What About Giving to God?
Born Again - to give
We can look at life from two perspectives, 'what can I get?' or 'what can I give?' Our choice of outlook will determine what kind of people we become and the kind of life we live.
Our natural instinct is towards 'what can I get?' God's priority, on the other hand, is 'what can I give?'
Giving and receiving � a flow of life
Giving for the Christian is a privilege, which brings the rewards of life and blessing. In giving and receiving there is a principle of sowing and reaping, as we can see from 2Corinthians 9:6-7.
Jesus said� �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� (Luke ).
If we are to enjoy giving we need to know and believe that:
1: God is a good God
This is very important. God is always good to us. It is his nature to bless, give, and have mercy. His love and faithfulness never change (see 1Timothy ; Lamentations 3:22-24; Numbers 23:19). It is difficult to give and receive joyfully unless we accept that God is always good towards us.
2: God wants to free us from the curse of poverty
Poverty in this context is being afraid to give because of fear and selfishness. This fear denies the love of God and his promise to provide. Fear has to do with punishment - "I don't deserve it, God won't bless me". But, John says there is no fear in God's perfect love (see 1John -18).
3: Settle the matter of who owns what
We like to think that we own all we have but the Bible shows us that all we have belongs to God and we are to act as stewards. David and the early Christians recognised this when giving to God (see 1Chronicles 29:14-18; Acts ; 1Corinthians -20). Jesus shows that the way we handle our stewardship will determine the level of trust God puts in us regarding the things of heaven (Luke -13).
4: Learn to be content with what God has given you
The Bible says� �Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you"' (Hebrews 13:5).
Contentment is a key to our attitude to giving. It comes from being secure in God, knowing he wants to bless us so that we, in turn, can bless others.
How do we give?
ach Sunday in church, through giving our tithes and offerings, we have an opportunity to give back to God from our material possessions. According to the New Testament financial giving an integral part of the Christian life.
The Bible gives clear instructions on how we should give:
a: Our giving should be regular (see 1Coritnthians 16:1-2).
b: Our giving should be done cheerfully (see 2Corinthians 9:7).
It is important that you learn how to give God's way so that he can bless you in return. In deciding in our heart what to give, the Bible teaches tithing as a basis for judging the right amount to give to God - a tithe is a tenth of our income.
In the Old Testament God told his people to give a tenth of their income for the support of his work in the 'church' (see Malachi 3:8-12).
In the light of these verses, this church encourages tithing because doing this not only provides for the life of the local church, but also opens the way for God to bless us, the giver, in return. In this church our tithes provide, amongst other things, the financial support of those in full time work in this church, missions at home and abroad, the provision of a place to meet, and support for those in need.
Giving a tenth of our income to God may seem like an impossible task, particularly when we can just about afford to pay the bills we have already. However, because this is what God wants, he will help us to re-order our finances. Then, as we move towards giving a tenth, we will begin to be surprised how far our money goes - there will always seem to be enough to pay for everything we need. This is because, through being obedient to God, we put ourselves in the place where he can bless us in return (see Malachi 3:10-12; Luke 6:38).
In our giving, therefore, we give our tithes to God each Sunday, and from time to time we give an offering to a special need - a missionary offering or visiting speaker, for example. This applies to the church too, which gives at least a tenth of its income to missions and extra 'offerings' as needs arise.
Love and Faith
It's where the love of God is present that there is a willing and wholehearted giving and receiving, without which God's life can't flow.
Above all, we need to give in faith and trust in God's willingness to bless the gift and those who receive it; and bless us the giver, trusting his ability to supply all our needs in return (see Luke ; Philippians ).
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