But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving. – 2 Corinthians 8:7.
We are children of God the Father through rebirth. It is by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who died that we may have life and have it more abundantly – Ephesians 2:8&9 & John 10:10b . We get this faith through the promptings of the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin and makes us know about the righteousness which is ours in Christ in God. So our spiritual rebirth is by the activity of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We live because of our Triune God and He gives us all of Himself– it is a giving of the whole of the Godhead and it is total. The urge to give in the service of God is therefore God given because we have the DNA of God who is the ultimate giver. Praise God for the word of God which gives us not only examples but also insight into Biblical giving. Our motives are important. Our actual gift is also important. God will accept every offering which is given in true faith and dedication to righteousness as Abel did in Genesis 4.
If our offering lacks sincere obedient faith and our motives are evil, God will reject our offering as He did that of Cain. God takes pleasure in our offerings and thanksgivings only when we are striving to live a righteous life according to His will.
Jesus Christ’s willingness to give is an example that all believers are to follow. Our priority in life is not our own comfort – it is service, and we are to serve Christ by serving others. His grace toward us should be reflected in our grace towards others – grace not only in forgiveness but in the material blessings we have been given and should share.
Our attitude about giving has spiritual significance. Paul says it is evidence of our love – our concern for others. We all need to excel in the grace of giving. How do we do this?
Let us look at some 11 principles:
Principle 1: Outward circumstances and difficulties should not hinder generosity in giving. The Macedonians gave from poverty, not abundance. They willingly gave because they wanted to, not because they had to. Their giving far exceeded their financial ability.
Principle 2: All financial giving should be proceeded by self-giving. We give ourselves first!! Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1
Principle 3: As Christians we need to be taught the principle of grace giving and to abound in grace giving. Luke 6:38, clearly says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Principle 4: Our goal in giving should be fulfilled and brought to completion. What we start out to do must be completed.
Principle 5: Generous giving is a tangible way to give evidence of the sincerity of our love. We put our money where our mouth is! If we love Jesus let’s give towards His work.
Principle 6: There is a connection between “the grace of God” and “the grace of giving” as we read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Our giving should be therefore rooted in His giving, He gave it all.
Principle 7: Grace giving moves God to supply and meet all needs. The needs are resupplied that work may continue. If we pledge to God to increase our giving each year, He will always supply for our every need so that we lack nothing. We will be left with more to give next time.
Principle 8: The willingness to give is more important than the amount given. The widow gave her mite and we can be sure that the Lord honoured her giving and supplied her needs immediately.
Principle 9: Generous spirit led giving will have a godly influence on others’ giving.
Principle 10: The attitude in which your money is given is of utmost importance to God. Think of Cain and Abel. God did not disapprove of Cain’s offering because it was from crops. His hearts attitude was wrong!! Abel gave with the right heart, the right motives and with righteous living.
Principle 11: Generous giving is the appropriate response to God’s unspeakable gift! God has given His all and so much. God is looking for generous givers. Are you one of them?
To Ponder: Let us pray MHB 923
WE GIVE THEE BUT THINE OWN
1 We give thee but thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from thee.
2 May we thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as thou blessest us,
To thee our first-fruits give.
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