Lesson 14

 

    The way we give is an indication of our love for God.  All things belong to God.  God says in Psalms 50:10,  "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills."  Everything we have received has come from God.  God has only loaned them to us. John 3:27 says,  "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from above."  We can never out-give God.  In Luke 6:38 we read,  "Give and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.  For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."  We give so the Lord’s church can better carry out its mission here on earth.  The world must be evangelized, and the church must be edified, and the needy must be helped.

    Giving is a command of God.  In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 we read,  "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also.  On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper that there be no collections when I come."  We see the giving here was to help the poor saints in Jerusalem.  Notice also they were to make a regular collection every first day of the week.

    Because of everything God has given us, including His Son to die for us, we should be anxious to give back to Him.  In 2 Corinthians 8:12 we read,  "For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have."  God expects us to give what we are able to give.  How can our love for God be real unless it is expressed in our obedience and our giving?  Our giving is an expression of love, and act of praise, and sacrifice to God.

     How we give is an indication of where our priorities are.  Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-21,  "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth and rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  Where is your heart?

    Since we can’t out-give God, we should at least be liberal in our giving.  As we read in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7,  "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."  Our giving is to be planned.  We should not give because we feel we have to give.  Nor should we resent that we need to give to please God.  We should be glad that we can give to the Lord.

    We should never try to impress other people with our giving.  If we do we already have our reward.  Giving needs to be a private matter.  We should not seek recognition for the things we do.  Jesus says in Matthew 6:1-4,  "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen of them.  Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."  We should seek the approval of God and not the glory of men.

    Our giving should not only include material possessions but we must first give ourselves to God.  We are told in Romans 12:1,  "I beseech you therefore, brethern, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."  If we will first give ourselves to the Lord, we will have no problem in being liberal in our giving.  Our liberal giving is part of worshipping God "in spirit and in truth."