate than ourselves. But ‘what about my stuff you might say’? When we are obedient in our giving, Christ always provides the resources that will more than meet our personal needs.
Let’s take a moment to consider 4 lessons designed to adopt an attitude that will produce in us, joyous and consistent givers…
Lesson #1 - God understands that we can only give to others, as He first gives to us. So, when God blesses you, don’t hesitate to bless another; Luke 6: 38… ‘Give, and it shall be given back to you in good measure; pressed down, shaken together and running over; for by your standard of Giving, so shall it be returned to you’. So, let ‘streams of blessings’ become your attitude… not reservoirs that will hold back. God will bless us abundantly when we learn not to hold to things too tightly.
Lesson #2 -Jesus commended a poor widow who gave only two mites because she gave out of what little she had. The amount was not as important, as much as her willingness to give. So, let us make giving a ‘Holy habit’, giving back to God, a portion of what He gives to us. Let us also remember… everything we will ever have, comes from our Father who is in Heaven.
Lesson #3… Having the right attitude is paramount in God’s economy. The preacher, Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “Giving is truly loving.” When we give, we are practicing our willingness to physically and spiritually serve those that God puts into our path. Let us not be driven by guilt or attention-seeking, but out of a heart that truly loves God, and wants to serve Him and display His mercy in our lives.
Lesson #4… When giving becomes a life-long habit, we are changed for the better, forever; we become God-centered. We grow in empathy and mercy for others, gaining contentment with what we have. Remember, 1 Timothy 6: 10… "For the Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil’.
Many people, including myself, have been focused on money; ultimately wandering from the Faith and piercing ourselves with grief we could have only imagined." So, in your quiet time, please consider this admonition.